Liverpool produced a professional display to win 2-0 away to Brighton on Saturday afternoon, with Luis Diaz the standout player yet again.
Brighton 0-2 Liverpool
Premier League (28), Amex
March 12, 2022
Goals: Diaz 19′, Salah pen 61′
Alison (out of 10) – 7
Alisson was hoping for a quiet day between the sticks and that’s exactly what he got, barely having to make a save apart from late in the day.
The Brazilian’s distribution was good, too, including one perfect piece of judgment, in which his body was outside the area but his hands weren’t.
Best in the world.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8
What a footballer Alexander-Arnold is.
This was another hugely accomplished showing from the right-back, whose passing brilliance was out in full force, playing balls that many aren’t capable of.
Excellent defensively, too, further dispelling the myth surrounding that part of his game.
Joel Matip – 8
Fresh off the back of his Premier League Player of the Month award for February, Matip again outlined his importance to this Liverpool side.
The 30-year-old showed poise and calm defensively for much of the game, not to mention assisting Diaz brilliantly for the opening goal.
A magnificent center-back who doesn’t always receive enough praise because of who his partner is.
Virgil van Dijk – 7
Van Dijk has been back to his imperious best for a sustained period now and that remained the case on Saturday.
The Dutchman was strong in the air, winning countless duels, and he was typically unruffled in everything he did.
By most defenders’ standards, this was perfection – by his, it was just another routine day at the office.
Andy Robertson – 7
Robertson was tested at times, but he was another who came through the game with flying colours.
He defended resolutely against Alexis Mac Allister, as well as playing one beautiful long ball to Mohamed Salah in the first half.
Could do with working on his shooting, though!
Fabinho – 7
Liverpool’s lighthouse was reliable as always in front of the defense, showing exactly why there is nobody in Europe better in his position.
Much of what Fabinho did may not have been spectacular, but he won second balls, kept possession and made interceptions when required.
Jordan Henderson – 7
The skipper came back into the team after being left out in midweek, doing his job in solid fashion against the Seagulls.
Others were certainly more noticeable for the Reds, and while a little more guile would have been nice, he linked well with Alexander-Arnold and Salah.
Played very wide, as was the case earlier in the season.
Naby Keita – 7
Keita was another who returned to the starting lineup, following a good recent run of form.
Barring one sloppy pass that put Liverpool in trouble before the break, the Guinean was impressive.
He bit into tackles, used the ball effectively and was one of his side’s most effective pressers, working relentlessly for the cause.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Following all the contract talk over the past 24 hours, Salah was again far from his unplayable best, as has been the case since the Africa Cup of Nations.
One brilliant run and shot in the first half outlined his strength, but he fluffed one great opportunity and also hit the crossbar with a deflected strike.
Scored a penalty to bag his 20th league goal of the season, before going off with a knock, which is a concern.
Luis Diaz – 8 (Man of the Match)
Diaz was again magnificent.
The Colombian headed past Robert Sanchez to give the Reds the lead, being poleaxed by the Brighton goalkeeper in the process, and his pace and trickery were a constant weapon for the visitors.
There is a fight and unpredictability about Diaz that brings back memories of Luis Suarez – this lad is going to be a superstar.
Sadio Mane – 7
Leading the line ahead of Diogo Jota, Mane was a strong presence, even if he wasn’t always perfect.
He made himself a huge handful, backing into players and producing one lovely piece of skill, and growing into his role as a centre-forward.
Guilty of losing possession too easily in dangerous areas, but we’ll forgive him.
Thiago (on for Keita, 64′) – 7
Made one important tackle and kept things ticking over.
Diogo Jota (on for Salah, 64′) – 6
Fairly quiet and still not back to his best after injury.
James Milner (on for Henderson, 86′) – 6
Did a job, but only on the pitch for a short period.
Subs not used: Kelleher, Tsimikas, Gomez, Jones, Elliott, Firmino
Jurgen Klopp – 7
Klopp is no fan of Saturday 12.30pm kickoffs after Champions League commitments, but he will return north very satisfied.
He got a commanding performance out of his side, with his changes paying off, not least starting the Man of the Match in Diaz.
This was an ideal response after a disappointing performance against Inter Milan – over to you, Man City!