Friday, December 2, 2022

Champions League Calling: Liverpool Players Rated And Slated In Their Incredible Win Against Middlesbrough

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Although it was relegated Middlesbrough at Anfield, the pressure was immense on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool following their dried up home form and disastrous display against bottom half outfits. Also, the Gunners’ impressive winning streak and Wenger’s mind games made this fixture even more entertaining on Sunday afternoon. However, despite initial moments of nervousness, the Reds managed to secure a commanding 3-0 win against Boro and dethroned Arsenal from Champions League football for the first time in over twenty years. Jurgen Klopp now has successfully taken the Reds through to this elite European competition in his first full season in charge.

Below are the Liverpool players rated from the fixture.

Simon Mignolet: 7

Was largely untested, however, looked confident while defending corners and made some routine stops to deny his opponents.

Nathaniel Clyne: 7

Liverpool’s Mr Dependable kept on making forward runs and participated in a number of attacking movements against the deep-defending Middlesbrough side.

Joel Matip: 7

Did well to contain Rudy Gestede who failed to create any attacking threat with his aerial and physical presence.

Dejan Lovren: 7

Had a nervy moment in first half as he made contact with Patrick Bamford inside the penalty box. But the referee, Martin Atkinson, waved off the shouts which looked like a close call from replays. The Croatian was solid otherwise as he kept on building the game up from back throughout the game.

James Milner: 6.5

Had a decent afternoon in his deputised left-back role from attacking perspectives. However, the veteran Englishman struggled defensively against Patrick Bamford’s pace and dribbling skills. Was replaced by Alberto Moreno towards the end.

Emre Can: 7.5

Worked tirelessly in the middle of the park as his box-to-box movements helped his side to open the game up and stretch it on the flanks.

Philippe Coutinho: 9

The Brazilian continued his great scoring run with a spectacular free-kick to double the lead early in the second half. Made some impressive runs, whipped in some ambitious crosses and kept the deep defending Boro back-line on toes from the left-hand flank.

Georginio Wijnaldum: 8.5

Finishes his impressive debut campaign for the Reds with the most crucial goal of the game during stoppage time of first half after picking up Roberto Firmino’s lay off and smashing it into the back of the net.

Adam Lallana: 7.5

Lallana started the game on the tip of midfield diamond.  Had a quiet first half, but the decorated Englishman uplifted his game  and earned his side a three-goal lead as he finished things off from a Liverpool counter-attack.

Daniel Sturridge: 7

Looked sharp with his movements. Earned his side a free-kick which was converted by Coutinho to double the lead. Came close to score, however, failed to keep his efforts into the back of the net. Was taken off towards the end to be replaced by Divock Origi.

Roberto Firmino: 7.5

Missed out the last game with a thigh injury, however, he recovered just in-time to start the game and placed the ball beautifully for Gini Wijanldum who finished it into the back of the net when the pressure was mounting.  Was replaced by Lucas Leiva in second half.

Substitutes:

Lucas Leiva: 6

Came in place of Firmino in second half which looked like his final appearance for the Reds from his decade long service.

Divock Origi: NA

Played too little to warrant a rating.

Alberto Moreno: NA

Played too little to warrant a rating.

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