Champions League group stage highlights

Six-time winners Liverpool have come out of their Champions League group shaped for a run in this year’s competition.

Jurgen Klopp’s men topped Group D with 13 points with Atalanta joining them in the next round. The Reds secured qualification for the next round with a game to spare after beating Ajax on matchday five.

Interestingly, Liverpool came into this group as favourites to advance, however, that came before the club’s injury crisis. Those injuries saw Klopp’s side line up for matchday one without Virgil Van Dijk, who suffered an injury just four days previous. Also, Joe Gomez only managed to play three games before he suffered his injury as well. This left the Liverpool boss without his centre-back partnership for the whole group.

However, the Reds would only go on to lose one game in the group which was a 2-0 defeat at home to Atalanta. Scoring goals was not a problem for Liverpool either as they managed an average of 1.66 goals a game. They only failed to score once during the whole group.

So with the group stage firmly behind the club, what have been the top three highlights of the clubs campaign so far?

Diogo Jota masterclass vs Atalanta 

Liverpool travelled to Italy to play in what looked on paper their most difficult away game of the group. The Italian side have built a reputation for scoring goals over the last 12 months in both the league and Champions League. However, it was a Diogo Jota who stole the headlines.

Jota had Liverpool’s best individual performance of the group stage. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORTS.

The Portuguese attacker was selected to lead the line for the first time since his move from Wolves. Impressively, the 24-year old looked like he had been a Liverpool striker for years with his performance. He showed composure in every goal, especially his first in which saw him calmly dink the ball over the rushing keeper. That performance has called for Jota to start as the leading man by a large section of the Liverpool fan base.

Salah overtakes Gerrard’s goal record

Ever since Mohamed Salah arrived at Anfield he has broken record after record thanks to his goal-scoring ability. He added another record to his list last night after scoring in the 1-1-1 draw away at FC Midtjylland.

That goal saw Salah overtake Steven Gerrard as Liverpool’s all-time Champions League goal scorer. It took Salah just 55 seconds to score the goal which in itself is another record for Liverpool’s quickest goal in the competition. It is hard to believe that he has broken this record after only three and a half campaigns at Liverpool. Salah has hit the ground running this season and is key to this side going all the way to number seven.

Young talent gets invaluable game time 

If there is one plus to the club’s injury crisis it has been how the young players have stepped up. Curtis Jones and Neco Williams who are the most experienced of the academy graduates played a huge part in this group campaign.

However, Rhys Williams, Nat Philips, Caoimhin Kelleher, Leighton Clarkson and Billy Koumetio all managed to take to the field for the Reds. Klopp was forced to trust his younger players more than he would have expected, however, the showed they can be trusted.

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