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Virgil van Dijk stars for the Reds – Liverpool player ratings from hard-fought 1-0 win over Brighton

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Liverpool players celebrate against Brighton

Liverpool players celebrate

Liverpool weren’t brilliant but they didn’t succumb to the pressure of being league leaders. The Reds had lost their previous two games and Brighton away was never going to be easy.

The Reds bossed possession from the first minute and although we played with Fabinho alongside Virgil van Dijk, there were only minor moments where we were troubled.

We had over 70% possession in the game but there weren’t many clear-cut chances against a well-drilled Seagulls side.

Roberto Firmino and Xherdan Shaqiri missed the best chances before Mohamed Salah won a penalty in the second half.

The Egyptian smashed it home to give us a lead that we did not look like losing. The win gave us a buffer of seven points before Manchester City’s game on Monday and proved we still can grind out results after a bit of a blip.

There were some quality performances against the Seagulls and here are the player ratings for the Reds.

Alisson – 7/10

The Brazilian had one quality save from Jurgen Locadia that was a highlight and commanded his box well for another clean sheet.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7/10

The English youngster provided a scare where it seemed he picked up an injury before the game. However, he was fit enough to start and had one quality cross that should have resulted in a goal.

Fabinho – 8/10

This could have been a weak point for us but the Brazilian did really well and he had some quality blocks too.

Virgil van Dijk – 8.5/10

Another game, another impressive performance from Van Dijk. He barely put a foot wrong and seems brilliant irrespective of who plays alongside him.

Andy Robertson – 8/10

The Scot was a bundle of energy as he played high up the pitch and had some delicious crosses which were out of reach for our attackers.

Jordan Henderson – 6.5/10

The captain started and did a decent job with his passing. However, for all his ability, he didn’t actually cut open the Brighton team often, which was a requirement today.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7/10

The Dutch midfielder did his bit of moving about and providing energy to the team but there was a lack of creativity that we needed badly.

Xherdan Shaqiri – 7/10

The attacker was played out on the right and often was used as the creative outlet for the Reds. However, this wasn’t Shaqiri’s night as he missed a glorious chance to score in the first half.

Sadio Mane – 6.5/10

The Senegal star had a decent enough game but it just was not his evening at the Amex as he struggled to produce something in front of goal.

Roberto Firmino – 7/10

Firmino should have scored early on but he was full of running for the team, and that doesn’t tell the entire story of how much effort he put in.

Mohamed Salah – 8.5/10

The Egyptian led the line and did a great job for us after a slow first half. The attacker won the penalty and scored, and was a threat against the Seagulls.

Substitutes

James Milner – 6/10

Provided Salah with a chance to score a second but it was not to be. The Englishman gave the Reds some energy after coming on.

Naby Keita – NA

A late sub to take some seconds off the clock.

Read more: Out-of-favour Liverpool defender set for exit after failed contract extension talks

Divock Origi – NA

Came on late in the game to kill time.

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Transfer Watch: Liverpool’s midfield target scores stunning hat-trick against Mainz

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James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

Latest Liverpool news: Liverpool target James Rodriguez scores hat-trick for Bayern Munich

Liverpool have been linked with Real Madrid star James Rodriguez, according to El Confidencial (h/t Mirror).

The 27-year-old is on loan at Bayern Munich and is set to complete his two-year spell in the Bundesliga.

The report claims that Bayern might not sign the Colombian at the end of the two-year spell and Real would be looking to sell the former Monaco star.

Rodriguez hasn’t been consistent during his time in Germany, and he was poor in Bayern’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool in their Champions League exit in midweek.

However, the Colombian returned to form for Bayern as they scored six past a hapless Mainz side

Rodriguez on fire against Mainz

The Colombian scored a brilliant hat-trick in the 6-0 win over Mainz as they kept their spot at the top of the Bundesliga.

The first goal wasn’t great but the second one was a screamer from outside the box. The Colombian then had the poise to chip the onrushing the keeper to complete his hat-trick.

Rodriguez could do a good job for us but his price point will be a big concern. The report suggests that Real would be looking at a minimum of £59m for the 27-year-old.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

The Colombian hasn’t been able to replicate his form from the 2014 World Cup at Real and Bayern, and maybe another change in scenery could get the attacker’s career back on track.

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La liga giants interested in 22-year-old Liverpool target starring in Germany

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Julian Brandt

Julian Brandt

Liverpool FC transfer news: Spanish giants interested in Liverpool target Julian Brandt

Julian Brandt is one of the brightest players in the Bundesliga, and Bild (h/t Calciomercato) reports that Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are interested in the 22-year-old.

The report claims that the Liverpool target has a release clause of €25m should Bayer Leverkusen fail to finish in the Champions League positions in the Bundesliga.

The top four in Germany make it to the Champions League with Leverkusen holding the sixth spot at the moment.

The report adds that the club is preparing for life without Brandt and the activation of the release clause.

Brandt lighting it up in the Bundesliga

The 22-year-old has scored four goals and provided nine assists in the Bundesliga this season. The German international can play in several positions across the pitch and it will be interesting to see where he lands up next season.

Liverpool could do with more attacking players, especially as cover for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Brandt would be a fantastic signing for the Reds given his age and potential, and his release clause isn’t that high either.

Jurgen Klopp has had a great run regarding his transfers with most of them performing well since moving to Anfield.

The Reds were busy in the transfer window in the summer and Klopp recently claimed that Liverpool would not spend huge in the summer.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

Klopp has built a formidable side at Anfield and we need just a few more quality signings to take us to another level.

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Liverpool to battle London giants for 19-year-old attacker with €30m release clause

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Jota Benfica

Jota Benfica

Latest Liverpool transfer news: Liverpool interested in Benfica youngster Jota

Liverpool are interested in 19-year-old Benfica forward Jota, also known as Joao Filipe, according to the Telegraph.

The report claims that the forward has a release clause of €30million and the youngster made his breakthrough to the first-team recently.

Liverpool face competition from Tottenham and Arsenal as they keep tabs on the teenager. The report claims that Tottenham sent scouts to watch the youngster in action during the Europa League clash against Dinamo Zagreb.

The youngster can play out wide or as a central striker, and the report claims that Jota could be sold before participating in this years U20 World Cup in Poland.

Benfica holding tight to their stars

Jota is another talent coming through the Benfica academy and the report claims that their president will not allow players to leave below their respective release clauses.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool

Mohamed Salah

The report adds that Jota’s contract is up in 2022 and there are discussions to increase his release substantially by offering him a new deal.

Jota could be an exciting talent for the future and it is to be seen how we deal with this link. The Reds could do with more attacking options given that only Xherdan Shaqiri is an out-and-out winger in the first-team.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane don’t have a lot of competition on the wings and we have seen Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge play out wide this season.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Liverpool FC transfer news

Spending €30m on a player with potential is certainly risky, however, Jurgen Klopp’s success rate with transfers at Liverpool has been high.

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