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Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool: Player ratings as Reds return to winning ways | Premier League 2020-21Β 

Curtis Jones (left) celebrates his goal after giving Liverpool the lead.
Curtis Jones (left) celebrates his goal after giving Liverpool the lead.
ANALYST
Modified 01 Mar 2021
Feature

Liverpool returned to winning ways in the Premier League, beating a hapless Sheffield United side 2-0 at Bramall Lane.

It was a game of two halves for the Reds. They fashioned as many as five clear-cut opportunities in the first 45, only to be denied by an outstanding Aaron Ramsdale on each occasion.

However, a fine finish from Curtis Jones broke the deadlock in the 48th minute. Soon thereafter, Roberto Firmino weaved past the Sheffield defence and scored off a deflection by Kean Bryan.

It marked Liverpool's first away win outside London, as they are now back in the race for a top-four finish.

On that note, let's have a look at the ratings of Liverpool players in the game.


Adrian - 7.5/10

Adrian celebrated his Liverpool return with a clean sheet. It was a welcome return for the beleaguered goalkeeper, who hasn't been in the best of form in the past few months.

Following a save very early on to deny David McGoldrick, Adrian was relatively untested all game by Sheffield United.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold - 9/10

Trent Alexander-Arnold showed his quality in the final third from whichever position he picked up. The Liverpool full-back was a threat on the overlap, down the inside right and also in front of goal.

He squared up a red and white shirt before seeing a left-footed drive parried away by the in-form Ramsdale. In the second half, Alexander-Arnold was again heavily involved; he put it in a dangerous cross just before Jones fired in Liverpool's opener.

Ozan Kabak - 6/10

Ozan Kabak endured a horror moment when he inadvertently let Oli McBurnie in and scored an own goal in the ensuing panic. However, much to his relief, the Sheffield goal was ruled out for offside.

In an underwhelming outing, Kabak blew hot and cold in the heart of the Liverpool defence.

Nathaniel Phillips - 7.5/10

Nathaniel Phillips was convincing in the air. Although he may have lacked communication with his partner, there were a host of positives from a technical perspective.

Andrew Robertson - 7/10

Andrew Robertson grew into the game just like Alexander-Arnold and showed massive intent once Liverpool opened the scored.

He deserved a beautiful ball to Salah, but the chance went begging as the Egyptian fluffed his lines. Robertson carved open a lot of space with his late, marauding runs down the flank.

Thiago Alcantara - 6/10

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Thiago Alcantara distributed passes with aplomb, as Sheffield United opted to sit deep and allow the Liverpool midfield to dictate play. The former Bayern Munich man could have been more industrious in possession as well as with his tackling, though.

Georginio Wijnaldum - 7.5/10

Georginio Wijnaldum was unlucky not to have had his name on the scoresheet. He was excellent with his progressive play, as he carried the ball and started Liverpool attacks with aplomb. Defensively, he was aggressive, alert and assured as well.

Curtis Jones - 8.5/10

Curtis Jones applied the finishing touches to Trent Alexander-Arnold
Curtis Jones applied the finishing touches to Trent Alexander-Arnold's cross.

Curtis Jones was as safe as a house in midfield. He tracked Sheffield United well, occupied great positions and kept possession ticking for Liverpool.

The youngster showed composure in sidefooting the first goal with ease. It appeared as though the ball had gone out in the build-up. But he did the right thing - take advantage of a static Sheffield United ensemble.

Mohamed Salah - 6.5/10

Mohamed Salah was one of the many Liverpool players denied by Ramsdale in the first half.

The winger did not enjoy as much space as he'd have preferred but did well to link up play and keep it moving forward. At times, his final ball lacked accuracy, though.

And when his chance to tap home arrived in the 80th minute, Salah uncharacteristically shot wide.

Roberto Firmino - 8.5/10

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Roberto Firmino's performance summed up what Liverpool were all about on the evening.

He should have been more prolific in front of goal in the opening half, letting a chance go begging when he squared a pass with the goal at his mercy.

In the second half, Firmino came out all guns blazing, running at the Sheffield back line, interchanging passes masterfully in close quarters and doubling Liverpool's lead on the night.

Sheffield's defending was questionable, but credit goes to Firmino for his balance and control prior to the strike.

Sadio Mane - 6/10

Sadio Mane scored an offside goal, and that was about it. He was a pale shadow of his illustrious self. On an evening when the Blades' defence was as flat as a pancake, he could have done more. But Mane did not really burst into pace or breakaway, nor was he a threat with his movement in the Sheffield box.


Ratings of Liverpool Substitutes

Naby Keita - 5/10

It was great to see Naby Keita return to the midfield in the midst of an injury crisis for the Reds. He received a lot of the ball and smoothly went about his business to ensure a win.

James Milner - N/A

James Milner's energy and experience ensured Liverpool saw off the game without any late scares.

Published 01 Mar 2021, 04:05 IST
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