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Best & worst players from win over Sheffield United


Liverpool kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal with a 2-0 win over bottom of the table Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

The Reds weren’t at their free-flowing best against the Blades, once again managed by Chris Wilder, but took control of proceedings when Virgil van Dijk volleyed past Wes Foderingham from a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner.

Mohamed Salah and substitute Darwin Nunez had good chances to double Liverpool’s lead after the interval, only to be denied by Foderingham, but the hosts never really looked like they would draw themselves level.

Instead, Dominik Szoboszlai wrapped the game up in injury-time, coolly slotting the ball home after Nunez had won back possession for Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp will be pleased by his side’s professionalism and the fact that three points keeps them just two shy of Arsenal, who had streaked clear at the top of the Premier League table after beating Luton Town 4-3 in a thrilling Tuesday night game at Kenilworth Road.

Mohamed Salah

It wasn’t Mohamed Salah’s night at Bramall Lane / George Wood/GettyImages

GK: Caoimhin Kelleher – 6/10 – Only had one shot to deal with throughout the 90 minutes but was far more assured in his overall display having conceded three against Fulham.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7/10 – Super delivery from a corner alllowed Van Dijk to open the scoring, but was guilty of giving away possession too easily at times.

CB: Ibrahima Konate – 6/10 – Four interceptions and four ball recoveries for Konate, though it wasn’t his busiest evening. Progressed the ball nicely.

CB: Virgil van Dijk (c) – 8/10 – The rock at the centre of Liverpool’s defence. Not back to his absolute best by any means but when Van Dijk is in the groove, things do appear to be far easier for Klopp’s side. Opened the scoring.

LB: Joe Gomez – 6/10 – Back into an unfamiliar role on the left and struggled to make the kind of impact going forward that Andy Robertson or Kostas Tsimikas would usually offer.

DM: Wataru Endo – 7/10 – Made a number of interceptions in the heart of midfield and kept things ticking over nicely. A good outing.

CM: Dominik Szoboszlai – 8/10 – The Hungarian continues to go from strength to strength in midfield and is surely one of the best signings of the season so far. Killed the game off with a late second.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister – 5/10 – Relatively anonymous in the hour he spent on the pitch. Replaced by Curtis Jones and will know he needs to be more involved moving forward.

RW: Mohamed Salah – 5/10 – Erratic and rushed in almost everything he tried to do. Potentially trying too hard but it certainly didn’t benefit Liverpool’s attempts to double their lead.

CF: Cody Gakpo – 6/10 – Made some clever runs short, in behind and down the flanks, drifting out to the left when Darwin Nunez entered the fray. Can be pleased with his night’s work.

LW: Luis Diaz – 7/10 – Always carried some kind of threat and looked capable of making things happen for Liverpool with his direct approach.

Substitutes

SUB: Curtis Jones (59′ for Mac Allister) – 6/10

SUB: Darwin Nunez (67′ for Diaz) – 6/10

SUB: Harvey Elliott (67′ for Salah) – 6/10

SUB: Ryan Gravenberch (86′ for Gakpo) – N/A

Manager

Jurgen Klopp – 7/10 – Job done as far as the German will be concerned, with Liverpool never really troubled by the home side. Would have wanted to see more dynamism and ruthlessness from the front line but an important three points keeps pace with Arsenal.

Player of the Match: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

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