Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City: Player ratings as lowly visitors frustrate Reds

Star-man Mohamed Salah uncharacteristically failed to convert the Reds' best opportunity in the first half

Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City: Player ratings as lowly visitors frustrate Reds
Liverpool v Stoke City - Premier League (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Liverpool failed to take a decisive step towards Champions League qualification as relegation-threatened Stoke City held them to a frustrating stalemate at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold spurned glorious opportunities to fire the Reds in front in the first half, with Stoke proving largely impenetrable thereafter.

However, the hosts were livid at full-time after being denied what looked to be a clear penalty following a handball from Erik Pieters late in the game.

For the second week in succession, then, a rotated side was forced to settle for a point against bottom-three opposition.

Goalkeeper and defence

Loris Karius (6): A largely trouble-free afternoon for the German since Stoke rarely threatened. He distributed the ball well to kick-start some ultimately fruitless attacks. Another morale-boosting clean sheet.

Joe Gomez (5): Another performance that left a lot to be desired from the Englishman, who has recently returned from injury. Some sloppy play and more rash defensive decisions, including a desperate lunge on Moritz Bauer which led to a heart-in-mouth moment in the first half.

Ragnar Klavan (6): A textbook Klavan performance in many ways. Nothing eye-catching, but solid and calm throughout. Dealt well with the towering presence of Peter Crouch.

Virgil van Dijk (7): The Dutchman continues to impress at the heart of the Liverpool back-line, winning an impressive amount of aerial duels and exuding confidence. Brought the ball out from the back well. 

Alberto Moreno (6): Some decent attacking play, including an excellent ball into Salah in the first half and a driven shot which fizzed just wide, effectively cancelled out some typically poor-decision making. Mixed bag.

Midfield and attack

Trent Alexander-Arnold (6): An okay performance from the youngster in what is actually his preferred position. Couldn't get the ball out of his feet when played in by Salah and fired straight at Butland. Largely peripheral thereafter after suffering a dead leg.

Jordan Henderson (6): Decidedly average from the skipper and a magnificent all-round display in midweek. Lacked urgency in midfield when the Reds sought an opener, but supporters will be relieved he escaped an injury from his clash with Xherdan Shaqiri late in the first half.

Georginio Wijnaldum (6): A classic Wijnaldum display in this type of game - a few flashes of promise, but no real impact. Came close to opening the scoring with a decent effort which hit the side-netting. Neither good enough for a seven nor poor enough for a five.

Mohamed Salah (5): The Egyptian may be among the best on the planet right now but Saturday was a rare off-day. Somehow missed his early one-on-one when you would have put your house on him scoring, and frequently chose the wrong option. He's notably, if understandably, more greedy as he hunts for the golden boot.

Roberto Firmino (6): As ever, Firmino's work-rate was impressive as he popped up in the middle of the park and drove forward looking to make something happen. All in all, he endured a frustrating afternoon with few sniffs of goal. May well have had one eye on Wednesday.

Danny Ings (5): Thought he'd made it two goals in two league games when he rifled home from close range but was rightly flagged for offside. His subsequent anonymity makes a five slightly generous.

Substitutes

James Milner (6): Tried his darnedest to make something happen after being introduced from the bench, whipping in multiple crosses. Set-piece delivery was lacking. 

Nathaniel Clyne (6): Not bad at all from the returning full-back, who spent most of his cameo on the flanks and made some good runs. Impact was limited but his ideas were good.