It’s going to be a long, trying week on the fan boards. There is some work to do for this side from a collective team defending and communication standpoint. Let’s be real: Leeds are a good side with a proper manager. Credit them for piling on the pressure, and three well-taken strikes.
Champions grind out 3 points when they are far from their best. The lads did that today.
Alisson – 6
His positioning was pretty good – not much he could have done on the goals conceded. He needed to be more vocal on the second – he has to let big Virg know he has got strong-side pressure coming.
TAA – 5
Either Trent was busy making out with his PFA young player trophy all night, or he missed curfew. Or both. Either way, he was always a step slow. Even when scoring on Alisson (*eye roll*).
Gomez – 5
JoGo at his worst. Overran plays for both the first and second goals. Culpable for the third. Beaten consistently in the half-space. Just… yikes..
Van Dijk – 6
Scores a majestic header… and then an uncharacteristic blunder for Leeds’ second goal. Had a second score ruled out. Was always a threat in the air on set pieces, but a bit scattered in the back.
Robertson – 7
Good service from corners. Consistently got forward. Only lacking that final product at times. Was the best of a shaky back line.
Henderson – 6
Looked (understandably) like a player that had not played a high-level, competitive match in months. He is a lock because of his leadership and ability to create urgency and quick ball movement through the midfield. He did that, but he is clearly not 100% match fit.
Keita – 7
Yes, Naby is still a mixed bag, but he is quietly becoming a big part of this team. So disruptive and dangerous on the ball. Always threatened Leeds, and picked up his work rate in the second half before going off.
Wijnaldum – 7
Put in another under-the-radar, blue-collar performance. Does all the dirty stuff.
Mane – 8
Except for Salah, Sadio was our deadliest going forward. Looked really sharp both in and out of possession.
Salah – 10 (MOTM)
Goals Goals Goals! Forget all that – even if he does not get on the score sheet, this is the sharpest, paciest, filthiest Mo I have seen since the Ramos incident.
Firmino – 6
Still a critical piece of the team. Always a threat to unlock the defense on the counter. High-pressed his socks off. He is only lacking that confidence in front of the goal at the moment, which honestly is a bit heartbreaking to watch.
Fabinho – 7 (58’)
Added some steel to the midfield when he came on. Piled on the pressure to draw the deciding pen.
CuJo – 7 (‘66)
He does not look a step out of place in this side. It is a shame about the soft foul given for the takedown on Leeds’ Koch – I think Virgil scores with or without the foul.
Matip – N/A
Came on to kill off the final six bloody minutes of injury time.