Liverpool are through to the Champions League Quarter Finals after demolishing Porto 5-0 on aggregate. I say demolish, last night was like watching a low intense training match, Man City v Chelsea if you will.
Despite the lack of entertainment I am still obliged to form some sort of player ratings. Bear with me on this one.
Loris Karius – 8
Should probably be a seven as he didn’t have that much to do. But we’re through to the quarters so fuck it. Additionally, I’m very happy for him. I’ve been a critic, I had written him off and to his credit he’s made me, along with several other fans gag on humble pie. Another clean sheet and a confident performance from the German. You can see the improvement in him, dominating his area, communicating with his defence (Bar one exception last night in the second half) and most important of all the confidence he has installed in the fans. It’s not so long ago you’d hear moans of ‘get rid you daft twat’ or ‘the fuck you playing at’. Well over the past 4/5 games, nothing. Not a peep. Good.
Joe Gomez – 7
Thought he handled himself well, particularly in the first half, when Porto sort of played. Calmness and composure was the order of the night and Joe had it in abundance. Considering Trent has played the past few games it was nice to see Gomez get a full 90 before United at the weekend. Will he start? I think so.
Joel Matip – 7
Again calmness and composure from Matip. Who like Gomez, missed out the past few games. There was one moment he hoofed it into the air unconvincingly but other than that him and Dejan kept Abubakar pretty quiet.
Dejan Lovren – 7
Same as Matip both in terms of rating and performance. It wasn’t outstanding, but it didn’t need to be. When I first saw the two were playing together I had my reservations, but who wouldn’t want big Virg starting? Degsy nearly bagged himself a goal in the first half but his header crept over the bar.
Alberto Moreno – 7.5
Shouldn’t really do a .5 but why not. For all the criticism and lack of game time I thought he did superb. He was targeted in the first half I felt both with high balls and Porto trying to out number him. He put in a few tasty tackles and probably should have scored. But you, “shudda, wudda, cudda”. A belting 90’s reference if I do say so myself.
Jordan Henderson – 8
I’ve been critical of Henderson of late but his recent performances have been instrumental. Full of determination, desire and a bit of bastardness. Like you’d expect from a captain. Passing again was on point but its a difficult game to judge, I think normally we would look to play the ball forward a bit more but I don’t think we were all that interested in scoring last night, rightly so, we were 5-0 up.
Emre Can – 8
Outstanding again from Can, for someone that has played a ridiculous amount of football recently and someone I expected to be rested, he was brilliant from the get go. Like Hendo, his passing has improved simnifically over recent months as has his defensive work. I know its part of Klopp’s system but Emre delivers constantly. And he gets a bonus point for that lovely nutmeg.
James Milner – 9
Yep you read it correctly 9. I thought he was exceptional at times last night. So much so I’ve picked him for my MOTM for both this and the MOTM podcast. Whats the MOTM podcast, well its three lads talking about how boss Liverpool are. Subscribe now and find out. Shameless plug.
I digress, James Milner was exceptional. He was EVERYWHERE. For someone of 32 years of ages he has the body of a 23 year old. Tireless running, no nonsense tackles and for me, his protection of Moreno and Gomez was the best part of his game. He’s Liverpool’s most experienced player in the Champions League and it showed.
Adam Lallana – 7
Gave him a 7 based on Lovren and Matip really, I don’t think it was his best performance and I did’t expect it to be. He’s hardly played over recent months, let alone 90 minutes. He also didn’t assault a player, bonus points for that. Last night was all about game time and fitness for Adam and he saw it through, good on him. He was making runs from deep last night and on several occasions he was ignored, still good for fitness i suppose.
Sadio Mane – 8
Oh my days, if that shot had gone in instead of hitting the post there would have been bodies everywhere. Absolutely gutted for him and the team that didn’t go in. Sadio looks full of confidence again, he always wanted to be an option, he always wanted to drive at the defence, like Sadio of last season. Would have loved for him to bag a goal but wasn’t to be. We’re through to the Quarter Finals and he’s not injured for the United have. Positives.
Bobby Firmino – 8
Oh Bobby, I love you. He’s my favourite. He didn’t have a lot to do last night and I am 100% convinced he gave the ball away on purpose, just to get involved, because he loves the Gengen and because he knows full well he can win the fucking ball back. He’s just boss.
Ings – 7
Gutted he didn’t bag a goal but made up he got some game time!
Mo Salah – 8
8 might be a bit generous but he only played around half an hour and could have scored! And his first touch, my God, naughty, filthy, you bloody name it.
Ragnar Klavan – 6
Overall a solid, professional performance again from the Reds. I thought we broke them physically and mentally in the first half in which they just had to surrender. Some important game time for a few players, a clean sheet and no injuries ahead of the United game on Saturday.
Article by Ross Chandley
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