Liverpool were able to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a performance which was barely at half their recent levels.
Liverpool 0-0 Porto (5-0 agg)
Champions League Last 16 Second Leg, Anfield
March 6, 2018
Loris Karius – 6
Emerged for a couple of high balls and got down bravely at the feet of Majid Waris.
There was one slightly worrying moment as the ball squirmed from his grasp, but there was no danger around at the time and he was able to regather.
Another clean sheet.
Joe Gomez – 6
Covered well generally but offered less in attacking areas than Trent Alexander-Arnold has done of late.
This may just be because he has been out of the side for a few games, so this run-out should help him in the long run.
There were a few good interventions in defence though, where he was able to show his strength.
Joel Matip – 6
A couple of good long passes from the back here, a couple of poor passes out from the back there, plus a few aerial duels won for good measure.
It wasn’t a game where he asserted himself as the man to partner Virgil van Dijk longer term, but he wasn’t tested enough to show any real defensive strengths.
Dejan Lovren – 6
Got an important block on Oliver Torres’ shot late in the game.
Had more touches of the ball than any other Liverpool player bar Gomez, such was the frequency the ball was played around the back, but it was a fairly undemanding night for the Croatian.
Alberto Moreno – 6.5
Like Gomez he was good at covering in defence but offered slightly more in attack, even though not everything he tried came off.
Did well to keep the ball in play in the buildup to Sadio Mane‘s first-half chance, and put in a good tackle on Jesus Corona.
Wanted a penalty when a slight touch on his ankle saw him go down in the area, but the referee wasn’t interested in his appeals.
Jordan Henderson – 6.5
Racked up five tackles and two interceptions in a workmanlike performance, but wasn’t able to unlock the opposition defence regularly enough with his passing.
Had a chance to play Roberto Firmino in during the first half, but put too much on it when it just needed rolling in behind the defence.
Made up for this later on when he put the Brazilian in on goal just before the striker was taken off.
Emre Can – 6.5
Was asked to play a more advanced role at times in the absence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Regularly swapped with James Milner but was hit-and-miss despite some good moments.
His nutmeg on Andre Andre was one of few highlights in the game for the fans, away from the few pieces of action in front of goal.
James Milner – 6.5 (Man of the Match)
Another decent performance from the Englishman in midfield, where he put in a good shift and created more than his fellow midfielders.
Turned Adam Lallana‘s cross wide when he might have expected to do better, but lost his footing as he stretched for the ball.
Adam Lallana – 6
Was the victim of several fouls from the Porto midfield in the early stages as they struggled to cope with his tricky touches.
These touches were great, but as is often the case with Lallana little followed, though it’s worth bearing in mind this was his first start for a while.
Replaced Mohamed Salah in the lineup, operating on the left wing rather than in midfield.
Roberto Firmino – 6
A fairly quiet game in attack but still put in his usual shift in defensively.
Was taken off just after the hour mark after being unable to convert his only chance of the game when put through by Henderson.
Missed the creativity and foil of Salah.
Sadio Mane – 6.5
Managed to get into some good positions but was unable to finish a couple of chances which were probably the game’s best.
His first saw him knock a shot over the bar after stretching to reach it, and his second rebounded off the post after a good first touch to create the chance in the first place.
Starting XI Average Rating: 6.2
Danny Ings (on for Firmino, 62′) – 6.5
A nice touch to win the ball back and find a player in space had the Kop singing his name.
Made a good impression and had a couple of headed chances on goal, the second of which was particularly well saved by Iker Casillas.
Mohamed Salah (on for Mane, 74′) – N/A
Showed his class with a great first touch immediately after coming on.
Was a level above the other players on the pitch, but was there for a short run-out rather than to be a game-changer.
Ragnar Klavan (on for Can 80′) – N/A
Joined in for the last 10 minutes as Klopp switched to a back three.
Jurgen Klopp – 7
Some rotation which aimed to keep some kind of momentum in a game which was difficult for different reasons.
His team are through to the next round of the competition with minimal fuss.
Even though this particular game wasn’t the Liverpool seen it recent games, it didn’t need to be.