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Roberto Firmino missing, Naby Keita struggles as Liverpool drop points at West Ham

LONDON, England -- Liverpool's charge towards the Premier League title hit another snag as they dropped points for the second time game running, drawing 1-1 with West Ham United on Monday night.

The gap between Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the table is now at three points after Sadio Mane's 22nd-minute goal was cancelled out by Michail Antonio off a quick-thinking free-kick routine.

Positives

Liverpool caught a few breaks and did not lose this game. West Ham squandered a number of golden chances, while James Milner was blatantly offside in the buildup to Mane's goal. Meanwhile, we saw enough to suggest that there is still some life left in Adam Lallana's Liverpool career.

Negatives

Liverpool's quality of performances have dipped alarmingly following that defeat at Man City at the start of the calendar year. Having been so assured for the majority of the season, Liverpool's defence was all over the place here. Elsewhere, Naby Keita's does not look like hitting his RB Leipzig form any time soon.

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Jurgen Klopp's team selection raised a few eyebrows. But while a fair few of the supporters have written off a number of Liverpool's fringe players, the German is steadfast with his faith in them. The shift in personal led to a change in system, with last season's 4-3-3 making an appearance but Liverpool were horribly out of sorts in all areas of the pitch.

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

GK Alisson, 6 -- No complaints about the goal. He made a good stop to deny Javier Hernandez before that.

DF James Milner, 5 -- Back in the team after suspension and asked to fill in at right-back again. Caught out on a few occasions as West Ham targeted the right flank.

DF Virgil van Dijk, 5 -- While almost never culpable for the chaos, as leader of the backline, he is expected to make it an organised front.

DF Joel Matip, 5 -- Questionable decision-making at times. His partnership with Van Dijk will need to improve significantly, given the continued absence of Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren.

DF Andrew Robertson, 6 -- Exploited the space vacated to him on the left side.

MF Fabinho, 6 -- Often left with a thankless task as he was outnumbered in the middle of the pitch. However, he has had much better performances than this one.

MF Naby Keita, 4 -- Fell asleep at a set piece and was punished. For all the sloppy errors and mental mistakes, there are one or two moments of supreme quality that remind you of his abilities.

MF Adam Lallana, 6 -- Just his third start of the league season and he performed some truly wonderful footwork on the touchline in the build up to Mane's goal. That gave him some much-needed confidence.

Roberto Firmino was unusually quiet against West Ham and was even hooked despite Liverpool needing a goal.
Roberto Firmino was unusually quiet against West Ham and was even hooked despite Liverpool needing a goal.

FW Sadio Mane, 6 -- Displayed clinical finishing for the third consecutive match. He did not do much after his goal.

FW Roberto Firmino, 4 -- Dropped very, very deep to little success. Deservedly taken off in the 75th minute. His inconsistent season continues.

FW Mohamed Salah, 5 -- Subject to taunts of "you're going to dive in a minute" from the home crowd. Initially looked very bright and then became more and more frustrated as the game went on.

Substitutes

MF Xherdan Shaqiri (69), 5 -- Struggled to make any sort of impact.

FW Divock Origi (75), N/R -- Got the nod ahead of Daniel Sturridge and wasted a good chance with the final kick of the match, although he should have been flagged for offsides.

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