While it was never in doubt that Liverpool would score goals away to one of the most gung-ho sides in European football, this victory was really emphatic.
From the first minute it was apparent that the Reds would create chances, but most pleasingly for Jürgen Klopp, a back four containing the very inexperienced Rhys Williams kept a well-deserved clean sheet.
At this point it might be worth mentioning that Diogo Jota scored a hat-trick. He opened with a brilliant lob, after being fed by Trent Alexander-Arnold, and then doubled the visitors’ lead when lashing home, following a raking Joe Gomez pass.
The Italians – renowned for their attacking prowess – only found a few snapshots before the break. A lightning return to proceedings saw Mo Salah and Sadio Mané get in on the action, both goals very impressive in themselves. And then before an hour was even on the clock, Jota rounded the keeper to make it five, and earn himself the match ball.
While Atalanta were unlucky not to register a goal or two themselves, Liverpool might equally have scored more. Klopp’s side are well in control of this Champions League group at its midway stage.
Here are your ratings:
Ali 6.5 – Some nervy first half moments were followed by secure stops after the interval.
Trent 7.5 – Flashed his incredible passing ability early on, earning an assist with the perfectly-weighted ball for Jota’s opener.
The English Williams 7 – The exact night the young man would have wanted. Was protected well, but displayed confidence and assuredness when necessary.
JoGo 7.5 – A class apart at times in the first half, and would have been in line for an even higher rating had Zapata not tested him a few times at 5-0.
Robbo 7.5 – Quality on and off the ball, as per.
CJ 7 – Some very bright moments, and a better display defensively. Still needs to quicken his release of pass, though.Embed from Getty Images
Hendo 7 – Solid and tidy throughout, with no need for the skipper to force the play at any point. Was brilliant to hear just how much he talks and commands on the pitch, too.
Gini 7.5 – This was the exact kind of game that Wijnaldum thrives in. Atalanta lacked the discipline and awareness that the Dutch international has in abundance.
Mo 8 – Incredible breakaway run and finish for the Reds’ third, even if the hosts’ defending was woeful. Almost repeated the trick but failed to beat the ‘keeper second time round.
Diogo 9 – Ran through the Atalanta defence very early on, only to have his shot saved by Sportiello… but that would turn out to be the only time he was denied on the night! A brilliant hat-trick, with all three goals superbly taken, showcasing strength, speed, finesse, hard work and immense quality. Man of the match, and very much the man of the moment.
Sadio 8 – Absolutely superb first half and, although the Senegalese quietened down after the break, it was only then that he registered his first European goal of the campaign – a delicious chip on his weaker left foot.
Naby 7 – Looked to create. Good to see the Guinean back.
Bobby 7 – Busy, but will fear for his starting place on Sunday after tonight’s events.
Milly 6.5 – Loudest talker after Henderson’s departure.
The Welsh Williams 7 – Superb delivery was nearly turned home with Salah on the floor.
Greek Robbo 7 – The least-heralded summer arrival looks like a very decent player. Quality on the ball.
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