Liverpool 4-1 Shrewsbury: Player rating


An incoherent Liverpool survived a fear of advancing to the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon, when they came from behind to disregard a spirited team from Shrewsbury at Anfield.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp returned to dugout for the hosts after ending a period of isolation after a positive Covid-19 test, although Trent Alexander-Arnold was missing after testing positive himself after a draw against Chelsea on 2 January.

It was a subdued start to the match, with Klopp’s very changed line-up taking a while to give up. Shrewsbury survived a penalty 15 minutes in when Kaide Gordon went down in the box, and the young winger saw a low left-footed shot tipped around the post by Marko Marosi shortly afterwards.

The League One team then shocked their brilliant hosts by taking the lead with a fine goal. Liverpool failed to learn their lesson when Nathaneal Ogbeta hit a dangerous cross that his teammates could not take advantage of, only to repeat the trick a minute later with a nasty low ball that was blown into the roof of the net by striker Daniel Udoh.

However, Liverpool did not lag behind for long. Seven minutes later, Conor Bradley’s exact daisy-cutter was expertly controlled by Gordon, who moved the ball on his left foot and swept home.

Shrews thought they had re-established their lead immediately when Ryan Bowman nodded in, but the goal was chalked off for a marginal offside in the build-up.

The Premier League team literally got the chance to complete the comeback two minutes before half time when Salop captain Ethan Ebanks-Landell unnecessarily handled from a corner and tried to buy a free kick under pressure from Virgil van Dijk. Fabinho stepped up to send the goalkeeper in the wrong direction.

Josh Vela’s header caused Caoimhin Kelleher to get into the Liverpool goal during stoppage time in the first half, but he could just keep it out.

Klopp’s team started the second half well, but Elijah Dixon-Bonner somehow failed to convert inside the sexy field when he saw his shot brilliantly saved by Marosi.

Liverpool went through the movements afterwards when Shrewsbury kept them at arm’s length, controlled the ball but barely threatened. The hosts finally found a third with 12 minutes left when the ball eventually went to substitute Roberto Firmino with his back to goal. The Brazilian showed typical style and pinged a back heel was behind Marosi and made it 3-1.

Fabinho scored four in stoppage time and blew the ball into the net after his first header was blocked.

This is how the Liverpool players rated …

Van Dijk fights Udoh / Clive Brunskill / GettyImages

Caoimhin Kelleher (GK) – 5/10 – No chance with the goal. Almost embarrassed by Bowman but just got there.

Conor Bradley (RB) – 5/10 – Had a great time with Ogbeta and did not come close to him when he crossed for the opener. Made amends with an accurate assist for Gordon.

Ibrahima Konate (CB) – 6/10 – Slept as Udoh pushed in behind him to score. However, got an assist for Firmino.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) – 7/10 – Forced Ebanks-Landell to an unnecessary handball for the penalty. Solid, as always.

Andy Robertson (LB) – 6/10 – Bombed forward with typical traction and regularity. Nothing spectacular but a solid screen.

Fabinho was imperious / PAUL ELLIS / GettyImages

Fabinho (DM) – 8/10 – Did some probing raids ahead. Buried the punishment with conviction. Kept Liverpool ticking over with some lovely passes. Double up with the last kick of the match.

Elijah Dixon-Bonner (CM) – 6/10 – Nice and stylish display, but missed an absolute sitting early in the second half. Subbed.

Tyler Morton (CM) – 5/10 – Could not get too much impression but kept the ball well and did nothing wrong.

Gordon scored a dream goal / PAUL ELLIS / GettyImages

Kaide Gordon (RW) – 7/10 – Pretty low effort tipped early around the post. Smoothed with a low finish after showing fast feet to move it to the left.

Max Woltman (ST) – 5/10 – Deeply lowered to get involved. Some nice touches but subordinate at half time.

Curtis Jones (LW) – 6/10 – Did not seize the opportunity with a rare start. Should be the star man in matches like this. Good fit though.

Takumi Minamino (ST) – 4/10 – Half-time substitution never really came into play.

Roberto Firmino (AM) – 7/10 – Cheeky backheel to make it 3-1.

Mel Frauendorf (ST) – N / A

Kostas Tsimikas (LB) – N / A

James Norris (CM) – N / A

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