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Liverpool v Crystal Palace: Player Performances - The Red Debate
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We’ve opted against the format of giving player numerical ratings. Here are our thoughts on the performances in the 0-2 away win against a decent Palace side.

Alisson

Managed to both scare the shit out of me & fill me with confidence all at the same time. As the game went on, more of the latter. Backs himself with the ball at his feet & seems to intentionally draw a man towards himself to make space for the out ball to the fullback. Probably completed more passes than McArthur & Milivojevic did over the course of the 90. Makes a good save from the freekick, met by Klopp’s visible approval. Big Virg was asked about his impact after the game & kept it coy. Seemed like he wanted to gush about him. Excited by this one.

Trent

Though his crossing wasn’t quite at it, Trent is becoming one of the best fullbacks in the league. Should have had the freekick when Wan-Bissaka gets the red. Asks for the ball constantly & almost always keeps it. Can’t wait to see him continue to grow.

Joe Gomez

Fast him, isn’t he? Great tackle on Wilf Zaha at 0-0. Strode forward with the ball a few times & generally used it well. Alongside Van Dijk, allows us to play a high line due to his speed across the ground. At times in the first half against West Ham, we were playing with 10 men in their half, almost in their defensive third. Not seen that under Klopp with such intensity. Less of a high line today, but this aspect of our play with Big Joe Gomez in the side is really apparent. It’ll be interesting to see whether Klopp keeps Gomez in there. I would, personally.

Big Virg

Imperious. Made it look like he could do it in his sleep. Would put his head on a meteor falling to Earth. Could probably control it with his feet, too. He’s going to become my favourite ever Liverpool player. You’ll be hearing more from me on this topic…

Andy Rob

Great engine. Looks stronger & fitter after the summer break. Comes inside off the touchline really well & this was noticeable against Palace. Played rondos with Alisson in tight spaces & defended well. He’s going to get good numbers this season. Looks so comfortable and confident in the Liverpool shirt. He’s the sort of player who makes you proud that he plays for your club.

Wijnaldum

Quietly played really well throughout. Controlled the middle of the pitch, along with Milner. Tactically it seemed as though we were switching between a double pivot & then using Milner or Gini as the deepest. His game intelligence & ability to do this go under the radar for me. Played fast when he needed to. Soaked it up in the second half when we were coasting. Protects the ball so well. I prefer Gini from the off rather than coming on but generally I’m delighted we’ve kept him.

Milner

Enjoyed having him in the side today. Was coming deep, even between the centrebacks at times, was an option whenever the centrebacks had the ball. Loves a snidey little foul. Loves getting away with them too. Man of the match for me against West Ham & didn’t let us down yet again against Palace. Ice cool from the penalty & makes it 8 Premiership pens in a row to hit the net. I love how nobody seems to put him in their best Liverpool 11. He can play better, but he was great.

Keita

Bloody hell. Sends Townsend for the paper in what would have been one of the best assists ever. Should get a mark in his assist column for that pass really. Look up ‘perfectly weighted’ in your search engine and you’ll get a GIF of that pass. Could have had a goal or two. Perhaps should have when Salah picked him out on the edge. Genuinely can’t wait to watch him play again.

Mo Salah

This man is a pure nuisance. Wasn’t at his best at all, but could/should have had a few. Needs to score from the aforementioned Keita run & chipped pass, but such is his quality that we all overlook the first touch and just expect him to score the lob over Hennessey who’s about 7 foot tall. He’s top class at finding space & keeping the ball. Seems to have developed his ability to back into his man & hold the ball under his foot, threatening to roll his man or lay it off. Sakho couldn’t handle it & Wan-Bissaka, though having had a good game to that point, couldn’t keep up with him. Despite not being at the races he gets an assist, wins a pen and gets a man sent off. Get him in your fantasy footy team. Make him captain every week.

Firmino

His touch was on today, but I felt frustrated for him. Couldn’t quite get in the game, but then you could argue that he’s doing his job wonderfully well when you get Salah and Mane in behind due to Bobby dropping deep. You could write it every time you talk about Frimino, but you wouldn’t want to be a central midfielder in an opposing team being asked to play out from the back against us when Firmino’s playing. Poor Declan Rice couldn’t handle it on the opening weekend & got dragged on 45. Such is Bobby’s importance that even his little stint on his arse with what looked like cramp was pure heart in mouth.

Mane

Bloody love him. Scored in 3 season openers & now in 3 consecutive games against Palace. Looks a threat. Coming inside, bouncing it off Robbo & Keita, beating a man both inside and out. Beaming smile on his face at all times. I love this Sadio.

Subs:

Henderson

Good change. Brought an air of composure. Looks as though he’s filled out a bit, even since the World Cup. Looks bloody enormous compared to the lad we signed from Sunderland.

Lallana

Thought he’d fucked us with that silly foul at the death before our second goal. Didn’t really do much but still managed to get a Cryuff turn in there. Standard Lallana.

Studge

Fairly pointless substitution. His goals per minute ratio won’t be affected. Don’t worry.