Liverpool made it back-to-back league wins on Sunday with a routine 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at Anfield.
While all the pre-match attention was focused on the enforced absence of Luis Díaz, there was much less drama on the field as far as the Reds were concerned.
His replacement on the left wing, Diogo Jota, put Jürgen Klopp’s side ahead in the 31st minute, reacting fastest after Darwin Núñez saw his shot saved by Matt Turner.
It was the Uruguayan who extended his side’s lead just four minutes later when he converted Dominik Szoboszlai’s low cross from metres in front of the goal line.
However, it wasn’t until 15 minutes from time that the third goal arrived, when Mohamed Salah capitalised on a poor misjudgment from Turner who had rushed out of his goal in an attempt to cut out Szoboszlai’s cross-field pass.
Substitute Cody Gakpo also had the ball in the net, but his close-range tap-in was ruled out for offside.
Here are our player ratings…
Alisson (GK): 7
Had to do very little to earn just his third league clean sheet of the season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB): 6
Not tested at all defensively but wasn’t up to his usual standards in attack. His radar was slightly off today.
Ibrahima Konaté (CB): 7
Was physical when he had to be, but didn’t have much defending to do until Forest started to turn the screw with the score already at 3-0.
Virgil van Dijk (CB): 8
The visitors’ tactics seemed to depend on through passes beating the Liverpool offside trap; the fact that they never got through once is a testament to Van Dijk’s organisation of the backline. Would have been unlucky had a penalty been given against him in the closing phases.
Kostas Tsimikas (LB): 7
Didn't have a direct opponent for much of the game so was largely untroubled. Tidy in attack, too.
Alexis Mac Allister (CDM): 7
Looked much more assured in the deep-lying midfield role. Coped well physically and kept possession in tight areas.
Dominik Szoboszlai (CM): 9
Sharp and busy all game. Created some lovely triangles in midfield, especially down the right, and rounded off a man-of-the-match performance with two assists. His first was a nice cross through a narrow channel for Darwin to tap home from a yard out; the second was a spectacular long diagonal for Mohamed Salah to score the third.
Ryan Gravenberch (CM): 6
Found it difficult to be progressive against a compact back five but kept play ticking over until Harvey Elliott took his place.
Mohamed Salah (RW): 8
Had a low-key first half by his standards it still nonetheless resulted in pre-assists for both goals. For the first, his through ball set Darwin free to fire his shot goalwards; for the second, he fed Szoboszlai in the right-hand channel.
In the second half, almost inevitably, he picked up yet another goal. Despite it being a terrible mistake from Turner, he showed great anticipation and composure to tuck the ball into the empty net.
Darwin Núñez (ST): 8
Picked up where he left off against Toulouse, putting in an excellent performance, especially in the first half. He was unlucky with his first sighter from a tight angle, which was smartly saved by Turner. He then drew another save from the American which put it on a plate for Diogo Jota to open the scoring. Capped off the performance with a well-taken goal from close range.
Diogo Jota (LW): 7
Was in the right place at the right time to capitalise when Darwin’s shot came back out off Turner. Considering he probably didn’t expect to start (he only did because of Luis Díaz’s unfortunate absence), the Portuguese put in a good shift until he was replaced in the 58th minute.
Harvey Elliott (Gravenberch, 58'): 7
Put in a lively showing and wasn't afraid to shoot. Just lacking the accuracy required. Was unlucky that Gakpo was in an offside position - otherwise he would have come away with an assist.
Cody Gakpo (Jota, 58'): 7
Looked sharp and had a long-range effort fly into the side netting. Almost bagged his signature tap-in but was a yard offside.
Wataru Endo (Darwin, 80'): 6
Freed up Mac Allister to get further forward and helped to break up a few late attacks from the visitors.