Mohamed Salah was the man of the match as Liverpool went 19 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over West Ham United.
Liverpool retained the bulk of the possession right from the get-go, but West Ham defended well and looked to create chances on the break. As the minutes ticked by, though, the Reds started to stamp their authority on the game and duly took the lead in the 35th minute, as Mohamed Salah converted from the spot after Divock Origi was fouled by Issa Diop.
The visitors were then two to the good, when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored after being sent clean through on goal by an exquisite pass by Salah. West Ham then had a few good chances to pull a goal back, but Liverpool held on for the win to go 19 points clear atop the Premier League table. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 8/10
Another solid display from Alisson, who now has the joint-most clean sheets in the Premier League (8) this season. The Brazilian was a spectator in the first half, with West Ham failing to test him.
In the second period, though, he needed to stay alert, which is exactly what he did, making a couple of top class saves to ensure the shut-out. Alisson has saved 35 of the last 37 shots he has faced – an astounding 95 percent save rate.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7/10
As always, Alexander-Arnold posed a threat going forward, but his end product was not quite there on the night. Having said that it was his long pass that set off the move that eventually saw Divock Origi earn the penalty. Nearly scored an own goal, though, when an attempted clearances struck the upright. A decent outing that nearly turned sour for Alexander-Arnold.
Joe Gomez: 8/10
This is a player who just continues to grow in stature. Gomez was absolutely colossal on the night, shutting out the threat that West Ham looked to create almost entirely. The Englishman won 5 duels and completed as many recoveries using his tremendous pace. On the ball, he was composed and accurate. Neither Joel Matip nor Dejan Lovren is coming back into the side just yet.
Virgil van Dijk: 8/10
If Gomez was colossal, van Dijk was as van Dijk usually is. Precise as ever with the ball at his feet, the Dutchman completed 92 percent of his attempted passes. With 8 duels won at the back, there was no way past him on the night. After a slow start to the season, van Dijk has come into his own in recent weeks.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
As has been the case with Robertson for some time now, he was rather subdued on the night. The Scot did have some noteworthy moments, though, particularly when Salah found him in close range only for him to miss with a chipped effort. At the back, he produced an assured showing, which was a huge positive after his struggles against Adama Traore last week. A step in the right direction.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 8/10
With Fabinho still not sharp enough and Naby Keita only just making his way back from injury, it was another chance for Oxlade-Chamberlain to impress. A bundle of energy, he looked to pounce on loose balls and keep things ticking.
A superb ghosting run ensured the game’s second goal, as he collected Salah’s brilliant pass, stayed strong against the challenge of Manuel Lanzini before bundling the ball into the back of the net. A confidence booster, that goal.
Jordan Henderson: 8/10
The Liverpool captain was on song yet again, running the show from the base of the midfield. His trademark first-time passes were on full show on the night and it was another such effort by Henderson that initiated the move for the second goal. Created two further chances and was just excellent overall.
With 139 passes attempted at a rate of 94 percent, Henderson topped the charts on both accounts against West Ham. His defensive numbers were solid as well, with 5 duels won, 3 successful tackles and 2 interceptions. Playing with incredible authority at the moment, Henderson can do very little wrong.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 7/10
Wijnaldum went about his job as he tends to do, silently and efficiently. The Dutchman, as always, kept things simple, linking up smartly with those around him. One through ball to Origi was delightful. Off the ball, he was largely solid, apart from the moment he let Robert Snodgrass have a sight at goal.
Mohamed Salah: 9/10
After a bit of a lull to begin with, Salah has got his season on track, and how. On Wednesday, the Egyptian was on song right from the word go, taking on the West Ham defenders at every opportunity. Essentially won the game single-handedly for Liverpool, starting with his goal; calm as you like from the spot.
14 – Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Mohamed Salah has both scored and assisted in 14 different Premier League games, five more than any other player in this period. Handful. pic.twitter.com/qk85KCYaRk
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 29, 2020
That strike took him ahead of Fernando Torres in Liverpool’s all-time top scorer list. The moment of the game for Salah, though, was his pass from outside of his boot to set Oxlade-Chamberlain up for the second goal. On another day, Salah could have even had a hat-trick with Lukasz Fabianski and the woodwork denying him on the night. Top class, nonetheless.
Roberto Firmino: 8/10
He might not have been on the score sheet like last weekend, but Firmino had a role to play in the win as well. Latched on to Alexander-Arnold’s long pass before collecting himself and finding Origi, who won the penalty that Salah converted. Went close with a fierce low shot that was remarkably saved by Fabianski. Otherwise, kept on harrying the West Ham defenders in typical fashion.
Divock Origi: 7/10
Not the most eye catching performance by Origi, but he was key to the win as well. The Belgian won the penalty that Salah converted, as Issa Diop brought him down. Worked his socks off thereafter and was another who was denied by the superb Fabianski. Faded as the second half progressed and seemed to have picked up a knock.
Another cameo that showed that Fabinho is still rusty to some extent. Lost the ball to Declan Rice in the move that nearly ended with an Alexander-Arnold own goal. Composed himself thereafter and looked to keep things simple. Twenty minutes that would have done him a world of good.
Naby Keita: N/A
Keita, like Fabinho, needed the minutes to get back to his peak sharpness and it looked like he is going in the right direction. Forced Fabianski into a save with a tame effort.
Curtis Jones: N/A
A late introduction, Jones helped see the game out.