Liverpool player ratings: Van Dijk, Alisson among 5/10s as title hopes evaporate at West Ham


Liverpool’s remaining hopes of winning the Premier League title dwindled further on Saturday with their 2-2 draw against West Ham United at the London Stadium.

A quiet first half produced little by way of chances until Luis Díaz hit the post after some positive individual play, but it was the Hammers who took the lead moments later as Jarrod Bowen headed in from a corner in the last few minutes of the half.

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The Reds responded quickly after the break through Andy Robertson. That provided some much-needed momentum for Jürgen Klopp’s side, who got their noses in front in the 65th minute when Cody Gakpo’s close-range strike deflected off several West Ham players before going in. However, Liverpool could only hold on until the 77th minute. Bowen was involved again with the England international turning provider for Michail Antonio to head in the equaliser.

A triple-substitution that included the introduction of Mohamed Salah wasn’t enough in the end as Liverpool dropped more points. They are now two points behind league leaders Arsenal, having played a game more and with only three matches left before the end of the season.

Positives

A strong response after half-time got Liverpool back into the game, but they were let down again by their defending.

Negatives

Liverpool went behind for the 16th time in the Premier League this season, and there were more signs of poor defending from set pieces. Any remaining hopes of winning the title are surely gone.

Manager rating (out of 10)

Jürgen Klopp, 6 — There was little Klopp could do as his side conceded poorly from a set piece once again. He was also unlucky to concede another just as he was making a triple substitution, although the result throws a different light on his decision to bench Salah.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best)

GK Alisson Becker, 5 — The Liverpool goalkeeper couldn’t get a strong enough hand on the header from Bowen, but his defence could have provided more of a challenge from the corner. A strong save denied Emerson Palmieri in the 77th minute, but he was beaten moments later by another header from Antonio.

DF Andy Robertson, 7 — The left-back’s goal came at the perfect time to get Liverpool back in the game, and he looked confident from that point when running down the flank and linking with Díaz.

DF Virgil van Dijk, 5 — Made an intervention after Alisson failed to claim a cross and then he failed to keep close to Antonio who headed in from Bowen’s header. Not his usual dominant self.

DF Jarell Quansah, 5 — A poor pass gave away the ball that led to West Ham’s goal from the corner, and he then failed to mark Antonio from Bowen’s cross for the equaliser.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 — Tried to get Liverpool into the right areas when looking to unlock forwards from his inverted position, almost getting an assist in the second half when producing an intricate incisive long pass to Alexis Mac Allister.

MF Wataru Endō, 6 — Recovered possession well in some counter-attack situations and was on the ball a lot for Klopp’s side, quickly moving it to the more advanced midfielders.

MF Ryan Gravenberch, 5 — Gave the ball away more than he would have liked on the day, though he did try to play progressively as much as possible.

FW Luis Díaz, 7 — Made a bright start when looking to isolate defenders and he was unlucky to hit the post. Worked hard to get another two chances in the second half but was denied by the goalkeeper.

FW Cody Gakpo, 7 — The Netherlands international was able to hold the ball up in advanced areas to help bring others into play, and it was his effort at goal that went in after taking multiple deflections to put Liverpool 2-1 ahead.

FW Harvey Elliott, 6 — Careless in possession at the start but began to take more care as the game went on. Could have done better with his chance in the first half that went into the side netting. Hit the top of the woodwork after the break.

Substitutes

Joe Gomez (Alexander-Arnold, 79′) N/R — On for Alexander-Arnold, who is still getting back to full fitness. Stretched the play down the right when he could. An important tackle stopped a developing attack in the 94th minute.

Darwin Núñez (Endō, 79′) N/R — Made a positive run for Mohamed Salah who failed to pick him out during a break. Took up positions inside the box to provide an option for crosses.

Mohamed Salah (Díaz, 79′) N/R — Came on after a heated exchange with Klopp. Almost got an assist minutes later but saw his cross cleared by Vladimír Coufal. A promising break came to nothing when his pass was way behind Núñez.

Dominik Szoboszlai (Quansah, 90+1′) N/R — There wasn’t enough time for the Hungary international to make an impact on the game. His pass to Mac Allister was too powerful in the 95th minute and led to a West Ham counter-attack.



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