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Marvellous Mac Allister gets lacklustre Liverpool off the hook

Marvellous Mac Allister gets lacklustre Liverpool off the hook

Liverpool are top of the Premier League – and Alexis Mac Allister is the main reason why. After setting up Mohamed Salah’s decisive goal against Brighton on Sunday, the Argentine was at it again at Anfield on Thursday, scoring what was effectively the match-winner in a nervy 3-1 victory over Sheffield United.

With just 14 minutes remaining on a miserable Merseyside evening, a bizarrely lackustre and lackadaisical Liverpool looked set to throw away two precious points in the title race – and at home to the weakest team in the league – with a Conor Bradley own goal having cancelled out Darwin Nunez’s fortuitous opener.

However, cometh the hour, cometh the man – and right now at Anfield, Mac Allister is very much the man. As Liverpool piled forward, the ball dropped for their No.10 on the edge of the Blades box, and Mac Allister found the back of the net with a stunning strike for his 10th goal involvement in his last 11 outings.

Cody Gakpo headed home in the final minute of normal time to put an added gloss on the scoreline, but there was no hiding the paucity of this Liverpool’s performance – or the growing importance of Mac Allister to his team’s title hopes.

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Goalkeeper & Defence

Caoimhin Kelleher (6/10):

Maintained his fine form with a wonderful reflex save with his feet from McAtee inside the opening 60 seconds, and it took a wicked close-range deflection to beat him. Distribution was also very good.

Conor Bradley (5/10):

Pushed forward at every opportunity down the right wing but to little effect. Not much he could have done about his own goal, but it rather summed up a tough night for the Northern Irishman.

Ibrahima Konate (5/10):

Back in the starting line-up and looked really rusty, giving away a needless free-kick at one point after carelessly losing possession on the left flank.

Virgil van Dijk (6/10):

Barely given anything to do other than snuff out the odd Sheffield United attempt at a counter-attack, but played McAtee onside in the lead-up to the visitors’ shock equaliser. Was always a threat in the Blades box, though.

Joe Gomez (5/10):

Couple of decent crosses early on, while he also had a couple of (obviously) unsuccessful attempts on goal before being beaten all ends up by McAtee just before the visitors levelled. Rightly replaced as Liverpool pushed for a winner, given he offers so little offensively.

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Alexis Mac Allister (8/10):

Actually misplaced a pass in the opening five minutes but was typically brilliant thereafter, winning the ball regularly, using it intelligently and then sticking it in the top corner to win the game for Liverpool. The Argentine was unlucky not to get the second goal his dynamic display merited, too.

Ryan Gravenberch (3/10):

After an early clash of heads with Souza, he had a couple of sights of goal but, as so often happens with the Dutchman, he vanished the longer the game went on. Rightly replaced on the hour mark after another painfully ineffective outing.

Dominik Szoboszlai (5/10):

The Hungarian was his usual industrious self and tested Grbic with a decent strike from distance just before the break, but his 72nd-minute substitution came as little surprise. Not good enough on the night.


Mohamed Salah (4/10):

May have missed loads of chances against Brighton but at least he was a constant threat. The Egyptian was barely involved here and Klopp was well within his rights to take him off as Salah was strangely subdued all evening.

Darwin Nunez (7/10):

Obviously a significant amount of luck involved in his goal but it was just reward for his pressing – as well as a bright start to the game. His influence faded in the second half but he never stopped running.

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Luis Diaz (7/10):

Liverpool’s most creative attacking force, the Colombian’s final ball sometimes lets him down but he causes all sorts of problems with his wonderful dribbling skills.

Subs & Manager

Harvey Elliott (6/10):

Once again, Liverpool’s ‘super-sub’ made a big impact off the bench with his crossing and energy.

Andy Robertson (7/10):

Made a huge difference when he came on at left-back and probably should have put Liverpool back in front with a back-post volley before teeing up Gakpo for the goal that sealed victory.

Curtis Jones (6/10):

A huge boost for Liverpool just having him back on the field after his recent injury.

Cody Gakpo (7/10):

Huge contrast to the Brighton game in that the Dutchman was full of running when he came on and deservedly sealed a nervy win with with a well-taken late header.

Jurgen Klopp (5/10):

It may have ended in three points but this was a seriously stressful and concerning night for the German. There’s no getting away from the fact that despite starting a very strong side, his players looked lethargic for long periods. His changes really helped (they often do), but he was ultimately indebted to a wonder-strike from Mac Allister for turning the game back in Liverpool’s favour.

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