Liverpool went to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday and came away with a 3-2 win. Here are three players who came out of the fixture looking better.
What a great win for Liverpool. The 3-2 victory over Atletico Madrid puts them in a commanding position in the Champions League group. Not just for progression, either – the Reds are huge favourites to top it now.
It wasn’t exactly an easy win, though. Liverpool had to fight for this one and three players, in particular, came away with enhanced reputations.
Okay, we all know how good Fabinho is at this point. But here we got a reminder of just how vital he is to Liverpool at their best.
Jurgen Klopp took a risk with his midfield and it’s one that eventually backfired. He stuck with the same trio who defeated Watford 5-0, seemingly hoping for a repeat performance as confidence flowed.
Both James Milner and Naby Keita contributed to the 2-0 lead, too. Keita most notably with a fantastic goal. But Atletico’s trickier players proved too much for the midfield. Without Fabinho, they were able to create holes in Liverpool.
The Brazilian appeared at half-time, though. He helped keep things more secure in the second half, winning three tackles and keeping the ball wonderfully well.
Oxlade-Chamberlain produced a fantastic second-half cameo in Madrid. He came off the bench to win tackles, create a bit of havoc, and inject energy into the Liverpool team.
In fact, the Englishman won as many tackles as anyone for Liverpool, despite only playing 27 minutes. He only misplaced one pass, too, in a reliable display.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been quite overlooked this season, playing a background role. He’s behind five or six other midfielders right now but we got a reminder here of what he can do.
If the 28-year-old can provide this more often, he’ll get more starts and games. That could come as soon as Sunday – Liverpool could use a similar display at Old Trafford.
We went into detail on Matip’s display here. In all, he was a true defensive force on a difficult night.
Everyone knows Matip is a great centre-back but this performance arguably solidified him as Liverpool’s best centre-back right now. We’re not sure any of the other three have been this consistently good.
Now, Matip didn’t have as serious an injury as Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez. That may well play a part. But as things stand, the Cameroonian may be the most reliable option in Jurgen Klopp’s arsenal.