The Liverpool fan-base were surprised by Jurgen Klopp as he went for both Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota against Manchester City, the jury remaining out on whether it was the right decision as the Reds drew 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Mohamed Salah’s penalty got Klopp’s men off to the perfect start after Sadio Mane was fouled by Kyle Walker, with Gabriel Jesus’ equaliser proving to be the only other goal in the game as Kevin de Bruyne missed a spot-kick at the other end.
Here’s your ratings.
Joel Matip welcomed back
Alisson (8): A really solid, commanding performance from the Brazilian. No chance for the smartly taken Jesus goal, but was quick off his line to halt de Bruyne’s crosses on more than one occasion, summing up a good performance with an outrageous headed clearance in stoppage time.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6): Sound defensively against a tricky looking Raheem Sterling. Was limited going forward before being forced off with a calf injury that will surely now keep him out of the international break.
Joel Matip (7): Welcome back, Joel! Hopefully this time he won’t go and inexplicably miss the next seven games, because he reminded us how good he can be today. One or two late challenges but overall a strong game, stood up to the challenge well.
Joe Gomez (7): By my count, Matip is his 5th centre-back partner this season, with four different partners in as many recent games. Played well today, you’d expect him to win the physical battle against City and he did. Solid on the ball too. Unlucky with the penalty, hard to blame him.
Andy Robertson (6): Struggled going forward in a similar way to Trent, City doing well to peg him back. Still, tried to be proactive and didn’t really put a foot wrong at the back.
Just the two in midfield
Jordan Henderson (6): The strengths he offers against City; strength, pressing and physicality were somewhat restricted by putting him in a midfield pivot as it requires a higher level of positional discipline. A fairly quiet performance but diligent for long periods of City possession.
Gini Wijnaldum (6): Are we blaming him for the goal a little bit? I don’t know, it’s a fairly great finish from Jesus and if Gini just leaves Walker to wander down the right then we’re overloaded. He should probably cut off the passing lane a little better. I was more concerned about a couple of stray passes in the 2nd half, ball retention not coming as easily as normal for him.
The front four!
Diogo Jota (5): Quiet, looked pretty lost on the right. Thought he might scamper one in as Ederson saved from Trent but the ‘keeper recovers well. Think you need to use him through the middle or on the left to be more effective.
Bobby Firmino (6): Not much better than Jota but I thought he started fairly brightly. We looked worse at stopping City’s build up after he went off, which still speaks volumes.
Mo Salah (6): Takes his penalty really well but doesn’t do too much else, unfortunately.
Sadio Mané (7): Superb play to win the penalty, sending Kyle Walker for the echo. Liverpool’s best forward throughout, constantly making life uncomfortable for the City right-back.
Xherdan Shaqiri (6): My jaw dropped when I saw Klopp bringing him on at the hour mark, I’d have thought that to be the most un-Klopp sub ever against City. Played okay and in fairness, defended well.
James Milner (5): I love the bloke but I really hope we don’t have to watch him play right back for six weeks. Rest up TAA.