Player Ratings: FC Porto 0 – 5 Liverpool FC

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FC Porto v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg
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Jack Hallows rates the players after their 5-0 demolition of FC Porto in Liverpool’s first Champions League knockout fixture for nine years. 

Well that was absolutely amazing, wasn’t it?

The Reds were absolutely on fire against Porto tonight and even though they started slow, they still managed to steamroll the Portuguese side as they attacked again and again at the speed of light.

A welcome return to form for Sadio Mané, a solid defensive performance, a clean sheet and five away goals. What more could you want?

Starting XI

Loris Karius: 7 – Didn’t have huge amounts to do in terms of making saves or having to work for his fourth Champions League clean sheet. Was commanding when coming for crosses and his distribution was quick and effective.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7.5 – I was personally a little worried about the prospect of Trent up against Brahimi but the youngster was solid against Porto’s major threat. The full-back picked his moments to bomb forward and his passing was far better than against Southampton on the weekend. Great performance.

Dejan Lovren: 7 – Was far more reactive than his defensive counterpart and it seemed to work for him. Kept things simple and just focused on getting himself in the way. Decent performance from the Croatian.

Virgil van Dijk: 7.5 – I’m convinced that the Dutchman’s head is actually a magnet for footballs. His calm, composed stature ensured that the Reds kept moments of panic at the back to a minimum and his use of the ball was generally very good. Sliced one clearance in the first half but overall can’t complain too much.

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Andy Robertson: 7 – Looks to be one of the most balanced left-backs we’ve had at Liverpool in recent times when he’s playing well. Decision making was far better today – there were no aimless crosses and he kept Porto’s attackers quiet down his side.

Jordan Henderson: 7 – Kept it simple in the middle of the park and just looked to help the Reds keep possession as much as possible. Stayed very deep throughout and was evidently tasked with helping to keep the home side quiet on the counter-attack.

James Milner: 7 – Started the game slowly but was soon showing his experience by committing a number of niggling tackles to break up the home sides play. Was unlucky not to score with a shot from range that cannoned back off the post but Salah tapped it home anyway and registered another assist for Firmino.

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Gini Wijnaldum: 8 – He goes one of two ways in away games, doesn’t he, Gini? He’s either as anonymous as it gets or he’s superb. Today, he was superb. His persistence paid off for the Reds first goal and from then on he was forcing himself into tackles and making himself an option for his teammates in possession. Much better.

Sadio Mané: 10 (Man of the Match) – What a welcome return to form that is! The Senegalese speedster scored his first Liverpool hat-trick but it was his overall game that was what assured me the most. His movement and interplay with Firmino and Salah was back to it’s fluent best at times and his finishing looked far more certain. Good to have you back, Sadio!

Roberto Firmino: 8 – Another solid shift by the Brazilian who worked hard, scored another goal and gave us another quality celebration. Drifted right across the Reds frontline throughout, making it impossible for the defenders to pick him up.

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Mohamed Salah: 8 – A quiet game overall for the Egyptian but he still found time to perform some keepy ups over the keeper before tapping in the Reds’ second goal on the half-hour mark. A testament to his quality is that while he wasn’t as involved as his fellow attackers, he still got a goal and could’ve had another one or two.

Substitutes:

Joel Matip: 7 – Helped keep things solid and chucked one of his trademark tantrums.

Danny Ings: N/A – Given a chance to stretch his legs and had a few nice touches.

Joe Gomez: N/A – Good to see him back. 

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