Liverpool 2 – 0 Rangers – CL Player Ratings

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Alisson Becker – 7.0

The weekends man of the (reds) match. He was made to deal with some tricky back-passes early on, but did enough to make sure he wasn’t caught out. Had a busier spell late on, but was determined to keep them at bay.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8.0

Kept his place despite some poor form, and rewarded his manager with a brilliant early strike. It was a wonderful free kick, and you could see the confidence flow as a result. His delivery seemed encouraging, and he was keen to try and find opportunities for his forwards.

Kostas Tsimikas – 7.0

In for Robbo still, he was a willing runner through the opening stages. Was unspectacular if efficient, and had some good deliveries from corners not taken advantage of. A marvelous goal line clearance late on.

Virgil Van Dijk – 7.0

The team leader needed to find some better form, and he commanded and barked orders from the outset. Not back to his best, but very encouraging signs from the big man.

Joel Matip – 7.0

Perhaps lucky to be starting ahead of Ibou, he was aggressive and alert from the start. Was smart on the ball, and should have scored from a good corner late on.

Jordan Henderson – 8.0

Controversially kept his place, as part of a middle two. He started well and managed to get through his required work and responsibilities with drive. He was relentless in his attitude and the double pivot seemed to suit him today. A very good game for the captain.

Subbed – 60 mins

Thiago Alcantara – 7.0

Even him or Fab had to start (ideally both), in a middle two. He was quick and precise with his passing, and helped control the frenetic opening stages. A good and solid game that was more about control than anything else.

Subbed – 79 mins

Darwin Nunez – 7.0

His chance was rewarded by the lacklustre displays of others. Had an early chance to score that was smartly saved, and was nicely aggressive in his work. He covered the final third with a real desire to impact. He should have scored on 33, 40 & 43 minutes, but again was denied by good saves. His movement and running was a joy to see. The chances continued into the second half, but the positives were plain to see.

Subbed – 79 mins

Mohamed Salah – 7.0

He looked fleet footed and lively from the opening whistle, and nearly squeezed in a well taken shot from the angle shortly after Trent’s opener. Was always a good option, and dispatched his penalty with class.

Diogo Jota – 7.0

Perhaps the surprise ‘10’, but his relentless work and dangerous intent made for a melee of attacking play early on. Was bright and alert, if a little rusty with the final ball or opportunities. A welcome return.

Subbed – 60 mins

Luis Diaz – 8.0

Deserved to come back in, and enjoyed the relative chaos created by fielding four attackers. He had a couple of curling efforts come close, but seemed intent on getting on the scoreboard. His wonderful jinking run brought the penalty early in the second half, as the reds widened their play. Was a constant thorn for Rangers.

Subs;

Roberto Firmino – 6.0 (on 60)

Worked hard.

Fabinho – 6.0 (on 60)

Came in to add more freshness.

James Milner – 6.0 (on 79)

On for more structure in the latter stages, and one great last ditch challenge.

Harvey Elliott – 6.0 (on 79)

Looked bright, but little to do.

Joe Gomez – N/A (on 90+2)

Gave Trent a warm ovation opportunity.

The Manager;

Jurgen Klopp – 9.0

Went with a very attacking line up, with a clear plan to fire his team into some type of form. Was delighted with the opening goal, and clearly wanted a chaotic attacking third to overwhelm their visitors. He would have been pleased with a strong first half performance, and delighted with the work and running of Darwin, with only the goal lacking in his play.

His decision to stick with the captain paid off, and he seemed settled in that double pivot. The system very suited those on display, and should be a continuing trend into the coming games.

Hopefully this isn’t another false dawn.

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