By Lewis Rooke – @LV_Rooke
Let’s be honest, before the game we well and truly counted our chickens before they had hatched. We thought we’d be sat atop the group with Napoli and PSG trailing in our wake after an easy six points against Red Star Belgrade. Easy thing to dream, eh? Liverpool were deservedly beaten in Serbia courtesy of an inspired performance from striker Milan Pavkov, who ran the Reds ragged.
Without further ado, here’s how they rated…
Alisson: 5- Made a terrific save after 20 minutes, but could have done far better for the second goal. The Brazilian was brought back down to earth after some impressive form.
Trent Alexander Arnold: 4.5- Was substituted at half-time for Joe Gomez, with the Englishman having little impact.
Joel Matip: 5- I won’t lie, I forgot he was playing. Give him a five, why not?
Virgil: 5- Arguably was at fault for the first goal, as he didn’t swallow up the ball as he usually does. However he was engaged in another battle elsewhere into the box, so I think criticism is somewhat undeserved. However, the Dutch international showed he was human tonight.
Andy Robbo: 6.5- Didn’t do anything particularly wrong, but the Scotsman couldn’t really get into the game. Had a few good overlaps down the left.
James Milner: 5- Gave the ball away far too cheaply in the midfield leading to the Belgrade second goal. Was a far cry from his typically reliable self, but was Liverpool’s “best” midfielder in a midfield that was completely outclassed all night.
Adam Lallana: 4- Very, very average. Nothing much more to say for the Englishman, who looks a world away from his 2016/17 game-changing self.
Gini Wijnaldum: 4- Could have brought Pavkov down as he ran through the middle of the park for the goal, but to be fair it was a good strike from the Belgrade striker. Completely invisible for the remainder.
Sadio Mane: 5.5- Had the Belgrade right back on toast in the first half, but his influence gradually waned as the game wore on. Still, our best attacking threat all night.
Daniel Sturridge: 3- Missing a sitter tends to be an omen for Dan. Seems to follow up every ballooned shot with a moment of brilliance, yet tonight it wasn’t to be. Should have scored after being played in by Sadio Mane. Beaten in the air easily for the goal from the corner. Was substituted at half time to compound what was a dismal night.
Mohamed Salah: 5- Couldn’t really get himself into the game but tried and tried, yet was snuffed out at every opportunity.
Roberto Firmino: 5.5- Had a minor impact when he came on, but the damage was well and truly done.
Joe Gomez: 5.5- Looked better than Trent, but again, the damage was done.
Divock Origi: 5- A token run out for the Belgian.
Man of the match: Simon Mignolet