PLAYER RATINGS: LIVERPOOL 3-3 BENFICA
Liverpool sealed qualification to the semi finals of the Champions League after a goal-fest at Anfield saw them beat Benfica 6-4 on aggregate. Benfica showed spirit to fight back from 3-1 down to level things late on. Here are player ratings from the match.
Alisson – 6.5
His distribution was poor tonight, especially over long distances. Couldn’t do much about any of the goals. Made a sharp stop at his near post after a fierce Nunez strike late on. Cracking save that.
Gomez – 6.5
Was steady at right back. Almost scored his first professional goal on the stroke of halftime when he chested the ball down and let fly. Might have played them onside for one of their goals. Got ninety minutes in his legs and genuinely wasn’t bad. We still conceded three goals though.
Matip – 6
In Van Dijk’s absence, he was the leader of the backline. There wasn’t a lot of leadership on show as Benfica broke the offside trap at will. No communication at the back on when to step up or drop deep and Benfica filled their boots. Nunez beat him way too easily early on to get to the byline and cut a cross back.
Konaté – 6.5
Scored another towering header and looked imperious early on. Might have also played them on for another of their goals. The high line was all over the place but as the younger of the two centre halves, not much blame should be attached to him.
Tsimikas – 8
An excellent outlet down the left flank. He has a wicked left foot on him and he showed it when he provided assists for Konaté and for Bobby. Unlike most left footers, he has a pretty decent right foot as well. Defended well but again, might have played them onside for one of their goals.
Henderson – 6
Him and Milner in the same midfield doesn’t inspire confidence. They weren’t great, and Henderson hit one too many aimless long balls down the channel to nobody in particular. Fared slightly better than Millie however.
Keita – 6
Much of a muchness. Didn’t impact the game much when you’d have thought he would run the show with a view to claiming a spot in the lineup on Saturday. Took three shots from range, didn’t find the target with a single one.
Milner – 5.5
At 36, I don’t think it’s doing him any favours starting him against sides with a high technical level, especially in midfield. Taarabt toyed with him at times, nutmegging him on more than one occasion. Diaz put one on a plate but Mollie couldn’t apply the touch. Played a lovely ball over the top for Bobby. Diligent as usual.
Jota – 7
Can be sloppy on the ball at times but he forces things with sheer bloody mindedness. Ran at their defence and made himself a nuisance. Took an early shot which turned into an assist for Bobby’s first of the night.
Firmino – 8
Didn’t offer enough in possession as he turned it over a number of times. Should have scored when he got to a ball before the goalkeeper who was stranded. Opted to pass and put it behind Diaz, allowing Grimaldo to intercept. Tapped home from Jota’s mishit shot and again when Tsimikas found him with a free kick. Spurned chances for a hat trick with indecision in and around their box late on.
Diaz – 8.5
He was electric yet again. Played on the right hand side and was full of running. Dropped deep, sneaked in behind, interchanged positions and was generally a thorn in the side of Benfica. Sent Grimaldo tumbling with a silky dummy before stinging the keeper’s gloves with a powerful strike. Probably our best player on the night.
Fabinho – 6
Looked slow on the ball. Must have played more than half of his attempted passes to Thiago. Easy to understand why, the 31 year old is just so good on the ball.
Thiago – 7
You watch some of the midfielders and then watch him, it almost feels like he’s playing a completely different sport. So easy on the eye with the way he rolls his studs over the ball before stroking it.
Salah – 6
Made a lung busting run to track Nunez on a counter and got something on the attempted cross. Could have played Mané in for a goal similar to the one at Etihad on Sunday but he underhit it horribly. Set up Bobby twice with some lovely touches. Curled a shot just over late on. Still can’t buy an open play goal.
Mané – 6
Didn’t look like he had the bit between his teeth, which is understandable because the tie was done by that point. Lost the ball a few times and also overhit a pass to Salah who was in a good position. Good to see the band back together though when he was on the pitch together with Bobby and Mo.
Origi – N/A
Always good to see Divock. He got the last few minutes here and almost set Mo up for a shot in the box.
Made seven changes to his side with Gomez, Konaté and Tsimikas coming into the back four in place of Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk and Robertson respectively. Milner and Keita took the place of Fabinho and Thiago in the middle of the pitch.
In attack, Diaz and Firmino started ahead of Mané and Salah with an eye on Saturday’s semi final clash with City at Wembley and also taking into account the draining encounter at the Etihad three days so.
His side made the tie safe by going 3-1 up without playing at maximum intensity. I don’t think he helped matters by bringing on more players who wanted to stroll through the game. In hindsight it might have been better bringing on hungry squad players eager to prove a point. All in all it’s safe passage to the last four where Villareal await.
5 thoughts on “PLAYER RATINGS: LIVERPOOL 3-3 BENFICA”
I think today’s game plan was to score an early goal, then cruise control from there, which happened but didn’t last long after Ramos equalized. We got back into the game then lost control again, conceding three was annoying really. Unto the Semi-final💪
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Yeah pretty much. Slightly annoying conceding three goals at Anfield for the first time since December but all that matters is qualification. On to Saturday…
A big game on Saturday.
If we want the crown, we have to fight for it!
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Almost seems unfair that our reward if we best City is another game against Chelsea (if they beat Palace).