LASK 1 – 3 Liverpool – EL Player Ratings
Matchday 1, as the reds embarked on their 2023/24 Europa League campaign. Their first game saw Liverpool on their travels to take on last season’s 3rd placed Austrian Bundesliga side. The lineup to this Thursday evening showdown was as follows.
Our line-up to face LASK tonight in the #UEL
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 21, 2023
Caoimhin Kelleher – 6.0
Could do nothing for the opening goal, as a thunderous strike found its way into the far corner. Was assured throughout the remainder of the game, with good use of possession and command of his area. It was good to see the popular keeper start.
Kostas Tsimikas – 6.0
Started the game as the left back, yet found himself involved up higher throughout an energetic display. Was a little over ambitious at times, yet was able to deliver into the box consistently.
Stefan Bajčetić – 6.0
Struggled at times to adapt to the hybrid role, with indecision seeing him lose possession too often. Was industrious with the ball in the second half as his team took control. Encouraging.
Virgil van Dijk – 8.0
A very strong return for the defensive leader and club captain. His centre back partner and full backs were not overly reliable through a difficult first half, however, the giant Dutchman stepped up and dominated, blocked, and made sure that the hosts only scored the one goal.
Ibrahima Konaté – 6.0
A little rusty and not his strongest game. Was drawn into battle a few too many times in the first half, when strong positioning and astute marshalling was needed. Good overall and will inevitably be great again very soon.
Subbed – 81 mins
Ryan Gravenberch – 7.0
The new signing was a bright spark in a rather poor starting midfield effort. His ability to drive and create was clear, with a box-to-box mentality that will see him grow into a superb squad member. A superb assist for Diaz before he succumbed to a tired set of legs.
Subbed – 75 mins
Wataru Endō – 4.0
A difficult game and the signs do not look good. Was slow to track, unsure on the ball, indecisive positionally, and offered very little to cut out passing lanes. A winter upgrade is needed as the Japan captain looks little more than a useful addition to the group.
Subbed – 61 mins
Harvey Elliott – 5.0
Deserved the start, yet may have just solidified his status as a very good option off the bench. Could not get a rhythm going within a midfield and attack that did not have familiar tendencies. Was moved around a little and only looked truly happy with Mohamed Salah on the pitch.
Luis Diaz – 9.0
A very fine performance of dangerous intent. His goal was beautifully well taken and he seemed the only viable outlet at times. His tenacious approach to the game was the only bright red spark in a difficult first half and he was the best player on the night for the visitors.
Man of the match
Darwin Núñez – 7.0
The Raging Bull was effective at times and should have headed in from close range in the first half. Was keen to drive forward and perhaps overplayed his hand at times. The penalty was wonderfully dispatched.
Ben Doak – 6.0
Too much build up and perhaps too much emphasis was placed on the teenagers’ shoulders. He tried and probed, yet the glimpses of smart wing play were fleeting. A project that should be carefully and slowly built by our German manager.
Subbed – 61 mins
Dominik Szoboszlai- 7.0 (on 61)
Brought a level of control to a struggling middle ground, with his brilliant nature a clear option for his manager.
Alexis Mac Allister – 6.0 (on 61)
The controller who slowed play and recycled possession well.
Joe Gomez – 6.0 (on 61)
A steady performance when the reds needed to ensure a tight ship.
Mohamed Salah – 8.0 (on 75)
A brilliant end cameo by one of the world’s best players, ending with a superbly taken individual goal. Magnificent.
Joel Matip – 5.0 (on 81)
42 – Mohamed Salah has scored 42 goals in major European competition for Liverpool, the joint-most of any player for an English club (level with Thierry Henry for Arsenal). Company. pic.twitter.com/KBnTN0LqBU
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 21, 2023
Jürgen Klopp – 7.0
Went half and half with his initial selection, yet was let down by too many players in another weak first half performance. Was looking for players to emerge, therefore will be happy with how at least some assets performed. Was once again smart with his substitute selections and his role on the sidelines is looking much better this season.
LASK 1 – 4 Liverpool