Champions League nights are back at Anfield. After two legs of madness, constant attacking and questionable defending from both sides, Liverpool came out on top fairly comfortably, winning 6-3 on aggregate.
Here are my player ratings for the second leg of the tie, which Liverpool won 4-2:
Simon Mignolet – 5
Not Mignolet’s best night, although he didn’t do too much drastically wrong. Felt he could have positioned himself a bit better for the first goal and he was fairly unconvincing at times. Great composure to deal with a tricky Jordan Henderson back pass early doors.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6
Some lovely pieces of play from Trent going forward, he brings a tremendous amount of quality on the ball for a player of that age. Still not sure he’s a right-back though, he was good defensively at times and others, it looked like Serge Gnabry had the beating of him. Pretty decent overall.
Joel Matip – 8
I’m firmly in the skeptical camp when it comes to Matip but thought he was super tonight. Made defending look easy. Strolled it.
Dejan Lovren – 4
A very poor performance from Lovren and I’m not one to blame him for everything like some of our fans seem to enjoy doing. He gives the ball away for the first goal and is beaten in the air for the second albeit by a very good cross and header. Let’s hope he’s got the mistakes out of the way ahead of Sunday.
Alberto Moreno – 7
Seems to be developing a great understanding on the left hand side with Sadio Mané. Got forward really well and always offered an option in attack. Solid enough defensively bar one lapse near the end. Doesn’t bring as much final ball quality as Andy Robertson but we look like we have a couple of good options in that position now.
Jordan Henderson – 7
A Much improved performance from the captain tonight. Picked up second balls in midfield well and his passing was much better. Unselfish for the fourth goal when the temptation to go alone must have been there given he doesn’t score many.
Gini Wijnaldum – 7
Like Henderson, an improved performance. Gini has probably been our worst performer so far this season but showed some great touches and intelligence in midfield. He seems suited to more open games when teams perhaps need to score against us and was unlucky on a couple of occasions not to get on the scoresheet himself.
Emre Can – 8
Rested on Saturday with this game in mind and you could see why. Offered another dimension going forward and was inches away from a first half hat trick
Sadio Mané – 8
A terrific performance from our best player. Will destroy defenders one-on-one and has the intelligence and skill to create for others when they double up on him. I would have probably taken him off earlier. He seemed to irritate Hoffenheim players and fans for having his calf stamped on. Played within himself in the second half, saving himself for the weekend and from injury. What a player!
Mo Salah – 7
Frightened the life out of the German side with his speed, was good in possession and deserved his goal. Love how he always follows shots in, he will score plenty of tap-ins. Easy to forget that in a disappointing window, this guy is a terrific acquisition.
Roberto Firmino – 9.5
Saving the best until last. Man of the match by a country mile. Ran the game tonight and was a class above anyone else on the pitch. In certain games, you feel an out-and-out number nine would benefit the side but nights like that remind you of how good a footballer he is. Wouldn’t normally give such a high rating but I can barely remember a single thing he did that wasn’t pure class. Loses half a point for the celebration…