Midtjylland 1-1 Liverpool: Player Ratings

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The Reds ended their Champions League group stage with a 1-1 draw in Denmark, with debuts and a much-changed side summing up the dead-rubber nature of the game.

Midtjylland 1-1 Liverpool

Champions League Group Stage (6), MCH Arena
December 9, 2020

Goals: Scholz pen 62′; Salah 1′


Caoimhin Kelleher – 7 (out of 10)

A good near-post save in the first half and more assured handling of high balls.

Gave away and was beaten by a penalty on the hour mark, but it was a fair attempt to make a block and he was just beaten by the technique. Brilliant late save to prevent the defeat.

A fantastic week for the young Irishman, with three solid performances. He may lose his place if Alisson returns on Sunday vs. Fulham, but his future looks very bright.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7

Captained the Reds for the first time! Bit of a game to ease himself back in, didn’t overly exert himself running up and down all night.

A decent cross or two and some good one-on-one defending. Not the best set pieces.

HERNING, DENMARK - Wednesday, December 9, 2020: Liverpool's Rhys Williams tackles FC Midtjylland's Sory Kaba (R) during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between FC Midtjylland and Liverpool FC at the Herning Arena. (Pic by Lars Møller/Propaganda)

Rhys Williams – 6

Caught wandering once or twice but did well with his clearances and headed duels. Much more difficult after the break once he was alongside another rookie.

Fabinho – 8

Nice covering more than once at the back. Absolutely loves a clearance off the line, doesn’t he?!

Just played the first half and the difference in his absence was noticeable. One of the best centre backs in Europe.

Kostas Tsimikas – 8 (Man of the Match)

His most positive outing so far. Got forward frequently and early, showed his running power and willingness to pass or cross quickly.

Overhead kicks need a bit of work though! Sadly had to depart with an apparent knee twist.

HERNING, DENMARK - Wednesday, December 9, 2020: Liverpool's Leighton Clarkson during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between FC Midtjylland and Liverpool FC at the Herning Arena. (Pic by Lars Møller/Propaganda)

Leighton Clarkson – 7

Good showing on his European debut. Always free to take the ball, good passing all night, did the defensive side of things too.

Naby Keita – 7

Looked pretty smooth with his touch and turns. Rocket shot near the end of the first half probably gave the keeper a stomach ache.

Not sure he’s going to threaten the first choice midfield any time soon though.

Takumi Minamino – 7

All the bits of his game we expect now: hard running, good challenges, getting forward into good positions… but not quite always linking to good effect in the final third.

Needs a run of games if he’s to settle in as a regular option and scorer or provider of goals but he showed his instincts by netting the pretend ‘winner’ late on.

HERNING, DENMARK - Wednesday, December 9, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (C) celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between FC Midtjylland and Liverpool FC at the Herning Arena. (Pic by Lars Møller/Propaganda)

Mohamed Salah – 7

Nice early record-setting goal. Surprising he played so long on the night but clearly wanted to be out there.

Had a couple of other chances to net more goals.

Divock Origi – 5

Hurt his foot in an early challenge but it’s hard to say whether that impacted his running or not as it has been poor of late anyway.

Dreadful shot wide with his only real effort.

Diogo Jota – 6

A few counter-attacks looked dangerous with his pace but he lacked a finishing touch or a good pass, especially with one easy pass which would have put Salah away and another late on for Robertson.

Worked hard though and kept the threat on the break going.

 

Substitutes

HERNING, DENMARK - Wednesday, December 9, 2020: Liverpool's goalkeeper Jaros Vitezslav during the pre-match warm-up before the UEFA Champions League Group D match between FC Midtjylland and Liverpool FC at the Herning Arena. (Pic by Lars Møller/Propaganda)

Billy Koumetio (on for Fabinho, 46′) – 6

Good to get the debut but also shows he has a way to go before being totally ready.

Jordan Henderson (on for Keita, 62′) – 7

Brought a measure of control and talking to the team.

Andy Robertson (on for Tsimikas, 62′) – 6

Not a sub Klopp would have wanted to make but was needed in the end.

Roberto Firmino (on for Origi, 71′) – 6

Not too much involvement but some nice passes on the break.

Sadio Mane (on for Jota, 87′) – 7

Just a few minutes on the pitch. Headed an ‘assist’!

Subs not used: Adrian, Jaros, Matip, N.Williams, Wijnaldum, Jones, Cain

 

Jurgen Klopp – 7

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Depends on your point of view really – should the boss have left everyone at home and played the U13s, or not?

The answer can be seen in the difference with Fabinho on the pitch and off – play all the kids and backups and we’d have been hammered in this game, which can be more damaging to progress in the longer term.

Aside from perhaps Salah playing the 90 this was a reasonably balanced line-up to give game time, fitness, experience and keep sharpness going.

Didn’t lose and top anyway, so who cares really as long as no new injuries to the league starters?!


Player ratings definitions: 10 = Faultless | 9 = Excellent | 8 = Very Good | 7 = Good | 6 = Average | 5 = Below Par | 4 = Bad | 3 = Very Bad | 2 Awful | 1 = Surely Not

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