Liverpool took on Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium tonight and edged a five-goal thriller. Salah and Keita gave the Reds a quickfire 2-0 lead before the 15th-minute mark. Atletico responded brilliantly as Antoine Griezmann got a quickfire brace to level things up before halftime. Diogo Jota came on to win a penalty which Salah converted and the Reds saw out the victory. Read on for player ratings from the game.
Alisson – 9
May have conceded two goals on the night but he was the reason it stayed 2-2 as he made a number of huge one on one saves. His timing when a player is running through on goal is incredible. He gets it to spot on deciding when to come out when to stand still or even when to make himself big. Liverpool were rocking at 2-2 and Alisson kept them in the game. He was the better keeper on the night, and that’s saying something with Oblak in the other goal.
Alexander-Arnold – 6
He started well, was confident on the ball and picked his passes carefully. Made an outstanding clearance on the stretch to clear a deep pass to the back post. Second half he was a bit all over the place with his use of the ball, and his lack of vigour when tracking back left loads of space for Atleti to counter into. He didn’t quite get the balance right in terms of attack and defence, and it was all a bit similar to the Milan game. Taken off when we wanted to defend the lead.
Matip – 6.5
Not helped by the lack of protection ahead and to the right of him. For the second goal, he was sucked out of position to engage Felix who had gotten away from Keita too easily. Our defence didn’t have proper protection first half, and the centre backs suffered for it. Matip played as well as he could though, excelling in some one on one defending.
Van Dijk – 6
With Matip out of position to confront Felix, Van Dijk completely lost Griezmann as the Frenchman bamboozled him with a deft touch and turn before firing past Alisson. Van Dijk lost Carrasco early second half too and we got lucky. His general awareness of runners in and around him wasn’t great. With time running out he attempted to dribble past two players and almost got caught on it. Not the easiest of nights but he got through it in the end.
Robertson – 6
Robbo started very nervously. Gave away the ball almost every time he tried to knock it past his man and run onto it. He was also caught too deep and played Lemar onside. Luckily Alisson stopped the shot with a big hand. Robbo has been falling deeper than the line a number of times this season. Something he needs to work on. As the game grew, he did too. He was calmer in possession and we were generally tidy around the left-hand side after the sending off. He went close too scoring with a rasping effort on the half volley.
Henderson – 6
Atleti cut through our midfield too many times and the defence lacked a proper shield. With Hendo in that role first half, he has to take some of the blame. Second half he moved further forward but his use of the ball in the attacking third left a lot to be desired. There was a moment he could have sent in a cross after finding a good position on the right-wing but he instead chose to pass back to Trent and kill the whole momentum of the attack as we searched for a winner. The sight of him trodding on the ball and sending it out of play late on summed him up. Put in an almighty shift though.
Keita – 5.5
The second consecutive start in Madrid that Naby has been subbed off early. He scored a wonder goal and was enjoying a good start till Lemar got away from him too easily from a corner and it led to their first goal. He was culpable for their second also as Joao Felix ran circles around him before laying it on for Griezmann to finish. Defensively he left us too open and was subbed off at halftime as a result. Cracking goal though, similar to the Palace effort.
Milner – 6
The veteran made himself a nuisance as his presence meant Kondogbia couldn’t get enough purchase on blocking Salah’s shot. He was part of a midfield that was non-existent at times but personally, he did well enough. Some of his limitations in terms of pace were on the show a few times but he mucked in well enough. Took a silly booking and got hooked because Atleti were doing anything in their power to get one of ours also sent off.
Salah – 9
Three games in a row now he’s skipped past at least three players before scoring. He’s just untouchable right now. Went a bit quiet after 20 but his teammates weren’t getting him involved much. Second half he saw a bit more of the ball and played some lovely one-twos. They tried everything in their power to get in his head ahead of the penalty but nah, he wasn’t having it. Sent Oblak the wrong way and rolled it calmly into the net to win us the game. Just another day at the office for him.
Firmino – 6
Bobby was almost anonymous. His biggest involvement was when he got absolutely clattered in the face by Griezmann for the sending off. He had a few opportunities to set Salah away but he overhit them every time. No goal tonight but he got through so much work for the team. Played left-wing, right-wing, through the middle and in midfield, all the while pressing hard and putting in a defensive effort.
Mané – 6
Very quiet. Got fouled a number of times before the referee actually gave him a free-kick. Didn’t do much in an attacking sense, with the closest he went to scoring being an elastic twist of the neck to power a header goalwards. Oblak tipped it wide and we couldn’t profit on the rebound. Subdued. Subbed on 60.
Fabinho – 8
Came on and immediately gave us more protection infront of the defence. Almost immediately after coming on, he was stopping a counter with a crunching tackle, something I didn’t see enough of the first half from the midfield. His ball-winning ability was much needed and after they went down to ten men, we completely shut them down. Fabinho was a big part of that. Sensible in possession and aggressive in the tackle, just what we needed. How we missed his first half.
Jota – 6
Won the crucial penalty after he was clumsily brought down by Hermoso as he chased down a long ball into the box. Then almost gave away a silly penalty after making slight contact with Gimenez in our box. The ref awarded a penalty before reversing his decision upon viewing the replay on the VAR screen. Gimenez threw himself to the turf but Diogo shouldn’t have even given him the chance. Aside from the two incidents, he wasn’t involved much. Chased down long balls and harried.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7
An intricate one-two with Salah and then some lovely footwork to create half a yard for a shot. That was an instant impact. He slotted in well. Played left midfield as time run out and did well to keep the ball in added time as he was closed down by two. Much better than we’ve seen from him this season.
Gomez – 7
Came on at right-back and absolutely shut down that channel. He’s quick, strong and good in the air so nothing went past him. He was brave in trusting the offside line too, stepping up to good effect. Could have been easy to panic and track his man. Was calm in possession too and used the ball well. Just what the doctor ordered.
Williams – N/A
Missed an interception and they almost made us pay, but Correa skied his effort. Played right wing-back and was actually confident in possession. A lovely Cruyff turn saw him exchange passes with Firmino down the right-wing before shooting wide. Not bad.
The manager made just the one change to the team that performed so well at Watford with Alisson coming in for Kelleher. At halftime, he reacted quickly to bring on Fabinho as we were being cut open ruthlessly. All his subs made sense and helped eke out the victory. Another three goals were scored on the road. Three wins from three. Happy days.