Player Ratings as scratchy Reds win 4-1 to make Champions League semi

Player Ratings as scratchy Reds win 4-1 to make Champions League semi

How did that end 4-1? Well, you could argue Liverpool outclassed Porto in both penalty areas, and thoroughly deserved that result. And you’d be able to present a justifiable argument. But for large parts of that game, it just didn’t look like Liverpool were going to win 4-1.

Sadio Mané put the Reds on their way with a VAR-overturned goal, after the referee had initially disallowed it for offside. Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk put the gloss on another superb European night at the Dragao, even as Eder Militao grabbed a deserved goal for the hosts.

Here’s how each player fared for Liverpool.

Alisson Becker – 7/10

His positioning was very good, as it always is, when he’s facing shots on goal. He was helped by some very ordinary Porto finishing. The Portuguese champions had 19 shots, 8 on target. Alisson saved 7 of them. And he didn’t have to make a dive for even one of those, as everything was straight at him.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7/10

He was troubled by Brahimi’s pace and trickery in the first half. His passing was also off, as Liverpool were unable to cope with the pressure, and the movement from the front players was not clicking. He got himself a superb assist for the second of the night, after he played a superb through-ball to Salah.

Joel Matip – 6/10

As usual, he wasn’t great while trying to win aerial duels, was caught out by the Porto strikers’ runs in behind. But, all’s well that ends well.

Virgil van Dijk – 7/10

Was going to write “Same as Matip”. But then, he went and scored another away goal in a Champions League knockout tie. Seems to love doing that.

Andrew Robertson – 6/10

He didn’t have a great game. Jesus Corona troubled him all game, his passing was awry, and the usual energy down the flank was missing for a large part.

Fabinho – 7/10

In the first half especially, he was the only Liverpool midfielder who didn’t hide. He did make a few mistakes, especially with his passing, but as the destroyer, he was superb. He matched the physicality of Danilo Pereira and Hector Herrera superbly.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5/10

Ghost. But the fact that he’s played 90 minutes today allowed Henderson and Keita to get much-needed breathers ahead of the biggest phase of the season.

James Milner – 5/10

He completed four out of an attempted ten passes in the first half. Honestly, that is numbingly poor. Much better after the break, though.

Divock Origi – 4/10

Barely involved, before being taken off at half-time. Tried to dribble past Militao a few times, but ran into a brick-wall and ended up fouling the Brazilian every time.

Sadio Mané – 8/10

He’s just clutch. Right place, right time, for the goal. Then a near-post flick for an assist. 22 goals this season, now. Stunning.

Mohamed Salah – 8/10

Like Mane, a goal and an assist. He was once again lively and a constant threat. Super performance.

SUBSTITUTES

Roberto Firmino – 7/10

Him coming on for Origi allowed the Reds to take control. Porto looked jaded as well, so he could run riot with his movement, energy and intelligence. Lovely header for the goal.

Joe Gomez – 6/10

Superb for him to have a few minutes under his belt.

Jordan Henderson – 7/10

Megs! Holy, this ridiculously changed Henderson looks mint! Superb cross for Firmino’s goal, and once again, all energy from his new advanced midfield role.