Only Trent Alexander-Arnold comes out of Liverpool’s pathetic 0-0 draw with Real Madrid with any kind of credit as the Reds limp out of Europe for what could be over a season.
We as Liverpool supporters could sit around and cry about how injuries have ruined our season or accept that even when we’ve had the numbers to put together a half-decent side, the lads have failed to perform.
Real Madrid defended well enough but when the front three can’t hit a barn door, it doesn’t take much to keep them out.
Mohamed Salah’s sitter in the opening minutes set the tone as chance after chance went missing, with Roberto Firmino missing two in quick succession after the break to allow Zizou’s men off the hook.
Alisson Becker: 7
The Brazilian goalkeeper had a relatively quiet night due to his side having the lion’s share of the ball in their quest to claw their way back into the tie. When he was called into action, he was world-class.
Vinicius Junior was clean through in the second half but Alisson smothered him before doing the same to Karim Benzema on the follow-up. His distribution was average but there wasn’t much room with which to work.
Andrew Robertson: 5
It’s gone slightly under the radar but Robertson was very poor…again. It might have something to do with the fact that he’s played what seems like hundreds of games this season but he looked tired, short on ideas and almost unwilling to play any early balls into the box.
Ozan Kabak: 5.5
The 20-year-old dealt well with Karim Benzema and Marcos Asensio but his distribution from the back wasn’t great and he was once again withdrawn in the second half with Fabinho slotting into the back four so that Jurgen Klopp could introduce Diogo Jota.
Nathaniel Phillips: 6
It was a decent display from Phillips as he dominated Benzema in the air all evening but he did allow the Frenchman to give him the slip twice. The first occasion saw a deflected cross hit the post.
The second occasion saw Benzema header the ball into the ground and over the bar which could have found its way into the back of the net. I’ll let the 23-year-old off the hook because I think the Real Madrid man was offside in the build-up.
He seemed to be one of the few players looking to increase the tempo in search of the all-important opening game as Liverpool ran out of time in the second half.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8
It seems bizarre that a player can get as high as 8/10 in a game that saw Liverpool limp out of the Champions League but Trent was virtually perfect.
He dictated play from right-back for the umpteenth time and should have had a hattrick of assists if only his teammates could score. I would definitely forgive the Scouser for feeling a tad p*ssed off with the players around him because, in the last couple of games, it’s felt as though he’s the only one actively trying to make a difference.
The 22-year-old was also much better up against Vinicius Junior as he kept his distance and made sure not to get within the kind of distance that the Brazilian winger can really hurt fullbacks.
The former Real Madrid player was good in the middle of the park and the only player in the centre of the pitch that actually comes through this tie with any kind of credit.
His ability to time a tackle and intercept a pass just as a dangerous attack is forming is an incredible gift.
James Milner: 6
He was excellent in the opening 30 minutes but his stamina isn’t what it was and he’s never been one to control the tempo of a game and it felt as though he was struggling to dictate play as the end of the first half approached.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5
The Dutchman will be having nightmares about the chance that fell to him in the first half which he blazed well above the bar and likely into Row Z.
Like Milner, he battled to probe the Real Madrid midfield and it’s increasingly looking as though he only adds value to Liverpool when they’re playing with space in front of them and not against a top-class European side that has settled into a low block.
Sadio Mane: 5.5
Fantastic for 20-odd minutes in the first half but once again, it seems as though coronavirus has sapped him off his energy and ability to run beyond defenders for very long.
He fed a chance to Mohamed Salah on a plate, who wasted it, to say the least.
Roberto Firmino: 5
He was superb against Aston Villa at Anfield on the weekend but his link-up play and sharpness seemed to disappear entirely against Real Madrid. It’s almost as though he was suffering from stage fright as pressure from Modric and Kroos harried him into making silly mistakes and playing safe passes.
The two chances that he spurned in the second half could have turned the whole tie and, indeed, Liverpool’s season on its head.
Mohamed Salah: 4
The Egyptian’s miss in the opening minutes of the game will be forgiven because there were still 80+ minutes remaining in the game but beyond that, he offered very little to an attack that needed the forward that has scored 28 goals this season.
With the winger supposedly agitating for a new contract, he will need to explain why he disappeared when Liverpool needed him most. His movement, touch and finishing were not that of a player that deserves £200,000/week.
The rest: 4.5
Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota were brought on in the second half as Liverpool chased the two goals they needed to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League but neither of them offered a route to goal while Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t do much better with their short cameos.