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  • David Tyrer

Player Ratings: Liverpool 4-3 Salzburg

Bloody hell. After the narrow win against Sheffield United tonight, you could be forgiven for thinking tonight might be a bit easier.


Not because Salzburg aren't a good side, they clearly are. Their home form and win against Genk during the last Champions League match day showed that.


No, Liverpool usually fair better against equally attacking sides. And at 3-nil up within barely half an hour, you could've been forgiven even more for assuming that was it. Particularly with our defensive record.


But Liverpool's defense has been rocky at times this season. And when it has been we've usually had Joel Matip to step in and cover for his team mates if Van Dijk is having a rare off day.


No blame can really be placed at Joe Gomez's door. The lad was clearly rusty but he needs to find form fast because he was just as poor against MK Dons last week.


Liverpool got the three points in the end, despite Red Bull's fight back but Jurgen Klopp has his work cut out to sort out our malfunctioning back line after tonight. Particularly with Leicester coming up at Anfield on Saturday.


Adrian - Picking the ball out of his net 3 times on his Anfield Champions League debut. It simply should not have happened but Adrian can hardly be blamed for any of the away sides goals. Had a hairy moment when he got a bit too cocky with seems to sum up our lax second half display. 6


Trent Alexander-Arnold - Looked back to his best tonight with some lovely passes and crosses, as well as his trademark cross-field balls. His defensive play was as lacking as the rest of his team mates in the second half. 7


Joe Gomez - Yes, he was rusty. But yes, he was absolutely awful. He needs game time but he also needs to quickly get up to speed or he could be falling down the pecking order again behind Lovren. 4


Virgil Van Dijk - Got turned badly for Salzburg's first goal and look slow and leggy for much of the second half. Can look a little too laid back at times. Wasn't at his usual, dominant best. 6


Andy Robertson - Scored his first Champions League goal for Liverpool on a night when it should've been 6 nil but, like the rest of the back line, collapse under pressure from Salzburg on the night and looked like they were broken at 3-3. Will take the shine off it for him. 6


Fabinho - Great, calm, assured, all the superlatives you can throw at him were relevant in the first half. In the second, we saw perhaps his first ropy 45 minutes in a Red shirt. Look a little, tiny bit panicked when it hit 3-3. Understandably, perhaps. But you'll excuse him this one time because the back-line were a mess leading up to that. 6


Gini Wijnaldum - Didn't give the ball away once, yet fans will point to him as the problem in midfield because his role goes unheralded. Didn't do anything spectacular but retained possession when we were looking rocky at 3-3. Was key to us cranking back up the gears again. Give the man some credit. Subbed for Origi late on in the second. 6


Jordan Henderson - Now we come to the midfield problem. Henderson has seemingly regressed again from last season. There was a point in the second half where he tried a back-heel 10 yards from the Red Bull box.. to nobody and they broke with pace again. Henderson looked like a stranger, constantly off the pace of his team mates, even when we were purring in the first half an hour. He should really sit Saturday afternoon out, as it's been an ongoing problem for a few weeks. Keita or Oxlade-Chamberlain should take his spot for now. 4


Sadio Mane - A beautifully worked goal in tandem with Bobby in the opening 15 minutes and we were off. That was kind of a peak though, only slightly bettered by the two full-backs combining for our second. Faded in the second half but his pace was always an outlet. 6


Mo Salah - A couple of goals and could've had his hat-trick but he was also equally as brilliant as he was frustrating. Was having another of his greedy nights, and his passing and crossing just wasn't coming off. The goals will hopefully give his confidence a much-needed boost though. 7 Man of the Match


Roberto Firmino - A lovely little move with Mane and some nice touches in the opening half an hour but seemed to fade quickly later in the second half and he couldn't quite get anything to come off. He epitomises our displays of late - brilliant in patches, lax the rest of the time. 7


Subs:


Divock Origi - Wasn't great when he came on. Had a few runs down the left but invariably made the wrong decision or just fell over. 6


James Milner - Came on for Henderson and was probably just as ineffective. Still has his moments but his influence appears to be fading in these big games, especially when the pace is frantic. 5


Naby Keita - On for barely 3 minutes against his old side. Has to start against Leicester. NA



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