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Liverpool vs Crystal Palace player ratings: Mohamed Salah stars as Reds down stubborn Eagles

The Independent
The Independent
 2021-09-18

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Liverpool

Alisson – 7: Made a vital save in the opening minutes to claw away a Zaha effort, though that shot was the result of his own miscommunication with Milner. Denied Edouard with two crucial stops later on.

James Milner – 6: Out of position at right-back, so can be forgiven somewhat for his early and almost costly mix-up with Alisson. Was unsurprisingly solid elsewhere.

Ibrahima Konate – 7: Dealt well with the physicality of Benteke for a fairly straightforward debut, despite a late scare in a one-on-one with Edouard. Looks like he will be a significant presence in opponents’ boxes on set-pieces.

Virgil van Dijk – 7: Needed to be assured to make life as easy as possible for Konate on his centre-back partner’s debut. Was exactly that. Assisted Salah’s goal.

Konstantinos Tsimikas – 7: Settling into Jurgen Klopp’s defence nicely. Always looked alert.

Fabinho – 7: Reliable when it came to his passing and defensive duties; offered the occasional attacking threat from the edge of the Palace box, too.

Jordan Henderson – 6: As always, the captain ensured his teammates kept up the pressure on their opponents. Kept the hosts ticking, too. Made way for Origi with a couple of minutes left on the clock.

Thiago – 6: Little to criticise in the case of the Spain midfielder, though he is still not as instrumental as he could be. Replaced by Keita on the hour mark.

Diogo Jota – 6: Lively as always but wasteful. Blazed a sitter over a half-open goal from a few yards out as half-time approached. Jones replaced the Portuguese as the game drew to a close.

Mohamed Salah – 8: Sharp link-up play was his greatest attribute for much of the match. Good headed effort forced Guaita to palm the ball to Mane for Liverpool’s opener. Got his goal late on, stabbing home a finish at the back post.

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Sadio Mane – 7: Like his forward teammates, the Senegalese was not at his deadly best, but he nevertheless opened the scoring with an opportunistic tap-in for his 100th Reds goal.

Subs: Naby Keita – 7; Curtis Jones – 6; Divock Origi – N/A.

Crystal Palace

Vicente Guaita – 8: Palmed away a powerful, close-range Henderson volley in the first half, and kept out a dangerous Salah header with impressive reflexes – only for Mane to pounce on the rebound. Made more saves later on.

Joel Ward – 7: Made a terrific, timely interception to stop a Jota shot at the source in a spell of intense Liverpool pressure. That wasn't his only key block. Even tested Alisson late in the first half.

Joachim Andersen – 6: Together with Guehi, did a decent job at remaining resilient against a talented front three – until the Reds’ late onslaught.

Marc Guehi – 6: Like Andersen, was focused and largely stable at the back. Liverpool’s late flourish reflects harshly on the Palace centre-back pairing.

Tyrick Mitchell – 6: The left-back was diligent for the most part and got forward when he could. Might have suffered a knock in the last 15 minutes.

Conor Gallagher – 7: The promising 21-year-old created Palace’s best chance, when he lifted the ball through to Zaha in the first few minutes.

Cheikhou Kouyate – 6: Fed Palace’s forwards pretty well. Couldn’t quite keep up with Fabinho and Thiago in the middle, however. Exited as Olise came on in the final few minutes.

James McArthur – 6: ‘Solid but unspectacular’, as was expected to be the case here. Replaced by Riedewald in the second half.

Jordan Ayew – 6: Tried to make a nuisance of himself out on the right, to varying degrees of success. Put a free-kick straight into the Liverpool wall from an optimal position.

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Christian Benteke – 6: Mild threat personified. The striker worked hard but is still far from incisive or clinical enough. Taken off midway through the second half as Edouard came on.

Wilfried Zaha – 6: Tested Alisson well in a scary early moment for Liverpool. Otherwise, didn’t impact the match as he would have wished.

Subs: Odsonne Edouard – 7; Jairo Riedewald – 6; Michael Olise – N/A.

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