Champions League Playoff Player Ratings: Liverpool

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Liverpool have a handy 2-1 lead to take back to Anfield after an entertaining first-leg tie with Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in the UEFA Champions League Playoff.

The Reds were under the pump from kick-off, giving away a penalty and seeing the Germans dominate possession, but threatened in spells on the counter to take a 1-0 lead from an unlikely source.

That lead soon doubled following a slightly fortuitous deflection for one of Liverpool’s substitutes, but Jurgen Klopp’s much-maligned backline was once again breached to give Hoffenheim hope heading into next Wednesday’s second-leg.

Player Ratingsliverpool

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet – 7.5/10liverpool

Handed Liverpool a lifeline with a relatively comfortable penalty save in the first half. Sharp in his decision making, such as coming off his line early a few times, and did well to keep out Serge Gnabry’s effort from close range. Could only stand and watch Marc Uth’s strike fly into the bottom corner.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8/10liverpool

Looked incredibly relaxed for an 18-year-old making his European debut, and marked the occasion with a brilliantly taken free-kick into the bottom corner of Oliver Baumann’s net. Caught slightly out of position for Marc Uth’s goal.

Joel Matip – 6.5/10liverpool

Made a few vital interceptions and stood up well to the early Hoffenheim onslaught. Easily the more composed of the two Liverpool centre-halves.

Dejan Lovren – 6/10liverpool

Recovered fairly well after an anxious start that included nearly making a complete mess of a clearance and then giving away a penalty. Made a whopping 12 clearances, the most of the game, as Hoffenheim desperately pushed for a late equaliser. Unlucky not to have scored from a corner on the stroke of half time.

Alberto Moreno – 7/10liverpool

Alberto Moreno continues to justify his inclusion in the starting XI, putting in a solid first-leg shift. Got away with a slight lapse of concentration in the second half.

Jordan Henderson – 6/10liverpool

Organised the midfield as Hoffenheim dominated possession in the early goings. Made four interceptions, two tackles and was efficient with the ball. Hooked for James Milner on the hour mark.

Emre Can – 6.5/10liverpool

An industrious display from the German international. Made more tackles (4) than any other Liverpool player and used his strength expertly to shield the ball.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5/10liverpool

Made barely any impact on proceedings – he had the worst passing accuracy ratio amongst Liverpool players at 71.4%, a statistic even lower than Simon Mignolet’s. A peripheral figure.

Sadio Mane – 8/10liverpool

A nightmare for Hoffenheim’s defenders. Made more dribbles (6) than any other player on the pitch, and beat his opposition marker on multiple occasions. Should have done better when Roberto Firmino put him through on goal, though.

Mohamed Salah – 6.5/10liverpool

Another bright performance from the ex-Roma man. Getting into the right positions but just needs to polish up on his finishing; he squandered two fantastic opportunities, the first of which had him running towards a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Roberto Firmino – 7.5/10liverpool

Provided Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane with goal-scoring opportunities, but neither could take them. Involved in the build-up to James Milner’s goal. A classy performance against his old side, and may see growing pressure on his shoulders to provide creativity in the side if Philippe Coutinho does depart for Barcelona.

Substitutes:

 

James Milner – 7/10liverpool

Resumed his midfield role after a whole season at left-back. Offered a huge slice of fortune to see his cross deflect off Havard Nordtveit and go straight into the top corner, but he won’t care one bit as Liverpool return to Anfield with two away goals.

 

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