Mohamed Salah ends goal drought, Adam Lallana returns as Liverpool edge Huddersfield
HUDDERSFIELD, England -- Mohamed Salah ended a four-game run without a goal as he scored the winning goal in Liverpool's tense 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday evening.
Salah's 24th-minute goal handed a disjointed Liverpool the vital three points to keep pace with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
Salah was back to doing what he does best. It was a clinical finish from the Egyptian as he ended a spell of seven away games in all competitions without a goal. The goal -- his fourth of the season -- seemed to inject him with much-needed confidence as he was Liverpool's biggest threat throughout the evening.
Winning without Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino in the starting lineup is also a sign that Liverpool's strength in depth appears to be legit.
This performance was far from being a controlled one. Liverpool were continually caught out by Huddersfield's counter-attacks and perhaps would have been punished if they weren't playing against a side that has managed just four goals this season.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Jurgen Klopp's frustrated gesturing on the touchline throughout clearly suggested he was not happy with his team's display. Having Xherdan Shaqiri as a No. 8 did leave Liverpool too exposed at times. Klopp's substitutions and adjustments did little to relieve the pressure on Liverpool.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating.)
GK Alisson, 6 -- It was a game where the Brazilian's distribution was required more than his shot-stopping ability. He gives opponents and their fans encouragement when taking his time on the ball but is usually spot-on with his accuracy when playing out.
DF Joe Gomez, 7 -- Even though he was shifted out to right-back once again to accommodate Dejan Lovren, Gomez is unbelievably dependable at the tender age of 21.
DF Dejan Lovren, 6 -- He tried to keep things simple but got away with a failed clearance in the last 10 minutes that could have cost Liverpool.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 6 -- Van Dijk didn't have much to do, although he dealt well with the aerial bombardment from a physical Huddersfield.
DF Andrew Robertson, 5 -- Huddersfield had a fair bit of joy down the left side, and though it's not his primary function, Robertson's play in the final third was sloppy.
MF Jordan Henderson, 5 -- Henderson often found himself outnumbered as Huddersfield countered, and he was taken off at half-time.
MF James Milner, 5 -- Milner may be a machine, playing just 13 days on from limping off against Manchester City with an injured hamstring, but he really did struggle to get into this game.
MF Xherdan Shaqiri, 7 -- It took many by surprise to see Shaqiri operate in central midfield ahead of Adam Lallana. The versatile Swiss international initially struggled but became more comfortable as the game went on. His runs in between the lines were akin to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's -- evident when he found space and then played in Salah for his goal.
FW Mohamed Salah, 7 -- Salah's performances this season haven't been bad, just not to the incredible standard he set last season. This outing was encouraging, and it was around this time last season when he appeared to find his magic touch.
FW Daniel Sturridge, 6 -- The No. 15 was more threatening as a playmaker than he was as a frontman as he linked up well with Salah.
FW Adam Lallana, 6 -- As part of an injury-ravaged season, Lallana watched Liverpool's last trip to Huddersfield among reporters in the press box. This time, in his first start of the season, he delivered a meaningful contribution to Liverpool's win during his 69-minute cameo. Although his quality was off at times, the sight of the 30-year-old continually sprinting all around the pitch is an encouraging sign that he is beginning to trust his body again.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 6 -- Brought on to shore Liverpool up in midfield, Wijnaldum continued his good form in the defensive midfield role. He probably should have started there ahead of Henderson.
MF Fabinho, 6 -- His first taste of the Premier League, although not much to report from it.
FW Roberto Firmino, N/R -- He was typically busy in the closing stages.