Liverpool 2-0 Atletico Madrid: Player ratings
Those European nights under the lights of Anfield! Champions League football was back in Liverpool tonight after nearly two months.
Team news featured five changes, including two in defense.
Joel Matip has reclaimed his place as Virgil van Dijk’s partner in the heart of the defense, and Kostas Tsimikas has been selected ahead of Andy Robertson, who is going through a rough patch.
With Curtis Jones injured, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started outside the Carabao Cup for the first time this season, and Fabinho Tavares returned from injury.
In attack, Diogo Jota replaced Roberto Firmino in the top three.
Thiago Alcantara returned to the bench for the first time since his injury on September 18, with Naby Keita and James Milner still ruled out.
Curtis Jones was unavailable due to a finger in the eye in training the day before.
BRIEF REVIEW OF THE MATCH
Like most games for this reason, Liverpool started in electric form and took a 2-0 lead in 20 minutes. The goals came from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mané.
Things quickly got worse for Diego Simeone’s side when Felipe was sent off for a cynical foul on Sadio Mané and then refused to comply with the referee’s orders.
Liverpool continued to dominate and could easily have had a 4-5 lead if the chances ended properly.
However, even with a man down, Atletico Madrid remained stoic and limited the score to just 2-0, a performance they shouldn’t be ashamed of.
Coming to their fourth win in four games this season, Liverpool have qualified for the last sixteen for the fourth consecutive season, and also as a group winner.
Here are the player ratings!
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ALISSON BECKER 8
He was hardly bothered today by a largely toothless Atletico attack, but he has done his part well every time he has been called into action.
TRENT ALEXANDRE-ARNOLD 9
A good game to bounce back from the disappointment of the weekend. Both Liverpool goals were created by him tonight, and he could have had more. Apart from Yannick Carrasco who dribbled once in front of him, his defense was also excellent.
JOEL MATIP 8
Both center-backs had excellent games today, stifling every attacking attempt by Atletico and venturing out with the ball as well. His game, however, could easily have been different if the Atletico goal that had been abandoned by him had been upheld.
VIRGIL VAN DIJK 8.5
As easy as can be, it’s Virgil van Dijk. Other than that mistake at the end of the game, he was pretty brilliant today. Him and Matip compliment each other very well.
KOSTAS TSIMIKAS 9
What a refreshing game it was from left-back, where the Greece international absolutely excelled today. Defend? He did it. Attack? He did it. To create? He did it. Made a huge case for himself starting against West Ham this weekend.
FABINHO TAVARES 8.5
How Liverpool had missed its flagship on the ground! It makes the life of defense so easy. A gentle return from injury for the 28-year-old Brazilian.
JORDAN HENDERSON 8
It wasn’t his absolute best tonight, but it was still more than just good. He worked hard throughout the game and maybe only disappointed a few times when attacking.
ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN 7
He shows more glimpses of the player than he can be, but today just wasn’t enough. He carelessly gave the ball away and put the team in jeopardy more than once before finally closing the pitch after another unfortunate injury.
SADIO MANÉ 8.5
Today was Sadio Mané’s manual, and he could have scored over 8.5 had he played in the second half. A second consecutive brilliant match for the Senegalese.
DIOGO JOTA 8.5
Today was one of his best nights since arriving in Merseyside. He opened the scoring with another stunning header and continued to place himself in good positions to score. Even at five foot ten, his heading ability is remarkable.
MOHAMED SALAH 8
An example of a great game without goals or assists. He was absolutely on it, but just couldn’t finish saving his life. A first European night this season where the 29-year-old has not scored.
ROBERTO FIRMINO 7.5
If only he had more time in the field. He was good for as long as he played, before being substituted due to an unknown injury.
THIAGO ALCANTARA 7.5
After 6 weeks, the Spaniard is finally back on the pitch. He entered the mainstream fairly quickly and we should expect him to return to his passing game smoothly by the next game.
DIVOCK ORIGI N / A
TAKUMI MINAMINO N / A
NATHANIEL PHILLIPS N / A
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