Football Features

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: Full player ratings as dominant Reds extend Gunners’ miserable Anfield record

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:28, 24 August 2019

Liverpool remain the only Premier League club with a 100% record following their emphatic 3-1 victory over Arsenal at home.

The Reds proved too much for Unai Emery’s men as the Gunners once again left Anfield with a heavy defeat under their belt.

Mohamed Salah, who enjoys his meetings with the north London club, scored a brace with Joel Matip heading in a rare effort for the European champions.

Jurgen Klopp would have felt a tad more satisfied following an indifferent start whilst this was a reminder how far Arsenal are still behind the league’s finest.

With that said, how did the players rate?

Liverpool

Adrián – 6 – Began erratically, and could have gifted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang an early goal, but soon regained his composure and stood tall when facing Nicolas Pépé one-on-one ten minutes before half-time. Unable to register his first Liverpool clean sheet.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7 – Stationed much of the game near Arsenal’s penalty area, such was Liverpool’s territorial supremacy. From open play the gifted young full-back couldn’t pull off a trademark wicked delivery, but his 41st-minute corner saw Matip head home the opener.

Virgil van Dijk – 6 – Showed plenty of respect to Pépé in the early stages; instead of engaging, as he’d usually does against opposition forwards, the Dutch centre-back often gave the Ivorian a couple of yards. That said, he was his usual colossus self in terms of commanding the Reds’ backline.

Joel Matip – 8 – Was the more aggressive of Liverpool’s centre-back pairing, winning his aerial duels and tackles, Matip continues to be the perfect foil for Van Dijk and even channelled the Dutchman’s goalscoring prowess by powering a header from Alexander-Arnold’s corner.

Andrew Robertson – 7 – Never stopped marauding forward, Robertson dominated the entirety of Liverpool’s left flank and caused those fielded their by Emery plenty of headaches. He was unlucky not to contribute.

Jordan Henderson – 6 – Kept peppering Arsenal’s penalty area with crosses whenever he got the opportunity, aside from occasionally being caught on the back-foot Liverpool’s captain was someone the Gunners players found difficult to bypass.

Fabinho – 6 – A calming presence in the heart of Klopp’s midfield, Fabino kept the ball moving as soon as he either broke down an Arsenal attack or received possession.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5 – Not his greatest game in a Liverpool jersey, although Wijnadulm kept himself busy, he was often guilty of losing possession and didn’t look clinical in front of goal.

Mohamed Salah – 9 – His sheer force of personality meant no one in an Arsenal jersey could afford to relax whenever the Egyptian winger got on the ball, though David Luiz fell into his trap early in the second half.

Roberto Firmino – 8 – Had the second-fewest touches of the ball in Liverpool’s front three, after Salah, but did a good job asking questions of Arsenal’s backline and pulled off a neat piece of skill at Dani Ceballos’ expense.

Sadio Mané – 7 Comfortably the most threatening Liverpool forward in the opening 45 minutes and with better shooting accuracy would have filled his boots.

Substitutions:

James Milner (for Georginio Wijnaldum 69) – 5 – Slotted into Liverpool’s midfield comfortably and was his ‘Duracell bunny’ self.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (for Sadio Mané 77) – N/A – A late sub.

Adam Lallana (for Roberto Firmino 86) – N/A – A late sub.

Arsenal

Bernd Leno – 5 – Might have felt he could have done better to stop Matip from putting the hosts in front. The same can’t be said for Salah’s penalty. Aside from those moments he wasn’t forced into making that many desperate saves.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 3 – Predominantly anonymous going forward, spent the majority of the game dealing with Robertson’s run.

Sokratis – 4 – Put his body on the line at times, most notably when he prevented Alexander-Arnold’s shot from reaching Leno’s goal.

David Luiz – 3 – A brain-fade minutes after the break, pulling on Salah’s shirt, gave Liverpool an opportunity to double their lead which Salah did. It was a lapse in concentration that has often crept into his game.

Nacho Monreal – 4 – Much like his opposite number Maitland-Niles, it was surprising to see him near Liverpool’s penalty area.

Mattéo Guendouzi – 4 – Struggled to impose himself as the game began to slip from Arsenal’s grasp.

Granit Xhaka – 4 – The speed of Liverpool’s play denied Xhaka from getting stuck in as he usually does in these fiery contests.

Joe Willock – 3 – Game seemingly passed him by as Liverpool slowly took control of the midfield battle.

Nicolas Pépé – 6 – His rapid pace gave Van Dijk some food for thought which in itself is a victory, he should really have opened his Arsenal account today.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5 – Got behind Liverpool’s defence more than once but must have left his scoring boots in north London.

Dani Ceballos – 4 – High hopes from some quarters heading into this game, but this proved to be a bridge too far. Ceballos should bounce back from such a humbling experience.

Substitutions:

Lucas Torreira (for Dani Ceballos 61) – 5 – Demonstrated character and personality as soon as he came on and was rewarded with a goal.

Alexandre Lacazette (for Joe Willock 81) – N/A – A late sub.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (for Mattéo Guendouzi 86) – N/A – A late sub.

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