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Player Ratings: Liverpool 2-0 Porto

Liverpool shifted their attention to their European rivals after a heroic performance at St Mary’s in the Premier League. The Reds hosted Porto at Anfield in the Champions League quarter-final.

With key personnel out in the shape of left-back Andy Robertson, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds knew that they faced an arduous task.

However, the reigning Portuguese champions – who finished on 88 points last season – left Anfield with a mountain to climb following goals from Naby Keïta and Roberto Firmino.

A change in midfield personnel with Georginio Wijnaldum making way for Jordan Henderson proved to be the tipping point in Liverpool’s triumph. The Liverpool captain played an important role in both goals.

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The ratings

Alisson – 7

A quiet yet effective performance from the ex-Roma goalkeeper. He made a good save against Moussa Marega when put through on goal. He was later tested again by Marega 20 minutes from time after Dejan Lovren was outpaced.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8

Avoided giving away a penalty after Alisson tipped the ball into his arm, but would have been a harsh decision if given.  He later does well for the Roberto Firmino goal with the determined run in behind and cross.

Provided an audacious looping ball to Mohamed Salah on the counter-attack. Displayed great link-up play with the Egyptian international. Should’ve pulled the trigger after Salah found him with a one-two exchange. 

Dejan Lovren – 6.5

The Croat was alert to the danger of Marega, but was suspect in terms of his defensive positioning throughout. Perhaps should’ve stayed on his feet when participating in a foot race with Marega.

Virgil Van Dijk – 7.5

Often provided good distribution to Trent and Salah on the right-hand side with his long diagonal balls. Displayed his defensive nous as he kicked the ball onto Marega in a threatening position to claim the goal-kick.

Also mopped up the situation with Alisson not being decisive enough to collect a through ball.

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James Milner – 7

Despite not being a conventional left-back, he kept Corona at an arm’s length throughout the match. Offensively, his lofted through ball to Sadio Mané was crucial in the build-up the the first goal.

Fabinho – 7.5

Passing was a little sloppy at times from him – however, he nullified Porto’s attacks when called upon.

Was unfortunate to be penalised with a foul from a tackle that appeared to have won the ball.

Crucial interceptions with his imposing presence on the pitch showing exactly why he is one of the first names on the team-sheet.

Jordan Henderson – 8

Played in an advanced role which we saw a glimpse of at Southampton. A true midfield general’s performance: pressing from the front, making quick decisive and forward passing.

Fashioned an excellent ball to Trent in the build-up leading to the first goal.

Fluid attack

Naby Keïta – 9 | Man of the Match

Poor passing in the early stages of the match, but soon found his groove.  He was rewarded for his positive impact early on when his shot was deflected in after being fed the ball by Firmino.

Always looked to be a driving force with the ball. Showed no signs of fatigue when advancing with the ball towards the penalty area with less than two minutes to go.

A performance that exuded confidence.

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Mohamed Salah – 7.5

Never one to shy away from his defensive duties as he tracked back well to tackle Otavio.

He should have doubled Liverpool’s lead after running through on goal after a Porto defensive mishap, but his shot was a few inches wide. Tested – and often beat – Real Madrid-bound Eder Militao.

Sadio Mané – 7.5

An energetic performance from the Senegalese international. Again displaying his infallible work rate with as he was seen to track back throughout the match. 

After a an inch perfect ball from Henderson, Mané volleyed home but it was deemed offside.

Roberto Firmino – 8

His creative juices were flowing in the first half, with attempts to find his teammates many a time early on. He was rewarded for his selflessness with a goal from short range, following a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross.

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The substitutes

Divock Origi – 6.

Came on for Mané with just under 20 minutes to go. His first involvement was to ask questions of the Porto defence, and was awarded with a free-kick a few inches away from the penalty area.

Showed great pace to get past the fullback in injury time but overcooked the cross significantly.

Daniel Sturridge – N/A

Subbed on for Firmino.  He’s from Birmingham.

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