Jack Hallows rates the players after a colossal 3-0 first leg victory over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at Anfield.
Loris Karius: 7 – Had next to nothing to do in terms of making any saves but was for the most part decisive in possession and when coming for high balls put into his box.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 9 (Man of the Match) – Many fans – myself included – had expressed reservations at how Trent might deal with Leroy Sane after being given the run around by Rashford and Zaha in recent fixtures but the 19-year-old was immense against the League leaders. Sane never left his back pocket and the youngster made the most clearances and most interceptions on the pitch.
Dejan Lovren: 7.5 – I personally felt Lovren was the better of the two centre halves over the course of the 90 minutes as the Croatian got stuck into what he loves most: throwing himself about. Got one absolutely vital touch in the second half to prevent a Sane cutback from finding David Silva for what looked a certain goal.
Virgil van Dijk: 7 – Not his best game in red so far but the Dutchman was still imperious at set pieces. Gave the ball away a couple of times and made a few strange decisions defensively but was far from disastrous.
Andrew Robertson: 7 – Was a constant thorn in City’s side during the first half as his energy saw him get up and down to great effect before settling into a ‘tackle and clear’ job in the second period. Looking an absolute steal for £8m.
Jordan Henderson: 7 – Pressed brilliantly throughout and put in a real shift in the Reds’ midfield. Wasn’t always the most effective in his use of the ball – especially during the second half – but it’s hard to pick him up for that given the scoreline. Got himself a yellow card for a silly challenge on Sterling late on that will see him miss the second leg.
James Milner: 8 – Another Champions League tie, another Milner assist. The Englishman was, like his countryman Henderson, ugly but effective for much of the 90 minutes and it’s likely Klopp couldn’t have asked for much more. The veteran threw himself into tackles, got stuck into 50/50s with enthusiasm and despite his years, never looked off the pace.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 7.5 – Had a stellar first half that he capped with an absolute thunderbolt to put the Reds two to the good 20 minutes in. Adds an extra injection of pace and energy to Liverpool’s midfield when he’s playing well and while he faded in the second period somewhat, his commitment to the cause was never in question.
Mohamed Salah: 8 – He just doesn’t stop scoring, does he? While the Egyptian carried on his reputation as being the very definition of a goal machine, he also found time to show off his creative side with a gorgeous chipped pass for Mané to apply some gloss to the scoreline. Injury scare in the second half which will have all of us holding our breath for the next few days I’m sure.
Roberto Firmino: 7 – Wasn’t able to get a goal for himself but once again the Brazilian found himself at the centre of everything Liverpool did going forward during his 70 minutes on the field. Held the ball up well during the first period and once the Reds found their groove in the press he really got stuck in.
Sadio Mané: 8 – Mané is unquestionably back – if he ever went anywhere to begin with that is. The Senegalese scored his seventh goal in his last seven games to put the Reds 3-0 up during the first period and had both Walker and Otamendi in knots every time he had the chance to run at them. Such a joy to watch when he’s on form.
Gini Wijnaldum: 7.5 – Was brought on likely to try and take the sting out of City’s game during the second period when Salah was forced off and did the job well, helping the Reds hold the ball and removing some of the panic to their defending. Got better as the second period went on.
Dominic Solanke: 6 – One burst down the channel helped set up perhaps Liverpool’s best chance of the second half but he was really just brought on to serve as an out ball by Klopp.
Alberto Moreno: N/A – Ran and stuff.
Jürgen Klopp: 10 – 3 goals. Clean sheet. Enough said. Game on next week, let’s get it you Redmen!