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Transfer Rater: Zielinski to Liverpool

Football Whispers
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Alisson lands a 5/10 for error, Andrew Robertson excels in Leicester win

According to the ESPN Luck Index, Liverpool did not get the rub of the green last season but, often timid and occasionally lethargic on Saturday, the Reds rode their luck this time with a 2-1 win at Leicester.

Positives

Four wins from four is their best start in years and the last few games have shown they can dig out those extra points even when they're hardly deserved.

Negatives

They'll need to find their form sooner rather than later, as a tough September and October could find them out if they keep playing this way. And Alisson's error of course.

Manager rating (out of 10)

7 -- Jurgen Klopp needs to lay the law down to his goalkeeper more forcefully or incidents like this will happen more often. He made a key substitution as Xherdan Shaqiri helped see out the game with more savvy than anybody else -- though that meant taking off Mo Salah.

Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alisson, 5 -- Ruined a perfectly good performance with an act of outrageous arrogance and recklessness. He did warn everyone he wasn't going to change his style but he tried to be too clever, lost the ball and conceded a goal. He was solely responsible for a nervy half an hour that was completely avoidable.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 -- Not at his best going forward, and merely functional at the back. It must be noted he received little protection throughout the game and it was fortunate the home side could not punish him.

DF Joe Gomez, 8 -- The best opposition forwards are singling him out, to avoid going up against Virgil van Dijk, but the Englishman is handling it well. Could have done with more support from midfield when in possession but his own personal performance was fine including several superb late tackles.

DF Virgil van Dijk, 7 -- There will be days when he crosses the invisible border between "cool" and "casual" and this happened more than is acceptable. One towering header away from a late corner was the difference between three points and one, however.

DF Andrew Robertson, 8 -- Excellent from the Scot once again. Strength and awareness helped create the opening goal and he just kept going all game.

MF Jordan Henderson, 6 -- The captain was brought back to fend off a predictably frenetic Leicester approach but he only partially did that. His passing and work-rate weren't up to standard, and he infused little calm in his players all game.

MF James Milner, 7 -- Easily the best and busiest of the midfield three, his corner was converted for the second goal (equally David Beckham's 80 league assists) and he played a big part in other chances that would have made this a comfortable afternoon had they been converted. Still conceding dangerous free kicks near the box, though.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 6 -- Quiet again from the Dutchman, as is his wont on away days. Needed to be busier against decent opposition but never really moved up from second gear and was responsible for one of the sloppiest passes of the whole game.

FW Sadio Mane, 7 -- The best of the forwards, scored a good goal and was always available for a breakaway. His protective defensive work in front of Robertson was also notable.

FW Mohamed Salah, 6 -- More of the difficult second season syndrome, his lamentable early miss set the tone and unusually he was replaced when the result was still in doubt. Not a crisis yet, but a concern perhaps.

FW Roberto Firmino, 6 -- Began like the Firmino of old, busy and bright. Sank into his shell as the rest of the team lost control, he barely assisted the midfield when they needed him most. His first goal of the season didn't change his mood in the second half.

Substitutes

MF Naby Keita, 6 -- Given a stark message by Klopp as he was dropped to the bench, but he didn't do much to encourage his manager once brought on. In fairness Liverpool were caught between protecting a lead and increasing it, and that did not help his game despite one or two neat touches.

FW Xherdan Shaqiri, 7 -- More what his manager would have wanted from a substitute. Went at Leicester defenders and wasn't afraid to win throw-ins and corners to waste precious time. Pragmatic isn't a dirty word and Shaqiri helped Liverpool hold on in a tricky situation.

DF Joel Matip, NR -- Brought on to withstand a late aerial bombardment but wasn't called upon to do much of anything.

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