Liverpool and Bayern Munich played out a goalless draw in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at Anfield, leaving everything to be played for at the Allianz Arena in three weeks’ time.
It was a game played on a knife edge with both teams not wanting to make a mistake, both in and out of possession. The visitors started the game brightly by having the ball and trying to slow things down as much as they could.
Liverpool pressed high but the Bayern centre-backs were cool with the ball at their feet and rarely got caught. The best chance of the first half fell to Sadio Mane, when a deflected shot fell into the path of the Senegalese international. With only Manuel Neuer to beat, the attacker couldn’t connect with the ball properly.
The Bavarians had their moments as Serge Gnabry won a few exchanges against Andy Robertson.
In the second half, Niko Kovac’s men were more content in playing this game out without conceding and nullified the threats of their opponents. Liverpool couldn’t do much to bring something extra to their game.
At the end of the day, a 0-0 draw won’t disappoint either of the teams.
Here’s how we rated the Liverpool players’ performances.
Alisson - 6
Took chances with the ball at his feet at the beginning but learnt quickly. Made one good stop in the first half.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - 7
The youngster did well against Kingsley Coman and got forward well to support the attacks.
Joel Matip - 7
He was a leader of a makeshift centre-back partnership and the Cameroonian international did well to nullify Robert Lewandowski. Could have scored from the edge of the box if he had shown more composure.
Fabinho - 8
One great tackle to stop the Bayern striker in the box and read everything superbly. Considering he is not a centre-back, that was a fantastic performance.
Andy Robertson - 6
Struggled to live with the trickery and pace of Gnabry in the first half, but got better in the second.
Jordan Henderson - 9
The captain did a proper defensive midfielder’s job by positioning himself in the right spaces, pressing at the right time and winning so many duels. Booked in the second half for a foul on Javi Martinez.
Naby Keita - 7
In the first half, Keita showed glimpses of quality in midfield on and off the ball. Struggled a bit after the break. Subbed off for James Milner.
Georginio Wijnaldum - 7
The Dutchman did well in pressing and making good use of the ball in midfield. However, the creative part was lacking when trying to link up with the attackers.
Sadio Mane - 6
Missed a great chance in the first half and was brave to head a Robertson cross towards goal in the second half, but Neuer made the save. All in all, he was well marshalled by Joshua Kimmich.
Roberto Firmino - 6
The Brazilian came over his illness to start and was very active in the first half. The rainy weather and illness started to catch up in the second half. Subbed off for Divock Origi.
Mohamed Salah - 5
Had scraps to work with and couldn’t really test Neuer often enough.
(SUB) James Milner - 6
Came on to solidify the midfield and provide more protection to Robertson. The veteran did that.
(SUB) Divock Origi - 5
Tried his best to conjure something up front but it was not to be.