The gauntlet was set down early on by West Ham as Pablo Fornals scored the opening goal within the first 10 minutes. Liverpool had their work cut out to handle the West Ham counters while also trying to clear their low block and compact defensive setup.
Despite a successful penalty conversion near the end of the first-half from Mohamed Salah, David Moyes looked to be on course for another big result against the BIG SIX this season. However, the Hammers’ dreams were shattered thanks to a beautifully worked goal from Liverpool as Xherdan Shaqiri threaded a neat ball through for Diogo Jota to score the winner.
While Jota and Shaqiri earned plaudits for the winner, it was young Nathaniel Phillips who was the cream of the crop for the Liverpool faithful. The 23-year-old won 5 headers on his Premier League debut for Liverpool and showed some much-needed maturity at the back alongside Joe Gomez.
🔴 Nathaniel Phillips – Premier League debut by numbers
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 31, 2020
“That’s a huge compliment – especially coming from him!” 🤩
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 31, 2020
Phillips bagged the Man of the Match as well, according to former Liverpool defender and football pundit Jamie Carragher.
Needless to say, Twitter was abuzz with how assured Phillips looked at the back.
Nathaniel Phillips has played 1 PL game is already better than Harry Maguire. 😂
— Sam (@SamueILFC) October 31, 2020
Nathaniel Phillips >> Harry Maguire.
Prove me wrong.
— Abijit Ganguly (@AbijitG) October 31, 2020
Nathaniel Phillips is a certified baller ⚽️ 🔥
— Thomas (@LFCThomas7) October 31, 2020
— Isaac Waihenya (@IsaacWaihenya) October 31, 2020
What a performance from Nathaniel Phillips, rock at the back.
— Mersey Reds (@MerseyReds1) October 31, 2020
Nathaniel Phillips Highlights vs West Ham | HD 1080p pic.twitter.com/9MlNLV1Pok
— HramboLFC 🇦🇺 (@hramboLFC) October 31, 2020
I didn’t see Gomez in this game😂It’s Nathaniel Phillips doing it all😂
— QΛΛ (@QistinaAzhani) October 31, 2020
Nathaniel Phillips is better than Thiago Silva
— Thiagoat 🐐 (@tylfc1) October 31, 2020
Nathaniel Phillips who couldn’t get in the stuggart team pocketed 40 million haller and bowen 😭😭😭🤣🤣🤣🤣😂
— kieronkennedy (@kieronjkennedy9) October 31, 2020
Who needs Van Dijk when you have Nathaniel Phillips 👏🏼👏🏼
— Alan Walsh (@Walshman_) October 31, 2020
The 23-year-old was amazing on his Premier League debut for Liverpool and the fans will be hoping him and Rhys Williams can fill the void till Virgil van Dijk returns.