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Liverpool player ratings: Alexander-Arnold stars in comeback vs. Fulham

Tooba Shakir 5 months ago 0

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Liverpool and Fulham played out a Premier League thriller on Sunday afternoon as the Reds came from behind with two late goals to win 4-3 at Anfield.

Liverpool got themselves in front with an excellently taken free-kick by Trent Alexander-Arnold, which came off the bar before going into the net off the back of Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno. But poor defending allowed the Cottagers to equalise when USMNT star Antonee Robinson cut the ball back to Harry Wilson to finish.

A potential goal of the season followed shortly after as Alexis Mac Allister produced an unstoppable shot from range that left Leno with no chance. But Liverpool couldn’t hang on before half-time as Kenny Tete scored from a corner.

Darwin Núñez hit the crossbar in the second half and the home side were eventually punished for not finishing their chances when three Fulham substitutes combined to put them into the lead. An intricate inside pass from Willian found Tom Cairney, whose cross toward the back post was converted by Bobby Decordova-Reid with 10 minutes left.

The drama continued in the 87th minute as Wataru Endo struck back, and just one minute later Alexander-Arnold chested the ball down before unleashing a cracking effort.

It wasn’t Liverpool’s best, but they scored four goals of the highest order in a result that keeps pressure on in the Premier League title race.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Positives

Liverpool scored exceptional goals, with Mac Allister’s a contender for goal of the season. The Reds’ chance creation got them through after some poor defending.

Negatives

Liverpool’s defending has to be better if they are to stay in the title race, as they could be punished on another day by better opposition.

Manager rating

9 — Jurgen Klopp got the tactics right on Sunday afternoon and wasn’t at fault for some of the individual errors that led to goals. His decision to move Alexander-Arnold further forward and bring on Endo ultimately won the game for his side, with both scoring late on.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Caoimhin Kelleher, 5 — The Republic of Ireland international stepped in for the injured Alisson and could have done better on both goals. The first was hit with pace from close range but it was straight at him, while a poor decision to come off his line on the second was rash.

DF Kostas Tsimikas, 5 — Tsimikas looked to support attacks down the left flank and was direct with his passing, but the key moment of the match was Fulham’s third goal that saw him beaten too easily at the back post.

DF Virgil van Dijk, 5 — The captain could have been positioned better for the first goal, with Liverpool’s defensive line completely out of sync. He improved in the second half, but it was still not the best display by his standards.

DF Joël Matip, 5 — A mixed game for Matip saw him deny Wilson in the first half with a key tackle, but he could have shown more conviction with other areas of his defending.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 9 — An excellent free-kick put Liverpool into the lead in an all-around strong performance where he thrived in a playmaker role. While he wasn’t credited with the first goal, there won’t be any doubt about the second as he scored the winner with a shot Steven Gerrard would have been proud of.

MF Alexis Mac Allister, 7 — Mac Allister couldn’t get a block on Robinson’s cross for Fulham’s first equaliser, but he soon made amends by scoring a potential goal of the season contender from 28 yards.

MF Ryan Gravenberch, 6 — The 21-year-old looked bright when getting in front of his marker in moments when he was able to drive at the defence with the ball, and that helped Liverpool raise the tempo in a number of attacks. He was quiet in the second half before being replaced.

MF Dominik Szoboszlai, 6 — Szoboszlai had some bright moments on the ball and it was his dribbling ability that won Liverpool the free-kick that Alexander-Arnold dispatched. But he seemed to drift in and out of the game across the 65 minutes he played.

FW Luis Díaz 6, — The Colombia international often had the better of his marker Calvin Bassey, who was forced to commit a number of fouls in the first half. Diaz was unlucky not to equalise with a header from Alexander-Arnold’s corner that forced a strong save from Leno.

FW Darwin Nunez, 5 — The 24-year-old made a number of strong runs in behind the defence but failed to put away his best chance, smashing the ball on to the bar from Salah’s pass. It was an off-day for the Uruguay international in terms of finishing.

FW Mohamed Salah, 7 — Salah had the ball in the net in the first half before it was judged to be offside, and he was unlucky not to pick up an assist with two well-placed passes to Nunez that should have been converted into goals.

Substitutes (players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

FW Cody Gakpo, 6 — He had a quiet start to the game, but Gakpo came into it when it mattered. He looked confident on the ball when bursting forward and it was his effort that almost found its way inside the near post which eventually led to Alexander-Arnold putting Liverpool in front.

DF Joe Gomez, 6 — Gomez was deployed at right-back to allow Alexander-Arnold to play more advanced. He was strong in his duels and worked tirelessly on the right flank.

DF Ibrahima Konaté, 6 — Brought on for Matip, Konaté was key in helping organise Liverpool’s defence late on.

MF Wataru Endo, N/R — The Japan international isn’t known for his goals, but he equalised with a perfectly placed effort into the top corner.

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