Liverpool won their first Premier League match at Anfield since August after a superb second half display against David Wagner’s Huddersfield.
The first half started brightly, but both sides seemed to be playing with a nervous energy. Liverpool were obviously desperate to get a proper result at home after last week’s defeat against Tottenham while Huddersfield were hoping to build on their shock victory against Manchester United.
Scrappy passing, jittery displays and numerous errors were a staple of the first half as both side’s seemed to lack confidence while in possession of the ball. Liverpool were presented with a golden opportunity to break the deadlock after Tommy Smith pulled down Roberto Firmino in the Terrier’s box.
Salah stepped up to take it and made a complete mess, shooting it right down the middle of Jonal Lossl’s goal, who promptly blocked the shot. The rebound fell invitingly for Jordan Henderson, who could only smash it against the post.
Both team went into the break level, but it was the hosts who came back the more inspired side. Jurgen Klopp’s ‘pep talk’ seemed to have done the trick, because his boys came out and took the game to the visitors. In the space of 25 minutes, they netted thrice and sealed all three points.
Sturridge opened the scoring in the 50th, Firmino doubled it in the 58th with a clinical header, and Georginio Wijnaldum put the game beyond doubt for the Reds with a smashing finish from an angle in the 74th minute.
Simon Mignolet: 6/10
Didn’t have too much to do in the first half as Liverpool began having more possession and keeping a high defensive line. Had the best seat in the house and was reduced to a mere spectator in the second half as Liverpool took complete control of the game.
Joe Gomez: 7/10
Arguably Liverpool’s best defender of the game, the young Englishman had a fine day at the office. Defending well and even contributing going forward. His side’s most accurate passer in the final third and it was a compaose and mature performance from the 20-year-old. Promising.
Joel Matip: 7/10
Should’ve had 2 goals in his game, but headed both high and wide. The game’s third most prolific passer, distributed well, made 9 recoveries and got far better defensively and as the game went on. Largely untroubled as Huddersfield went and eventually stayed on the backfoot.
Ragnar Klavan: 6/10
Included in the starting XI after Dejan Lovren picked up an injury during the warmup. Won only 4 of his 11 aerial duels, a disappointing statistic given his 6’1 frame. Looked a bit jittery at the start of the game but settled in well in the second half.
Alberto Moreno: 7/10
The Spaniard had a relatively easy game on the left side of Liverpool’s defence. Dealt with most threats well and looked lively going forward. Made some key tackles and maintained a decent passing accuracy going forward.
Jordan Henderson: 7/10
Alongside fellow Englishman James Milner, Henderson had a superb game in the middle of the park. The game’s most prolific passer, he performed his defensive duties extremely well in the second half, making a number of recoveries and ensured that the pressure was constantly on the visitors.
James Milner: 7/10
An assist, 4 chances created and 5 tackles. Milner was running the show at Anfield, dictating the pace and tempo of the game and not allowing the visitors a moment’s peace in midfield. Like the rest of his teammates, improved as the game went on and ensured that his side’s dominance never faded or diminished.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 7/10
Had a quiet first 45 minutes, barely got forward and wasn’t a very prominent figure in Liverpool’s midfield. Seemed to wake up like the rest of his teammates after the break and scored the best goal of the night in the 74th minute, rifling into the roof of Lossl’s net to score Liverpool’s third.
Mohamed Salah: 6/10
Could have done so much better with the penalty. The Egyptian talisman was Liverpool’s biggest threat going forward in the first half and came close to scoring in the second. Moved into a more central figure after Sturridge’s substitution, taken off in the 81st minute. Disappointing from him.
Roberto Firmino: 8/10
The Brazilian looked to threaten in the first half, dragging defenders away and tried to make a nuisance of himself. However, began the second half brightly and looked a lot more threatening. Doubled his side’s lead with a fine header on the near post. A good rating only for his vast improvement in the second half.
Daniel Sturridge: 7/10
Daniel Sturridge has scored the 100th goal of his club career:
6 gls – Man C (32 apps)
24 – Chelsea (96)
8 – Bolton (12)
62 – L’pool (130) pic.twitter.com/Ta6mktTOro
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 28, 2017
Had a frustrating first half, but made an impact almost instantly in the second half, opening the scoring for his side with a calm, exquisite finish. That remained his last major contribution of the match was brought off in the 72nd minute to a resounding applause.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: N/A
Brought on for Roberto Firmino in the 65th minute, could do nothing of note. Doesn’t seem like he’ll be pushing for a spot in the starting XI anytime soon with such a performance.
Emre Can: N/A
Brought on for Daniel Sturridge in the 74th minute to try and provide more defensive solidity.
Dominic Solanke: N/A
Was brought on in the 81st minute. Took 1 shot, straight at the keeper. Too little time to try and make an impact.