By Lewis Rooke- @LV_Rooke
Liverpool overcame Paris Saint Germain in dramatic circumstances thanks to a Roberto Firmino 92nd minute winning goal, sending the Reds straight to the top of their Champions League group. Daniel Sturridge and James Milner provided the other goals for Jurgen Klopp’s men, who have made it a perfect six wins out of six for the season.
Here’s how they performed:
Alisson: 7– Solid and composed in the first half barring one spillage that may have led to a follow-up goal by Cavani. With his cool head, though, was it ever in doubt? Little he could do for the two PSG goals. Extra point for a boss beard.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8- The young Scouser more than held his own against Neymar and was responsible for some cracking whipped balls into the box. Trent has announced himself on the world stage and we should be truly grateful we have one of the best young players in the world. Doesn’t harm that he’s local, too.
Joe Gomez: 9- Yet another towering performance from the young man. Someone check his passport, there’s no way he’s 21 with that level of composure and defensive nous. Reads the game like an experienced veteran with the athleticism of a top striker, combined with a perfect combination of speed and strength. Marshalled Cavani expertly throughout.
Virgil van Dijk: 8- Again an absolute machine alongside Gomez, swept up everything that came his way as if there was a magnet in his forehead. Loses a mark for the slightly half-hearted challenge for Mbappe’s goal, however with that amount of pace coming at you face first it’s always difficult for any backtracking defender. Otherwise absolutely imperious.
Andy Robertson: 8- Like van Dijk, another consistent display from the Scotsman whose glorious pinpoint ball set up Daniel Sturridge for his header. Marshalled Mbappe well and didn’t give him any opportunity to stretch his legs. However, like van Dijk, loses a mark for his failure to clear the ball for Thomas Meunier’s goal. But those things happen. Robbo will be absolutely fine.
Gini Wijnaldum: 8- Aside from winning the penalty in the first half, was largely anonymous. An absolute night and day comparison to the second half, with the Dutchman the catalyst for driving run after driving run that broke the PSG midfield line again and again. More of that please, Gini lad.
Jordan Henderson: 8- Hunted and harried every ball in the midfield and stopped any PSG attacks happening before they even developed. People forget that Hendo is a Liverpool captain and is helping provide us with many great European nights and memories, just as Stevie did in his pomp. A bit more respect should be afforded to the skipper. A captains’ performance.
James Milner: 9- Had Neymar off about five times there. Ate up the space every time the Brazilian got the ball like some Ribena-fuelled Pacman. A cool and collected penalty topped off a fantastic performance for the Englishman, an absolute metronome in midfield for a 32 year-old.
Sadio Mane: 8- Looked our most potent threat throughout the first half driving forward, and giving Neymar the slip was absolute gold. Went close in the second half courtesy of a dancing run with the Senegalese’s shot fizzing across Alphonse Areola’s goalmouth. Will be disappointed he came away without a goal.
Daniel Sturridge: 7.5– Didn’t have the movement that Bobby Firmino offers but did exactly what he was brought in to do- finish off the chances given to him. And be honest, you’ve missed that dance too. Should have had another in the second half thanks for an inch-perfect Alexander-Arnold cross, but headed tamely into Areola’s gloves. Went off for Firmino to a deserved standing ovation.
Mohamed Salah: 5- Very quiet in the first half and was robbed of a goal later on. Uncharacteristically gave the ball away several times in the second half, with the Egyptian lacking his razor sharp edge he possessed last season. Did threaten a few times but Presnel Kimpembe was alert to the no.11 every time he received the ball.
Shaqiri: 6- Little impact but one or two mazy runs, had his beady eyes on that Trent free-kick though, didn’t he.
Roberto Firmino: 8– I was mid-writing Bobby’s little synopsis, describing his cameo as “quiet” as he rifled that ball into the net for the match-winning 92nd minute goal. Yes, “quiet” I said. It wasn’t so quiet as my laptop launched well off my knee right onto the floor as I jumped forward in unbridled joy. But it was absolutely and utterly worth it. Who needs a laptop, anyway?
Fabinho: N/A– Came on a little too late for a rating, credit for his little foul though.
My man of the match: James Milner