Georginio Wijnaldum

Player ratings from Manchester United-Liverpool

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Manchester United’s late letdown denied Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a statement victory against Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool, as both managers had their moments at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Man Utd 1-1 Liverpool ]

The players, too, were a mixed bag, as Liverpool missed Mohamed Salah in a big way in a game that also cried out for Paul Pogba.

Manchester United

David De Gea — 6 — Not a ton to do, and would’ve had to have been a super hero to deny the goal.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka — 7 — Was very good for most of the match, though either Andreas Pereira or him failed to bother Andy Robertson‘s cross for the equalizer.

Marcos Rojo — 5 — A solid step-in performance right up until he committed to block Robertson’s cross and missed it, allowing Lallana a tap-in.

Victor Lindelof — 6 — Got away with a foul on Origi in the build-up to United’s goal, but otherwise well within himself.

Harry Maguire — 7 — Marshaled a surprising back three very well.

Ashley Young — 6 — All over the place, sometimes in the good way and sometimes in the bad.

Fred — 5 — Like watching a whirlwind, it’s difficult to tell whether his activity is influential in a positive light or just making up for lack of positional awareness.

Scott McTominay — 7 — He’s a big, strong, heady youngster, and did well in a midfield match-up which was considering to be a lopsided disadvantage.

Andreas Pereira (Off 90′) — 5 — Ran his shorts off, but so many needless fancy first half touches. Imagine Pogba in his place executing this game plan, and it may’ve been 3-1 at the break.

Daniel James — 7 — Took a beating and contributed plenty at the back end, and that’s without mentioning his cross for Rashford’s goal.

Marcus Rashford (Off 84′) — 7 — A slow start gave way to a star turn, with his goal the highlight but his industry what made him a MOTM candidate.

Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — 8 — Would’ve liked to see Martial or Mata for Pereira earlier, but the back three was as gutsy and proper trap for Klopp, one that clearly upset the Liverpool boss. With Mohamed Salah out, the move blossomed further.

Subs:
Anthony Martial (On 84′) — N/A
Brandon Williams (On 90′) — N/A

Liverpool

Alisson Becker — 6 — One save and one clearance in a non-descript match.

Andrew Robertson — 7 — Relentless as usual and got his assist through traffic to keep the undefeated record in play. Caught out of the camera on United’s goal, but that’s a symptom of the system.

Virgil Van Dijk — 6 — Fine. Would’ve liked him to do something instead of playing a mile off of James’ run, but expecting heroism in every game is a lot for a center back.

Joel Matip — 5 — A step back for the newly-resigned center back, as he couldn’t cut out James’ cross on the goal.

Trent Alexander-Arnold — 5 — Ten crosses. One on the mark. A decent-enough day in his own end, but far from his standard without Mohamed Salah.

Fabinho — 6 — Hard-edged when the Reds were sleeping.

Jordan Henderson (Off 71′) — 4 — Sloppy and grew more so after the break, clearly frustrated by the atmosphere. Took a decent chance to trouble De Gea and sliced it into outer space.

Georginio Wijnaldum (Off 82′)  — 7 — A curious sub, as the Dutch international looked one of the few players capable of supplying something special.

Sadio Mane — 6 — Has a goal in a world without silly handball rules. Otherwise not really in the fray.

Divock Origi (Off 60′) — 4 — On his horse early, his influence waned to the point he was a spectator when Jurgen Klopp replaced him.

Roberto Firmino — 5 — A rare off day for one of the best center forwards in the business.

Manager: Jurgen Klopp — 7 — It took him a while to figure out United’s back three, but all three of his subs were influential in the point.

Subs:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (On 60′) — 8 — The original AOC changed the game.
Adam Lallana (On 71′) — 8 — That’s a great way to end a goal drought
Naby Keita (On 82′) — 7 — Got the defense moving, setting up space for Robertson assist.

WATCH: Liverpool’s Wijnaldum scores rocket on Netherlands duty

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Georginio Wijnaldum is given a bit more freedom from his club than his country, and loves every minute of it.

Netherlands beat Belarus 2-1 on Sunday at the Dinamo National Olympic Stadium in Minsk, and the Liverpool midfielder supplied both goals including a smashing effort from distance.

[ MORE: Neymar injured again ]

Wijnaldum, who turns 29 next month, gets a short pass and takes a touch to the middle of the park before unleashing this shot about 25 yards from goal.

He’s now scored in three of his last four EURO qualifiers, and has seven goals and three assists in his last 10 caps.

Wijnaldum now has 15 goals in 60 career caps.

The Dutch are three points ahead of Germany and Northern Ireland with 15 points, though the Germans can join them on 15 with a defeat of Estonia this afternoon.

Liverpool urged to stay calm despite huge lead

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Liverpool are trying to stay calm even though they have an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

After winning their first eight gams of the PL campaign, Liverpool’s perfect record has seen them surge clear of second-place Manchester City.

However, when speaking to our partners Sky Sports ahead of Netherlands’ clash with Northern Ireland in Rotterdam on Thursday, Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum was cautious when it came to talk of winning the PL.

“We don’t want to think we are already champions. That would be a really wrong thing to do,” Wijnaldum said. “I’m sure the manager will keep us with our feet on the ground and say that we just have to think about ourselves, and try to play good and try to give 100 per cent every week.

“We just have to do what we did before and look at ourselves and not look too much to other teams because we don’t have influence on other teams – we can’t control the performance of other teams. We just have to make sure we are ready for the games that are to come and to make sure we are ready and try to have good results because we know that it can change quickly. Then at the end of the season we will see where we stand.”

After a 31-year wait to be crowned Champions of England, it’s easy to understand why there is plenty of unease around he Liverpool camp when it comes to talk of winning that elusive Premier League trophy.

That won’t stop pundits, and even fans, being ready to pop red ribbons on the Premier League trophy and make plans to be at Anfield for Liverpool’s final home game against Chelsea on May 9.

They’ve come close under Rafael Benitez, Brendan Rodgers and then Jurgen Klopp last season, and after having an eight-point lead at one stage last season they know how things can work out.

It is correct to be cautious, but we all know how much pressure will be building on Liverpool’s players throughout the season to get over the line this time, and it showed last season with costly draws against Leicester, West Ham and Everton the difference in the title race.

But with Man City’s defensive injuries pilling up, and Pep Guardiola‘s men putting in some indifferent displays early in the season, there is a growing sense that this is finally Liverpool’s season.

In truth, the Reds haven’t been at their best in over half of their opening eight games of the season. But they just keep finding ways o grind out wins and although Klopp will want performance levels to improve, winning 17-straight leads games (dating back to last season) and opening up with a perfect record so far is a start he could only dream of.

Next up for Liverpool: a trip to bitter rivals Manchester United on Oct. 20 (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com) as Klopp’s side are the heavy favorites to prevail at Old Trafford.

Liverpool’s players are correct to try and calm things down after a sensational start to the season, but deep down they know this is surely the year they become even greater legends at Anfield.

Klopp: Liverpool still ‘spot on’ when not at its best

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Both Jurgen Klopp and Georginio Wijnaldum agree: This wasn’t a fun win for Liverpool, but acquiring all three points is another good sign for Liverpool.

The Reds beat Sheffield United 1-0 on Saturday thanks to a grievous error from Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson. The Manchester United loanee lost Wijnaldum’s shot between his legs, and Sheffield United couldn’t take advantages of the opportunities opened up by the Reds back line.

[ RECAP: Blades 0-1 Liverpool ]

“A few years ago we would not have been able to win these games,” Wijnaldum said. “It could be a really important three points. It’s really good to keep collecting the points.”

Jurgen Klopp was asked about his visible frustration on the touch line, as the Reds never really found their form over the course of 90-plus minutes. Bailed out indeed.

“I’m frustrated not any more,” Klopp said. “We started well. You have to do the same things again and again. It starts with the center halves. How we take the ball, how we pass the ball. They are little things.

“Usually you draw a game like this, or you lose it maybe with a set piece, but we were concentrated absolutely over 95 minutes for set pieces, which is very important. They are really strong in that. They have six or seven different routines. The boys were really spot-on, and we didn’t play our best football, sorry for that.”

That’s the right take, and it took a howler for Liverpool to get all three points. There’s a team of destiny feel about the Reds this year. Looks a bit silly to the eye, but it’s heading into the win column nonetheless.

Liverpool allows two more goals in Sporting draw

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
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Liverpool’s still working out the kinks after surrendering two more goals against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

Simon Mignolet allowed a howler to Bruno Fernandes, who set up Wendel for an equalizer after Liverpool had taken a 2-1 lead on goals from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum.

[ MORE: Key questions for 20 PL clubs ]

The result means the Reds have allowed two or more goals in all three of their U.S. based friendlies (3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund, 2-1 loss to Sevilla, and Wednesday’s draw).

The Reds have also beaten Bradford City and Tranmere Rovers, and are yet to see Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane in the lineup.

Last season’s preseason wasn’t perfect, it must be noted, but the Reds only once lost and allowed multiple goals (A 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund).

The rough night in defense came after the news that Nathaniel Clyne will be lost until at least January with an ACL injury.

On a bright note, a young Liverpool defender said hello to the club after moving from PEC Zwolle this summer.