Liverpool 2-1 Everton Player Ratings: Chamberlain the assister

Perfect start for Van Dijk – metro.co.uk

Virgil Van Dijk could not have dreamt of a better Liverpool debut, following his mega-money move from Southampton: he scored a late winner against rivals Everton in front of the Kop to send his new side into Round Four of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory. Here’s our Player Ratings from the game.

The Reds

Loris Karius – conceded from the only shot on target he faced, even if he could not be blamed too much for the goal. Needs to be more commanding if he is to force Mignolet out. 4

Joe Gomez – good ball to the back-post for Milner in the first half but misdirected his header from Chamberlain’s second half corner. Lacked the raw pace to stretch play down the right. 5
Virgil Van Dijk – couldn’t have dreamt of a better way of introducing himself to Liverpool fans than scoring a late winner in front of the Kop in a Merseyside Derby. If there is to be one criticism, his first half passing could have been more ambitious. 8
Joel Matip – impressive distribution in the first period and helped keep the isolated Calvert-Lewin quiet, although he might have done better for the equalizer. 7
Andrew Robertson – in the first half he needed last-ditch defending to negate Bolasie’s threat and lacked his usual drive in his runs off the ball, although we saw more of that after the interval. 6

James Milner – always looked for passes inside, often to Lallana, which made him a tad easy to read. Protected Robertson well out of possession though and found space to the left of the box to volley wide with arguably Liverpool’s best effort of the first half hour, before calmly converting the penalty. 5
Emre Can – needed to show more confidence on the ball, especially when Everton dropped into their defensive third. Wouldn’t be the greatest loss were he to move to Juventus this month. 4
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – took his time to get into the contest, but was hugely impressive in the second half. Played a clever through ball to set up a one-on-one chance, before delivering two pin-point corners, one of which set up the winner. 8

Adam Lallana – struggled with the physical side of the game, although in a sense that benefited him when he won the penalty as he went over too easily. Got into good positions in the latter stages of the first half. 5
Sadio Mane – playing more centrally than usually, the Senegalese forward was a tad greedy in possession with a speculative shot from range that went well over. Didn’t run in behind so much until the space opened up after the break. 6
Roberto Firmino – dropped too deep into central areas, at times closer to Joel Matip than either of Everton’s centre-backs. Better in the second half but has had more fruitful games. 5

Georginio Wijnaldum (on 70) – pocketed Bolasie and gave Liverpool some assurance in possession that they had been missing beforehand. 7
Dominic Solanke (on 77) – didn’t quite provide the hold-up qualities one might have expected from a big man. 5
Trent Alexander-Arnold (on 77) – offered a little more attacking width than Gomez. 6

The Toffees

Jordan Pickford – couldn’t have done anything about Milner’s penalty, but was otherwise untested in the first half. Half-heartedly tried to punch the corner that led to the winner and instead left his net unguarded. 3

Jonjoe Kenny – competed valiantly in the first half and went on the occasional inverted run. Struggled to handle Mane and others after the break, when he had more space to cover. 5
Phil Jagielka – ‘safety first’ would accurately describe his first half display, but not his darting 67th minute run to set up Sigurdsson’s equalizer. Partially culpable for the winner but a reasonable display on the whole. 6
Mason Holgate – unlucky to concede the penalty for the opener but was lucky to avoid punishment after shoving Firmino shortly afterwards. Didn’t do too much wrong, otherwise. 5
Cuco Martina – being right-footed, the auxiliary left-back always needed to pass inside and sometimes that hindered the service given to the left-winger. Everton are crying out for a long-term replacement for Leighton Baines. 3

James McCarthy – got stick in with plenty of challenges early on and covered more ground than his partner in the first half. Fitness remains an issue but he could be an asset to the Blues when he returns to his peak. 5
Morgan Schneiderlin – showed some nice touches and appears to be becoming more of a luxury player than the all-action man we saw at Southampton. Needs to regain that presence of mind to drop in and protect the centre-backs, which we didn’t see in the transitional phases of play in the second half. 4

Yannick Bolasie – got in down the right a couple of times in the first half but couldn’t always get on the right side of Robertson. Needs other quick players nearby to drag markers away: the idea of him and Lookman either side could be an enticing one. 4
Wayne Rooney – put in a late challenge on Can in the first half but didn’t contribute going forward as much as expected. His teammates improved in his absence. 3
Gylfi Sigurdsson – tracked back to protect Martina but largely struggled out wide due to the shortage of inviting crossing opportunities. Better in the closing stages when he moved centrally, from which position he placed home the leveller. 6

Dominic Calvert-Lewin – asked to chase lost causes for much of the first half and got to a few loose balls. Showed clever movement in the second half to pick aerial duels with the full-backs, rather than centre-backs, but the finishing touch deserted him. 4

Ademola Lookman (on 52) – looked bright and went on an impressive, winding run to set up the equalizer. 7
Oumar Niasse (on 82) – may fall further down in the Everton striker pecking order following the arrival of Cenk Tosun. 5
Tom Davies (on 86)