Liverpool displayed great professionalism to beat Bayern Munich 3-1 on Wednesday night, with a few standout individuals earning praise from the media.
The Reds may not have always been at their very best on the ball at the Allianz Arena, but they pulled off a performance that outlined their growing maturity.
Defensively they were almost perfect and they ended up getting the job done without too many major panics.
In-form Sadio Mane‘s double was added to by a towering Virgil van Dijk header – Mane’s first was an undoubted Goal of the Season contender – with Joel Matip‘s first-half own goal ultimately proving meaningless.
There was one outstanding individual on the pitch in Munich: Mane (9.0).
The Senegalese is Liverpool’s best attacking player at present and his brace at the Allianz took his total to 19 goals this season.
This is Anfield’s Joanna Durkan gave him a perfect 10/10 rating, describing his first goal on the night as “nothing short of exceptional”.
Andy Hunter of the Guardian felt Mane “unnerved” a below-par Bayern outfit, while the Mirror‘s David Maddock claims the forward is “on fire” currently.
Van Dijk (8.7) was yet again masterful at the heart of the Reds’ defence, scoring the all-important second goal for good measure.
The Echo‘s Ian Doyle said the Dutchman “dominated Lewandowski from the off” and FotMob confirmed that he won four out of five duels, won three aerial battles and made as many ball recoveries.
Mohamed Salah (7.4) may still be struggling in front of goal, but that shouldn’t detract from what was a largely effective display.
Liverpool’s No.11 produced a beautiful assist for Mane’s second of the night and Durkan also highlighted his selfless off-the-ball work.
Someone not quite at their best all evening was Andy Robertson (6.5), who was culpable in the lead-up to Matip’s own goal and got booked late on, ruling him out of the quarter-final first leg.
Anfield Index’s Oliver Emmerson claimed that the Scot “won’t be a huge miss” judging on his current form, which seemed overly harsh.
Klopp’s men head to struggling Fulham on Sunday afternoon knowing that victory is both imperative and will take them back to the top of the table.