Liverpool were woeful as they lost 2-0 to Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League, with not a single Reds player coming away with any credit.
Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Liverpool
Champions League Group Stage (4), Rajko Mitic Stadium
November 6, 2018
Goals: Pavkov 22′, 29′
Alisson (out of 10) – 5.5
The Brazilian has started all but one game this season, so there was no surprise to him involved at the Marakana.
It was one of his least convincing displays for his new club, though, and he had to do better for Milan Pavkov’s second goal on the night.
Otherwise untested, but the damage was done by that point.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 4.5
Alexander-Arnold has not enjoyed his best form of late and that continued in Belgrade.
He was loose on the ball, unconvincing defensively and looked heavy-legged, also offering little going forward.
He is only 20 and bad runs of form will always happen from time to time, but he must do better. Replaced by Joe Gomez at half-time.
Joel Matip – 5
Matip earned just his third start of the campaign—his first in the Champions League—in what was a great opportunity to shine.
He failed that test, however, not using his giant frame to its best possible advantage and never looking authoritative.
One limp attempt at a late attacking header epitomised his input.
Virgil van Dijk – 5.5
Liverpool’s monstrous centre-back wasn’t his usual self on Tuesday, skewing a few clearances and proving too lackadaisical.
He won plenty of balls in air, and there were far more culpable individuals, but he was a long way from his world-class best.
Not good in the lead-up to the opening goal.
Andy Robertson – 5.5
The Scot was back to somewhere near his best at Arsenal but he struggled to make an impact against Red Star.
One superb early pass played in Sadio Mane down the left channel, but like so many of his team-mates, he conceded possession too easily and was wasteful in possession.
Isn’t quite flying forward in the same manner as last season.
Gini Wijnaldum – 4.5
It was a completely anonymous showing, sadly, bringing back horrible memories of the quiet away performances that used to come along all too regularly.
He was part of a midfield that got completely overrun in the first half and it was tough to find a positive in his game, even though he improved mildly after the interval.
James Milner – 4.5
Milner skippered the Reds in Belgrade but this was one of his worst nights for a very long time.
He lost the ball cheaply for the second goal, summing up his sloppy performance, and he was one of many who looked leggy.
Did make some decent runs into the box as the minutes ticked by, but his final ball was not good enough.
Adam Lallana – 5
The 30-year-old was again a shadow of the player who once impressed for Liverpool; one-dimensional and ineffective.
Despite some trademark silky touches he was miles off the pace, further suggesting his days are numbered at Liverpool long-term.
Aesthetically pleasing but ultimately has little to no substance—he gets slightly more than his midfield team-mates for at least showing some creativity.
Mohamed Salah – 5
Liverpool’s Egyptian superstar was a peripheral figure for the majority of the evening, even though he tried his best to make things happen.
Red Star doubled up on him, which is always going to be a challenge, but his touch and end product just weren’t up to scratch.
One attempt to score from a corner was selfish but he did come closest to scoring, hitting the post and drawing a strong save from Milan Borjan late on. Last season feels a long time ago now.
Sadio Mane – 5.5
Mane was the Reds’ best player, which really isn’t saying much at all. He certainly doesn’t deserve a medal for that accolade.
The Senegalese did thread some nice passes into dangerous areas and looked a threat, but if he wasn’t falling over his touch was evading him.
Can be an ugly player to watch when he isn’t firing.
Daniel Sturridge – 3
Sturridge’s most recent start came at Huddersfield Town on October 20, but on this evidence it will be a long time before he starts again.
The striker endured an absolutely woeful 45 minutes, getting caught lazily offside twice, missing a sitter and greedily not passing to Lallana when in a great position.
Substituted at half-time and rightly so.
Starting XI Average Rating – 4.86
Roberto Firmino (on for Sturridge, 46′) – 6
Liverpool’s No. 9 made a bit of a difference compared to Sturridge, but still didn’t do much by his high standards.
Joe Gomez (on for Alexander-Arnold, 46′) – 5.5
Different offer much attacking threat and even produced a few misplaced passes.
Divock Origi (on for Lallana, 79′) – 5.5
Made no impact after making his first appearance of the season.
Subs not used: Mignolet, Moreno, Fabinho, Keita
Jurgen Klopp – 4
Klopp made three changes to the team that drew at Arsenal but it didn’t make too much sense and backfired in grim fashion.
Matip, Lallana and Sturridge were all nowhere near good enough, and represent a different time when the Reds were a lesser team.
The manager may have made substitutions at the break, but not bringing on Naby Keita was a head-scratcher, considering how bad the midfield were.
A bad evening for the players, but an equally poor one for Klopp.