Football Features

Liverpool 5-2 Everton: Full player ratings as Mane masterclass puts the seal on Merseyside thriller

By Ben Green

Published: 22:18, 4 December 2019

Liverpool maintain an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table after thrilling 5-2 victory over Merseyside rivals Everton.

The Reds got off to a flyer, breaking the deadlock within the first five minutes after Sadio Mane picked the ball up in his own half before slaloming forward and producing an eye of the needle pass to set up Divock Origi, who comfortably rounded Jordan Pickford and tucked into an open net.

And from there the floodgates were well and truly open with the hosts racing into a two-goal lead through Xherdan Shaqiri, before Everton reduced the deficit courtesy of Michael Keane. Jurgen Klopp’s men restored their two-goal cushion through a sublime Origi finish and soon made it 4-1 thanks to Mane, but once more the Toffees responded, netting just before the interval through a Richarlison header.

However, it would ultimately prove a night to forget for Everton as Georginio Wijnaldum finished proceedings with a well-wrought goal at the death to make it a pulsating 5-2 to Liverpool in this Merseyside classic.   

Here’s how the players rated at Anfield:

Liverpool 

Adrian – 5 – The Spaniard looked comfortable enough between the sticks trying to replicate the quick-passing and accurate exploits of Alisson, but came up just short when Everton attacked his goal.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8 – The England international was on it from minute one, sure he had a few jittery moments, but his distribution was stellar and he played with his heart on his sleeve, while also buccaneering forward to assist Mane just before half-time.

Dejan Lovren – 7 – Liverpool may have conceded twice but Lovren was there to produce two game-changing moments. First executing a sublime upfield pass to tee up Origi for Liverpool’s third, before performing heroics at the other end with a goal-saving lunge which would have seen Calvert-Lewin stick home just before half-time.

Virgil van Dijk – 6 – Another who was spraying passes with precision, Van Dijk was Liverpool’s springboard, initiating attacking moves and playing with great fluidity, but there were certainly one or two question marks defensively as the Toffees netted twice and should have scored through Kean.

Andrew Robertson – 7 – An ever-present in the final third, Robertson linked up with Mane exceptionally well and looked to help out his attacking teammates at every given opportunity. Also done an excellent job in keeping Bernard quiet.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 8 – Held the fort well alongside Milner in a two-man central midfield pivot. The Dutchman was clean with his passing and kept the Liverpool rhythm flowing – marked the occasion with a fantastic finish

Adam Lallana – 6 – Showed flashes of quality without really influencing proceedings in the final third as some of his attacking teammates. A tidy performance from the elegant playmaker.

James Milner – 8 – Tenacity personified, Milner played with his usual grit and determination, crunching into tackles, buzzing about the pitch like a swarm of amorous bees and just kept the tempo flowing.

Xherdan Shaqiri – 7 – The diminutive forward was given a huge opportunity by Klopp and he certainly took it, scoring a neat goal to widen Liverpool’s advantage, while also offering a creative outlet on the flank.

Squawka’s MVP: Sadio Mane (10)

The Senegalese star was at his very best this evening, playing with such electricity, precision and panache that it almost seemed arrogant at times. But that is exactly what Klopp demands of his forwards, to play with confidence and zeal; Mane was all that and much, much more.

His two weighted passes for Origi and Shaqiri were Andrea Pirlo-esque, possibly the two best passes of the season. His first, was an inch-perfect through ball right into the corridor of uncertainty which left Pickford scrambling, while his second completely took Everton’s five-back out of the equation.

To complete his performance, Mane netted a sublime left-footed finish, which was the least he deserved. You know a player is having a sensational game when you force the opposition manager to withdraw your marker in the first-half, which is exactly what Marco Silva done to Sidibe – this was pure ruthlessness and sheer devastation from the incisive forward.

Divock Origi – 9 – He made a name for himself in the previous Merseyside derby at Anfield; in fact, he has been making a habit of producing the goods in big games and that is exactly what happened this evening. His brace was pure magic, first easing past Pickford, almost dismissively, for the opening goal, before netting a quite majestic second.

Substitutes:

Jordan Henderson (for Lallana 72) – 6 – Came on for the final portion of this game and played with his usual relentless energy to just see the game out.

Roberto Firmino (for Origi 73) – 7 – Brought on for the final 20 minutes or so and made an impact in the dying embers with a brilliant assist.

Joe Gomez (for Alexander-Arnold 83) – N/A – Substituted on for the last few minutes.

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Everton

Jordan Pickford – 4 – The England international was a bit too eager at times and rushed off his line in an overzealous manner, making it far too easy for Liverpool to find the back of the net.

Djibril Sidibe – 2 – It is never an easy task marking Mane, especially on a night when he was on it from the first whistle. The Frenchman was all at sea during his brief sojourn on the pitch and ultimately came off 10 minutes before half-time.

Mason Holgate – 3 – A difficult evening for Holgate as he first struggled in central defence before having even less joy when shifted out to the right as Mane ran riot.

Yerry Mina – 3 – The Colombian was far too static and hot-headed for a match of this magnitude, either not closing down quick enough and with precision, or closing down too quickly and conceding a foul.

Michael Keane – 5 – Keane’s blushes were somewhat spared after he netted an important goal to bring his side back into this game, but he ultimately lacked the required protection in front of him to really stifle the Liverpool frontline.

Lucas Digne – 4 – An ineffective game from the usually robust and all-action left-back. He had a good battle with Alexander-Arnold and Shaqiri but ultimately couldn’t prevent the goals flying in.

Alex Iwobi – 2 – His end product simply wasn’t there tonight. The Nigerian got himself into dangerous enough areas, but wasted countless chances to set up his teammates.

Tom Davies – 4 – Tried to get hold of the midfield and dominate the centre of the park, but was simply overrun and suffocated by Liverpool’s famed counter pressing system.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – 4 – Another who looked to make things happen, but just lacked the requisite creativity to consistently unlock doors make things happen.

Richarlison – 6 – A valiant performance from the Brazilian who netted just before the break. Sure, he cut an isolated figure at times, but he battled hard and caused some havoc in the final third.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 5 – Looked to hassle the Liverpool backline but often found himself isolated up-top and just lacked the precision and penetration to really trouble Van Dijk and Lovren.

Substitutes:

Bernard (for Sidibe 35) – 5 – Largely ineffective, the pint-sized Brazilian didn’t really stamp his mark on this match.

Moise Kean (for Calvert-Lewin 60) – 6 – Made more of an impact during his 30-minute spell than the man he came on for and should have scored.

Morgan Schneiderlin (for Davies 72) – 5 – Brought on for Davies to offer more protection, but pretty much killed the game off with his languid demeanour.

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