By Lewis Rooke – @LV_Rooke
Well well well. If there was anything to say about that, it was the “Liverpool way”.
The Reds utterly dominated in their 1-0 victory against Napoli in the Champions League, yet left fans chomping away at their fingernails for a full ninety minutes as they progressed to the knockout stage.
Mohamed Salah’s superb solo goal put Liverpool in the driving seat, but it was the Brazilian Alisson who was equally the hero as he denied Arkadiusz Milik at the death – a shot which would have seen the Reds crashing out of Europe.
Without further ado, here’s how the lads rated on yet another famous Anfield night…
Alisson: 10 – Didn’t have much to do at all. Until MY GOD THAT SAVE. Completely and utterly saved the game for Liverpool with that terrific point-blank stop. Is he not the most beautiful man you have ever seen in your life? That save is worth £100 million alone, money well and truly spent. Ten for the Brazilian. A million if it were possible.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7.5 – Put in a terrific cross to tee up James Milner in the area, but the Englishman headed over. Was a threat down the right-hand side all night.
Joel Matip: 8.5 – Convinced he can’t play a pass without applying the maximum amount of power possible, the Cameroonian got forward well from the back but held the “A” button too hard at times when in advanced positions. However, Matip was exemplary today.
Virgil van Dijk: 9.5 – Stretched his seemingly neverending legs to stop Lorenzo Insigne from having a tap-in. The Dutchman received an undeserved booking for a well-timed challenge that sent Dries Mertens into 433 somersaults. Yet again, was utterly impenetrable and seemed to intercept anything in his half. Perfect.
Andy Robertson: 9 – Had a decent first half barring a few forgivable misplaced passes. Second half was almost flawless bombarding down the left-hand side.
Jordan Henderson: 8 – Started the match in the form he has been in all season – as patchy as Marouane Chamakh’s haircut. Grew into it as Liverpool began to dominate possession. However, the Englishman started the second half superbly and was the catalyst for the Reds domination of the ball for the first twenty minutes of the half. His energy wound down, but a vast improvement for the much maligned Henderson.
Gini Wijnaldum: 8 – Functioned well in the midfield three I thought, yet remained typically unspectacular.
James Milner: 9 –Just your typical James Milner performance yet again – absolutely superb and solid. Liverpool’s best midfielder on the night, setting the tempo extremely well.
Sadio Mane: 5 – Scored a goal that was rightly ruled out for offside. Whilst a threat, I thought his touch let him down at times tonight. Should have scored from an Andy Robertson cross on 75 minutes but shot straight at David Ospina. Missed another absolute sitter after a square ball by Salah, which capped off a night in which the Senegalese will know he should have been far more clinical. Missed yet another sitter in the final minute. Would have scored a lot higher if it were not for those Sunday league misses.
Roberto Firmino: 8 – Had a goalbound shot blocked by Raul Albiol on 25 minutes, but the Brazilian ran himself into the ground whilst leading the line. A good shift.
Mohamed Salah: 9 – Had a clear chance seven minutes in but the Egyptians heavy first touch let him down. Absolute wizardry to dance through the Napoli defence to put Liverpool one nil up, reminiscent of his goal against Tottenham last season. Should have scored his second courtesy of Jordan Henderson dispossessing Marek Hamsik, but dragged wide from a threatening position. Terrific today from Salah.
Naby Keita: N/A