It was dull, boring and at times pretty unbearable. But that was just Mark Lawrenson’s commentary.
Liverpool travelled to Wigan on Friday off the back of a successful showing against Tranmere on Wednesday night, a comfortable 4-0 win. Jurgen Klopp named 2 different XI’s for the second-match in a row and would’ve taken a repeat performance, however it wasn’t a night to remember as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw.
The Reds lined up with Firmino, Coutinho, Lallana and new-boy Mohamed Salah all starting the match and they hit it off immediately. Some really good pressing from the front three created chances early on, with a poor touch from Firmino being the only reason he didn’t score the first goal early on. The carried on as Liverpool pounded the Wigan goal but could find no break through.
After such a good start, it was hard to see the home side having much joy up the other end but indeed it was Wigan who struck first and it was an all too familiar sight for Liverpool fans. They lofted a free-kick deep into the box and Jacobs swung a leg at it but didn’t make a clean connection, the ball then fell to Gilby who slotted it past a helpless Mignolet.
Hopefully this is down to pre-season rustiness, though this will only increase the demand for a new defender at Liverpool. Possibly a Dutch centre-half?
Salah off the mark
It was all we wanted to see, really.
Mohamed Salah opened his Liverpool account on his debut with a really well worked goal. Some good pressing from Coutinho opened the door for Firmino to burst into the box before he unselfishly squared it to the Egyptian who made no mistake with the goal at his mercy.
Yes, it’s only pre-season and, with all due respect, it’s only Wigan, but it’s good to see a new signing score. Especially as there had been doubts about his contribution in-front of goal, but it’s good to see that the £34m man has picked up where he left off from last season, his best scoring season to date.
Simon Mignolet – 7/10 – Couldn’t do anything about the goal but made some decent saves otherwise.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7/10 – Was caught out a few times defensively but looked good going forward, will push Clyne all the way this season.
Joel Matip – 6/10 – Didn’t look as comfortable on the ball, was caught napping a few times.
Ragnar Klavan – 5/10 – Forgettable night for the Estonian, looked shaky and rusty.
Jon Flanagan – 5/10 – Strong performance against Tranmere but looked nervy. Wigan had way too much joy down his side.
Adam Lallana (c) – 7/10 – Played in a deeper role but looked assured as skipper. Good pressing and timely runs into the box.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 7/10 – Gini does what Gini does. Was everywhere and a threat going forward.
Ben Woodburn – 6/10 – Not as impressive as Wednesday but was a presence, showed some good link-up play.
Mohamed Salah – 8/10 – Showed his blistering pace and good control, looked comfortable in the side and took his goal well.
Roberto Firmino – 8/10 – A thorn in the side of Wigan, worked tirelessly as always and bar for some poor touches would’ve grabbed a goal or two.
Philippe Coutinho – 7/10 – Glimpses of his quality shone through but failed to shake off his rustiness. Lovely play for the goal, however.
Loris Karius – 6/10 – Looked a little rusty. A few lapses in concentration almost cost him.
Joe Gomez – 6/10 – It’s been a while since we’ve seen him at full-back. Could have made himself a bit more threatening going forward but didn’t do a lot wrong.
Kevin Stewart – 6/10 – An unfamiliar role for him but didn’t have too much to do.
Dejan Lovren – 7/10 – A couple of good interceptions. His first game back after missing out at Tranmere with injury.
James Milner – 7/10 – Came closest to scoring the winner for Liverpool and played some clever passes inside.
Jordan Henderson – 7/10 – Looked a bit knackered at the end. Good to see him back in a Liverpool shirt.
Marko Grujic – 5/10 – Made a few poor decisions throughout the second half. Needs to get that head up at times.
Pedro Chirivella – 7/10 – One of our better second half performers. Put himself about.
Dominic Solanke – 6/10 – Played a slightly withdrawn role behind Sturridge and Origi. License to roam. Didn’t see too much of the ball.
Daniel Sturridge – 6/10 – Missed a golden chance to give the Reds the win. One you’d expect him to score.
Divock Origi – 7/10 – Lively. Especially in the early stages. Found himself out wide quite a lot. Needs to push on in Hong Kong.