Liverpool 1-0 Napoli: Player Ratings – What the media and statistics say

12 December 2018

Mohamed Salah changed the game, Alisson saved it and a conservative midfield defied expectations as Liverpool beat Napoli 1-0 in the Champions League.


The Reds have reached the last 16 of Europe’s top-tier tournament for the second consecutive season, after returning to the competition under Jurgen Klopp last year.

They certainly made it difficult for themselves, needing victory over Napoli to ensure progress, but in a rampant Anfield atmosphere Liverpool were able to secure the result they required.

It came courtesy of a solitary, brilliant goal from Salah in the first half and a big save from Alisson at the death, after a slew of missed opportunities in between.

Napoli rarely troubled Alisson until his stoppage-time stop, though, and this was courtesy of a strong all-round display from Klopp’s side, including from the midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner.

But what did journalists, fans and statisticians make of Liverpool’s battling victory?

Below we compare our ratings with those from the Liverpool Echo, the Mirror, Sky Sports, ESPN, Anfield Index, FotMob and the This is Anfield readers:

Speaking after the game, Milner highlighted the influence of Salah (8.4), describing him as “a top-class, world-class player,” while hailing Alisson‘s (8.6) save as “unbelievable,” and it is no surprise they are the highest-rated duo.

Virgil van Dijk (8.0) is not far behind, though, after yet another phenomenal display that saw him just outshine the imperious Kalidou Koulibaly at the other end of the pitch.

Wijnaldum (7.6) and Andy Robertson (7.7) also averaged impressive ratings, as did Joel Matip (7.4, who has stepped up to the task following Joe Gomez‘s leg injury.

“Bypassed too much in the first half, but brilliant in the second, linking midfield and attack. Influential towards the end,” the Liverpool Echo‘s Kristian Walsh said of Wijnaldum.

Milner (7.2), Henderson (7.1) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (7.1) were also strong, but Roberto Firmino (6.8) and particularly Sadio Mane (6.2) struggled compared to their team-mates.

“[Mane] found himself on the end of numerous golden opportunities, but was unable to take any of them due to some rash finishing and a lack of composure in key moments,” concluded This is Anfield’s Joel Rabinowitz.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Statistically, Alexander-Arnold, Milner and Salah were the standouts, with much of the game going through the right-hand side and the vice-captain producing an all-action display fitting of the occasion.

Wijnaldum fared considerably worse, however, despite a clearly positive showing, with it difficult to quantify his influence in changing the landscape of the game with his movement.

Another whose FotMob rating contrasted starkly with those elsewhere was Alisson, who was given at least an eight-out-of-10 by all six publications, but only a 7.2 from the analysts.

This suggests his assessment is largely based on that one, defining moment—and rightly so—while statistics can’t take this into account overall.

There is little denying how important Alisson was on Tuesday night, and he can make another big statement when he comes up against David De Gea in this weekend’s must-win Premier League clash at home to Man United.

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