Reds Shine in Europa Clash: Sparta Prague 1-5 Liverpool – Player Ratings

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Sparta Prague 1 – 5 Liverpool: Europa League Last 16 Player Ratings (1st Leg)

Overview

The start of this game was frenetic and the opening half was a case of the visitors being decidedly more potent in front of goal, as the Prague keeper had a questionable outing in the home net. The tie all but ended with the full-time whistle, which will allow much needed rotation in the second leg.

Player Ratings

Goalkeeper

  • Caoimhin Kelleher – 9.0

The 25-year-old Irishman enjoyed a busy night as the home side showed good energy, especially in the first half. The handling and overall confidence of the deputy was excellent and he heads into the weekend encounter with Manchester City in superb form. The serial man of the match winner could do nothing for Conor Bradley’s own goal, which flew into the net. A great display overall.

Defenders

  • Andy Robertson – 7.0

The Scottish international captain skippered his club this evening in a solid enough outing, where he was able to enjoy a busy night on the left flank. His defensive contributions were steady; however, he perhaps could have been more instrumental in the final third as the reds enjoyed overwhelming moments of possession.

  • Joe Gomez – 7.0

The experienced England player was alert and full of energy for his stint on the pitch, as his early withdrawal points to a starting role at left back on Sunday. The power and pace of the former Charlton man allowed the reds to capitalize on counter attacking opportunities, whilst he remained robust in his defensive work. Hopefully there is no injury to worry about, but the concern is real.

Subbed – 45 mins

  • Ibrahima Konaté – 7.0

The France international defender surprised a few with his starting role, which was full of physicality and last ditch defending in the first half. His leadership and steady precision in the backline were impressive, yet the potential of an injury is tremendously worrying.

Subbed – 50 mins

  • Jarell Quansah – 7.0

The England under-21 defender was largely in control throughout the away game, as his confidence continues to defy his limited minutes thus far. His positional play and sporadic need to snuff out danger were very much needed in an open first half, whereas his concentration was in abundance as the reds kept the Czech team at bay through a control second period.

Midfielders

  • Alexis Mac Allister – 9.0

The Argentina World Cup winner is in the form of his career right now and was vital to Liverpool surging into an early lead. A new box to box role for the reds is looking perfectly balanced, especially with a specialist holding midfielder in beside him. The pitch was the former Brighton mans to dominate and his opening penalty goal was clinical. The assist for Darwin’s tremendous second goal was fabulous and he is now the most important middle man in Jürgen Klopp’s midfield. World class and the signing of the season.

Man of the match

Subbed – 65 mins

  • Wataru Endō – 7.0

The Japan international was tasked with occupying the middle ground as his midfield partners dominated the ball. His simplicity is a much-needed feature in this side, as he allows others to express themselves further forward. When the ball needed winning or positions needed coverage, the former Bundesliga man was always on call to deliver what his teammates needed.

  • Harvey Elliott – 7.0

The young live-wire was good and effective in his predominately free role to roam the upper third of the pitch. He lacked the link up play with Cody, yet that was probably more to do with the Dutchman and his indecision. The easy use of the ball and energy levels were as required in a good outing. Could be vital from the bench on Sunday.

Forwards

  • Darwin Núñez – 9.0

The Uruguayan raging bull was unplayable and you can now see the final pieces coming together for an all-around centre forward. His two goals were delicious hits from distance and though the goalkeeping was very much from the Adrian playbook, both superb hits were on target and ultra positive in their execution. The power and work rate are now being matched by intelligence and clinical play, which is a very scary thought for the opposition.

Subbed – 50 mins

  • Luis Díaz- 8.0

The Colombian flyer was lively and electric, with his form simmering nicely on the verge of elite. The maverick nature of his play will always cause angst, yet the direct nature is perfectly balanced when the reds mounted their various attacks. Will be happy with yet another goal, despite the deflection.

Subbed – 74 mins

  • Cody Gakpo – 6.0

The Dutch forward started on the right and emitted the performance of a man too keen to make an impact. The varying openings and opportunities that came his way were left unfulfilled, as he prepares to take up a place on the bench for this weekend’s games. Should have scored and assisted on multiple occasions.

Substitutes

  • Conor Bradley 6.0 (on 45)

Came on to score a screamer beyond his own keeper, in a solid enough second half showing.

  • Dominik Szoboszlai – 8.0 (on 50)

Came on to secure much needed minutes and showed very good rhythm.

  • Virgil van Dijk – 7.0 (on 50)

Came on to replace Ibou, who should not have been on the pitch.

  • Bobby Clark – 7.0 (on 84)

Came on to offer invention and good control.

  • Mohamed Salah – 7.0 (on 84)

He is back.

Manager

  • Jürgen Klopp – 8.0

The German manager went with a strong starting eleven, which may have been over ambitious in hindsight.

The score of the manager is tempered by the effect his starting lineup may now have on Manchester City’s visit to Anfield on Sunday.

Pre-match Prediction

Sparta Prague 2 – 2 Liverpool

Steven Smith

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