Liverpool produced a carbon copy of the weekend performance against Huddersfield, to put themselves in control of Group E in the UEFA Champions League. After an insipid first-half display, goals from Mo Salah, Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge gave the Reds a 3-0 win over a plucky Maribor in the rather quiet confines of Anfield.
The win means that Liverpool can book a place in the Round of 16, with a win against Sevilla on Matchday 5 in Spain.
Here’s how the players fared on the night:
Loris Karius – 6
He had a little more to do than Simon Mignolet had in the weekend against Huddersfield, and he did it successfully, as a long-range effort stung his palms.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 9
The stock of the teenager just keeps on rising. Another assured performance, and at times, it looked like he was the Reds’ only creative outlet, as the crosses rained in from the right flank. He made the telling contribution to help Mo Salah break what was, until then, a frustrating deadlock. Man of the Match.
Joel Matip – 6
In the first half, he made more passes that broke Maribor lines than the three midfielders combined. It was largely a comfortable evening for Matip, but he did switch off a couple of times in the second half, and could’ve ended up a sorry figure had Maribor shown a little more quality.
Ragnar Klavan – 6
A quiet evening’s job well done for Klavan. Like Matip, he didn’t have much to do, but what he did, he did well, which isn’t something we’ve said too often this season for Liverpool’s left-sided centre-back.
Alberto Moreno – 7
Moreno was poor in the first half. He was always in the opposing half in the first half but always kept going backwards and sideways without any penetration. Much better in the second half, as he got himself an assist too.
Emre Can – 6
The rating is only for a brilliantly taken goal in the second half. That aside, it was the same old frustrating Can. He took too much time on the ball, was sloppy with his passing and made questionable decisions. The goal was perfection though, everything up until the failed knee-slide that had so far been a Can trademark.
Gini Wijnaldum – 5
Taken off with an injury after 17 minutes. One can only hope it isn’t too serious.
James Milner – 6
Perpetual motion. But not too much quality on the night. The touch to set up Can’s goal was perfect. The curse struck again, as Liverpool missed their third penalty of the season, and Milner has now missed his last two for the Reds.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Salah scored, as Salah always does. But that aside, the King of Egypt didn’t have a great game. He missed a sitter of a header from a Moreno cross in the second half, and his touch let him down far too often, hen goalscoring opportunities beckoned.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 8
A first Champions League start at Anfield for Chamberlain, and he was bright – “dynamite” as Jurgen would say. He waned as the game wore on, but there is enough encouragement in his last few performances. His crossing was a mixed bag, but maybe a proper striker, and not Roberto Firmino, could have made more of those opportunities.
Roberto Firmino – 7
Can’t fault him for effort, as usual. But in that first half, Liverpool needed something different to what Firmino offers as a no. 9. He dropped far too deep far too often. On another day though, he could have scored a couple in the first half, as he had a few chances with his head.
Jordan Henderson – 7
A good game for the skipper. He came on for Wijnaldum and was more positive with his passing than he has been recently. He got caught out of position a couple of times though, as Maribor showed a bit more enterprise in the second half.
Daniel Sturridge – 7
One chance, one goal, job done for Sturridge. It was a routine finish for him, as he scored his first Champions League goal as a Liverpool player/
Marko Grujic – N/A
Came on in the last ten minutes, for his first European appearance for Liverpool.