Liverpool bounced back to winning ways with a thrilling late 3-2 victory over Newcastle on Saturday night, with a mix in performances on show.
Despite the physical and mental toll of their European midweek exertions, Jurgen Klopp‘s team once again dug deep to find another three points domestically.
It means the Reds’ season effectively comes down to a 24-hour period, as they’ll hope both City drop points that night and they overcome Barcelona themselves on Tuesday in the Champions League semi-final second leg.
The league title possibility remains alive despite changes in personnel and another significant injury, this time with Salah leaving the pitch in the second half.
Neither impressed, with Lovren (5.2) earning the lowest score on the night and receiving a lowly four out of 10 ratings from two outlets. Sturridge (5.5) didn’t fare much better, but was praised by Andy Robertson for his work rate, particularly late on.
Four players scored an eight rating across different publications, but all were defensive players: the three remaining members of the back four, and Fabinho in holding midfield.
Robertson (7.1) himself was hailed by the Mirror‘s Simon Bird for a “cracking left-back performance,” while the Echo‘s Ian Doyle said Fabinho (6.8) had to get through “plenty of fire-fighting,” was “overworked” and “put in such a shift” when moved into the defensive line late on.
Oddly, Fabinho‘s big display wasn’t noted by all, with three outlets awarding him just a six for his 90 minutes.
One of those was an-best half-hearted ratings from the Independent‘s Tom Kershaw, who included gradings for “Mohaed Salah” and “Gigi Wijnaldum” and felt Lovren’s performance was on par with those of Robertson and Fabinho.
In attack, Mo Salah (7.1) scored his 22nd league goal of the season before departing with a head injury.
Anfield Index praised his “sensationally taken goal” and TIA’s own Joel Rabinowitz echoed the hopes of many fans that Salah can recover to play another part this season.
There are once again concerns in Liverpool’s engine room, though, where Wijnaldum (6.0) and Henderson (6.0) seem to be lacking consistency at a crucial time.
Rabinowitz says the Dutchman has had a “challenging few days” and “visibly tired” before being subbed off, while skipper Henderson was “on the periphery” for Doyle.
With Roberto Firmino out of the second leg against Barcelona and Naby Keita out for the season, at least one of the Reds’ midfield line is going to have to step up in a big way if Liverpool are to overcome a three-goal deficit and spectacularly find a route to the Champions League final.