Liverpool’s Phillips gets 8/10 in Premier League debut

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Liverpool had suffered more than their fair share of injuries going into this game, and they weren’t helped by Pablo Fornals scoring an early goal for West Ham United, despite rallying to win the match 2-1 to tie the club-record unbeaten streak at Anfield with a 63rd match without defeat.

The hosts were given a way back into the game just before half-time when Mohamed Salah won and converted a penalty.

Diogo Jota got the ball in the back of the net in the 78th minute, but it was disallowed after a VAR check. He teamed up with fellow substitute Xherdan Shaqiri later to earn Liverpool all three points shortly after.

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Positives

Liverpool managed to keep hold of possession and dominate the ball for large periods of the game. On the other hand, West Ham defended very well, but Liverpool attacked and defended in a manner that meant the away side usually struggled to get out. Showed their usual knack of doing enough to win games.

Negatives

While they were able to get back into the game, it will be frustrating that Liverpool made things more difficult for themselves with a moment of sloppy defending. They also struggled to really break down West Ham’s resolute, getting their way in through a mistake from Arthur Masuaku. There were a lot of passes being played, but the Reds’ play stagnated at points.

Manager rating out of 10

7 – Jurgen Klopp had plenty of dilemmas due to various injuries, but he and his side are dealing with them fairly well as they continue to look dominant in games. The German’s decision to hand Nathaniel Phillips his Premier League debut was vindicated with an encouraging performance. His substitutions worked wonders as well, as Jota and Shaqiri teamed up to secure the win.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alisson, 6 — It would be harsh to suggest he should have stopped Fornals’ effort, and he looked dominant in the majority of his play.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 — Struggled to deal with Masuaku at times, while he didn’t have quite the same quality from set pieces.

DF Joe Gomez, 6 — Was confident for the majority of the game, but his attempt at a clearance for Fornals’ opener was so poor.

DF Nathaniel Phillips, 8 — Making his Premier League debut, but looked confident from the off. He was arguably Liverpool’s most solid defender.

DF Andrew Robertson, 6 — Had some superb moments defensively, but there were others where he was caught out too easily. Didn’t manage to have quite his usual impact in an attacking sense either.

MF Curtis Jones, 6 — Had some bright moments but didn’t do anywhere near enough to break West Ham’s defence down.

MF Jordan Henderson, 7 — Played a lot of good balls and came close to scoring. While these didn’t come off, he still played an important role in the win.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 6 — Looked invisible at points in the first half, but came into the game more during the second.

FW Mohamed Salah, 7 — Won and converted the penalty to equalise, but was very quiet for large periods.

FW Roberto Firmino, 5 — Linked the play well at times but struggled to make much of a substantial impact on proceedings before being taken off.

FW Sadio Mane, 6 — Came at the Hammers defence fairly consistently, but didn’t really get anywhere most of the time.

Substitutes

Xherdan Shaqiri, N/A — Replaced Jones in the 70th minute and set up Jota for the winner.

DIogo Jota, N/A — Replaced Firmino in the 70th minute and had the ball in the net but was denied by a VAR check, so he made sure he hit the back of the net again. Firmino may have been worried watching his performance.

James Milner, N/A — Replaced Salah in the 90th minute and helped Liverpool to see out the game.