Jurgen Klopp’s attackers got the job done for Liverpool against RB Leipzig following a 2-0 win in last night’s first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash in Budapest, Hungary.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will steal the headlines, while Curtis Jones, Jordan Henderson and Ozan Kabak all chipped in to play their part.
Roberto Firmino, too, had a strong performance on the balance of play, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri quietly went about their business from the bench.
Still, there were perhaps five players who perhaps went under the radar from a performance sense. It’s our job, then, to ensure that their efforts are recognised following Liverpool’s biggest win of the season so far.
Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold solid
For all their attacking qualities, it’s often forgotten that both of Liverpool’s full-backs are very capable defenders, too.
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Last night, both Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold delivered complete performances from a defensive and attacking point of view.
The full-back duo vindicated the manager’s trust and reminded the doubters of their quality, in what has been a difficult recent few weeks for everyone connected with the club.
Alexander-Arnold, in particular, was outstanding. Defensively, he contributed one tackle, two interceptions, as well as one clearance for his team. He was the most creative player on the pitch, too, clocking up four key passes, in the process.
Thiago and Wijnaldum strong
With the likes of Naby Keita, James Milner and Fabinho unavailable, Thiago Alcantara and Gini Wijnaldum had to step up.
The midfield duo certainly did so and more, with Thiago and Wijnaldum carrying out Klopp’s instructions to a tee. It was encouraging to see the manager’s notorious counter-press approach working to full effect again.
Collectively, Wijnaldum and Thiago made four tackles, two interceptions and three clearances. The latter of which also won two of his aerial duels.
With the Merseyside derby approaching, this was exactly the kind of performance Klopp would have wanted to see from two of his seasoned midfield veterans.
Alisson stepped up too
While Liverpool controlled the game, it must be said that Leipzig did still oppose an attacking threat. Alisson Becker was equal to it.
He made one point blank save from Christopher Nkunku while the score was at 0-0.
And as a result, it saw the Brazilian shot-stopper record his 50th clean sheet as a Liverpool player. This will only do good things for his confidence going forward.