Usually, Liverpool’s player ratings are done within hours of the conclusion of a Champions League match. However, this scenario is unique. The emotion. The pure, un-rationed glee. Liverpool have won the European Cup for the sixth time and it has taken us all a hot minute to recover.
Champions League winners
That being said, Liverpool did play a game of football this past Saturday. Granted it was the first for three weeks, but it was to be the biggest of the season.
Within thirty seconds Liverpool had a penalty thanks to Moussa Sissoko’s handball. (Which, by the way Glenn Hoddle, was absolutely a penalty.)
Mohamed Salah put the penalty away to exorcise the demons of Kyiv and give Liverpool the lead.
For the next 85 minutes, we had a largely poor game of football with the occasion and weather conditions in the Spanish capital getting to both sets of players.
Then it happened. The sequel to the heroics at Anfield in the semi-final. Divock Origi doubled the Liverpool lead with a lovely little finish from his left foot. Sequels don’t often live up to the hype of the original. Divock II certainly did.
At the end of the evening Liverpool added Madrid to the list of Rome, London, Paris and Istanbul as cities that the mighty Reds have won the European Cup in.
Alisson Becker – 10
The immediate temptation is to give every single player full marks for the final but out of everyone on the pitch, Alisson is the one that deserves it the most.
The Brazilian shot stopper made eight saves on the night, with several of those saves being crucial stops whilst the game hung in the balance.
His performance goes to show what happens when you go out and spend the necessary money on a world-class goalkeeper. It was a complete contrast to Kyiv, where Karius lost us the final. In Madrid, Alisson won it.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
He’s just a normal scouse lad whose dream has just come true.
Had a very intense battle with Hyeung-Min Son all night long and made a few important tackles. Didn’t really get the chance to affect the game too much.
Joel Matip – 8
Another top drawer performance from a player that most people had written off at the start of the season.
Made vital tackles all night and was having none of Harry Kane.
Virgil van Dijk – 9.9
Virgil van Dijk the absolute colossus. The only reason he gets given 9.9 here is down to the fact that I just can’t justify giving him 10/10 every single week.
Got caught out of position once but raced back to recover. When Virgil sprints – which isn’t often – he’s like a gazelle. Absolutely beautiful.
Andy Robertson – 8
Andy Robertson had a very similar game to Trent, but the Scotsman was slightly better.
Robertson was his normal, defensively-solid self and dealt with everything Spurs had going for them.
He nearly scored his first goal of the season, too, if it wasn’t for a decent save from Hugo Lloris. Next season Andy, mate.
Fabinho – 8
Fabinho really is world-class. Not everything that he does gets noticed but that doesn’t matter. He is so intuitive and so, so clever on and off the ball.
A footballing genius that is so adept at snuffing out opposing attacks before they’ve started, and, starting our attacks one pass before they would have otherwise.
Gini Wijnaldum – 7
Gini had a quiet game in Madrid. He became part of the midfield shuffle that was responsible for some of the staleness of the game.
Gini only completed 12 passes all night. Of the starting players, only Harry Kane (11) completed less.
That being said, Gini was still just about as effective as can be expected at the end of a 10 month long season in which the Reds have played about 400 games.
Jordan Henderson – 10
Emlyn Hughes, Phil Thompson, Graeme Souness, Steven Gerrard and now JORDAN HENDERSON. A mackem that has written himself into history by leading Liverpool to their sixth European success.
Not only that, the Liverpool captain put in a proper, worthy captain’s performance in Madrid. He covered every inch of the pitch. Fully justifying himself.
Mohamed Salah – 9
12 months ago, Mohamed Salah was taken off in the Champions League final thanks to the devious Sergio Ramos and his intentional injuring of the Egyptian King.
Now Salah stands tall, triumphant in Europe at the second time of asking, scoring the pivotal penalty that gave Liverpool the necessary confidence to see the game through.
Roberto Firmino – 7
An understandably quiet game from Firmino given how long the Reds’ front-man has been out with injury. Didn’t really influence the game before being subbed off on the hour mark.
Did a roly-poly onto the pitch at the final whistle. Proof that he will never change.
Sadio Mane – 9
It was Sadio Mane’s genius that initially won Liverpool the penalty 30 seconds into the game. He looked up to find Salah and instead found the (chest, then) arm of Moussa Sissoko.
Mane looked the most dangerous of all the Liverpool attackers during the game and was unlucky not to get a goal. C’est la vie.
DIIvock Origi – 10
Andrea Pirlo’s still salty about Istanbul. Divock Origi comes on and secures the Champions League trophy for Liverpool Football Club and that is literally all you need to know.
James Milner – 8
Milner came on whilst we were 1-0 up with the goal of helping settle the game. He not only does that, he goes super close to scoring a goal for himself.
Joe Gomez – N/A
Came on for about five minutes and didn’t really see much of the ball.
All of the beautiful, six-time European Champions, world-beating, mould-breaking Reds – ∞
It’s been a wild 10 months since August and the start of the Premier League season.
Liverpool have been everywhere and done everything and there are two things that are certain.
Liverpool are European Champions and they will be back better than ever. Every single player that this squad has a story to tell, a story that says they were doubted, that they were bet against. Now they are all immortal. Champions of Europe.
We love this club. We ARE this club.
See you next season.