Liverpool player ratings vs Everton: Kabak clumsy, Firmino wasteful

Liverpool

Liverpool (Photo by Paul Ellis – Pool/Getty Images)

Liverpool lost yet another home game, except this time it hurt a little more.

Liverpool broke two records last night, and neither of them will make you smile. The first being the Reds’ first defeat to Everton at Anfield this century. While the second reflects that the side has lost four league home games on the bounce for the first time since 1923.

Given the step up against Leipzig in the mid-week Champions League clash, I certainly did not expect us to crumble to Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton. This Liverpool side just can’t seem to get out of this rotten patch in the Premier League.

Liverpool player ratings vs Everton

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Jurgen Klopp named an unchanged starting eleven, with the only notable change in the squad being Naby Keita’s inclusion on the bench.

The visitors took the lead as early as the third minute, with Richarlison making a clever run in behind and finishing James Rodriguez’ intricate through-ball.

After that, though, Liverpool started to play some proper football. Jordan Henderson was the first to test Everton’s goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford. The skipper’s volley from the edge of the box looked set to creep into the bottom corner, but Pickford prevented that from happening.

Trent Alexander-Arnold too had a powerful long-range deflected by one of Everton’s defenders. Then, calamity struck, Hendo pulled his hamstring and was forced off the pitch despite his best attempts to stay on. Nat Phillips replaced him at centre-back.

Liverpool looked very average for the rest of the first half. After the break, the tempo was restored, yet the Reds were unable to find a leveller. Sadio Mane and Mo Salah both had decent close-range opportunities, but Pickford dealt with them both.

Gylfi Sigurdsson put the game to bed in the last ten minutes of the game through a penalty. Although giving the spot-kick was probably the wrong decision, Liverpool were never going to find an equaliser, anyway.

Here are my player ratings from our devastating loss

Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker – 6

The Brazilian couldn’t really do much about either of the goals. Both were precisely placed by Richarlison and Sigurdsson. He did make an excellent save in the first half to deny Seamus Coleman from extending Everton’s lead.

Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6.5

My pick of the bunch on Saturday evening. Trent was back to his attacking best against Everton, constantly putting in crosses into dangerous positions, but no attacker/midfielder made the most of his exquisite deliveries.

His confidence within the Toffees’ box was exemplary, as he looked to get past every single man that attempted to stop him with ease. It’s a shame that none of his work was rewarded. Despite conceding a penalty, that was more of the referee’s mistake than his.

Centre-back: Ozan Kabak – 3.5

This might seem harsh on the 20-year-old. However, his lack of awareness helped Richarlison score Everton’s first goal. The Turki often seems too slow to recover for his lack of positional adeptness.

Kabak was no good in the air either last night. He seemed to get caught under the ball on almost every occasion, failing to clear the ball away from danger. To be fair to him, though, he’s still new to the set-up and will take time to get used to the Liverpool way of playing.

Centre-back: Jordan Henderson/Nat Phillips – 6

As stated earlier, Phillips came on for Henderson in the first half owing to the latter’s hamstring injury. The 23-year-old did well enough to replace the skipper, who was arguably the side’s best player before he was forced off the pitch.

Phillips was dominant in the air, and should expect to be a part of the lineup more frequently with Henderson, Fabinho, Matip, Gomez, and Van Dijk all sidelined.

Left-back: Andy Robertson – 5

Not a lot to say about Robbo, really. His influence on the game has significantly dipped in recent league games. Perhaps I’m not paying enough heed to how poorly the front three have done in their attempts to convert the opportunities the Scotsman creates.

Either way, it just doesn’t feel the same. To be fair to Robbo though, he did put in a wonderful cross early on in the second half, only for Sadio to head it straight at Pickford.

Defensive midfield: Gini Wijnaldum – 5

Gini was quicker on the ball yesterday than both Thiago and Curtis Jones. He wasn’t great but still a notch above the other two in midfield. With neither Hendo or Fabinho coming back anytime soon to reclaim their spot in holding midfield, we’ll need to see more of this from Gini.

The Dutchman was handed the Captain’s armband when Hendo was subbed off, and did look comfortable with the new responsibility bestowed on him.

Central midfield: Thiago – 4

After an impressive showing against Leipzig, I expected more of the same from Thiago against Everton. However, his performance was a shadow of the one in the mid-week clash and the one in the previous Merseyside derby back in October.

Central midfield: Curtis Jones– 3.5

A string of excellent games for Curtis Jones came to an end against Everton. The Scouser looked jaded against the team he scored his debut goal back in 2019.

He took too long on the ball and couldn’t find the cutting edge whenever he was given the space and time to do so in the front end of the pitch.

Right-wing: Mohamed Salah- 4

This Liverpool side have relied on Mo Salah far too often to open the scoring for us. When this doesn’t happen, we very rarely score. Yesterday’s Merseyside derby was yet another example of this.

Salah’s play was uninspiring, as he often went down far too easily in the search for a cheap free-kick or penalty. The Egyptian received a massive chance in the second half, but he failed to lift the ball over Pickford in the second half.

Striker: Roberto Firmino- 3

Can Bobby Firmino really lead the line with the run of form he’s in? I’m not saying he’s not good enough for this side, but his finishing simply isn’t acceptable. He got into some really threatening positions, but none of his attempts looked convincing.

Perhaps Jurgen should start him as a number 10 in the next game against Sheffield United, because he just doesn’t look likely to score at the minute. There’s no doubting his creative impact on our buildup play, which is why he should start as an attacking midfielder.

Left-wing: Sadio Mane- 4.5

Mane’s only been given a 4.5 because of his efforts. He looked like he cared a lot more than the others on the pitch. However, the Senegalese international did have three decent chances in the second half, none of which he converted.

The first was a header straight at Pickford, the second a header over the crossbar, and the third where he was too slow to get a clean strike at goal.