The score line I had in mind for this and a bit of a deja-vu from last week. Again, Klopp seems to have motivated the troupes at half-time which is always an encouraging sign.
Seems to me we were playing too safe circling the ball around their compact defense in the first half. I'm willing to bet Klopp's locker room message was to encourage the team to take that extra touch, extra dribble or extra sprint coming into the second. Seems it paid off.
I'll try out a player rating list as I always enjoy reading others'.
Karius - Didn't have much to do as expected but dealt with what he was faced well. Good save on that shot from distance...feel like mignolet might have found a way to push it towards a looming Maribor player :-) Also did well to get a hand on the ball that other time Maribor managed to get pass Matip and get the ball across. 6.5
TAA - Got better as the game went on. Thought he started a little quiet and jittery but finished the game looking like a world class right back. Great cross for the second and great work keeping the pressure on Maribor in the second for us to take the game away. I look forward to seeing his continued progression and have a feeling he may just turn out to be a solid player for years. 8
Matip - Not much to say about either CBs as they weren't rarely tested. Seems like any offensive threat came through the wing and both TAA and Moreno handled those well. Had a couple shaky moments but nothing to write home about. Other than that, his main responsible was to distribute the ball to Hendo, can or TAA for them to take it forward. 6.5
Klavan - Nothing much to add, similar to Matip's game. Didn't do anything wrong and even made some attempts to bring the ball forward. One thing is for sure, he didn't trip over the ball which would not be a guarantee had Lovren started the game - 6.5
Moreno - MOTM in the first half and did not put a foot wrong all game. Kept trying to push through the stubborn defense and did all his defensive duties cleanly and promptly. Seems like he has acquired new-found confidence and.... brains :-) I've heard many say they are just waiting for one of his headless chicken moments (myself included) but that has yet to come. Keep it up Alby, it's nice to see a player rejuvenate from a tough year as he is doing - 8
Henderson - Thought he did well when he came on. Seemed more willing to push the ball forward. That being said, there was absolutely no midfield battle in this game as their 11 players were sitting around the box for 90 mins. Therefore, any compliment I give to our midfield is to be taken with a grain of salt. In his role against this opposition though, did well, pressed, covered his back-line and tried to get the game going - 7
Can - As is the case with Hendo, no midfield game meant for a free pass into their half. Thought he played with a lot of passion and, although he had a couple brain farts, did well to break through the defense. Class move and class finish. Too bad him and Hendo can't balance defensive responsibilities with offensive creativity. 7
Milner - He was my MOTM in Maribor and is my MOTM again today. Put the pressure at the start of the second which helped set up for our first. Beautiful assist for the second. Was stealing the ball on the midfield line throughout the game and always played forward. Lot's of passion and lot's of stamina for an older lad. Sure, he missed the penalty but that was also a great save. And he kept his head up and compensated the remainder of the game - 8.5
Ox - Thought he did well enough. Had some nice passes and nice vision at times. Moments of individual skills make it clear there's a more than decent player in there. My thought is that he looks like he is still getting used to the system which makes him look like he's playing his own game. I get why Klopp is taking his time introducing him as I think with patience and hard work, he can actually fit into our system really well. - 7
Salah - Played well and again shows that the passion is always at 100%. The type of player LFC needs. Got another goal, which unfortunately did not look as classy on the replay :-) However, the goals are tallying up for the Egyptian and that's not due to his finishing abilities. In fact, I still maintain his are quiet average. The thing that makes him special and so successful at scoring are his first touch, ball control, speed and offensive runs. Another typical Salah performance capped with yet another goal - 7.5
Firmino - Looked knackered by the end, didn't think it'd make it off the pitch :-) That's because he played the pressing game throughout and ran his little bollocks off. Didn't create an awful lot but did well when involved in attacking play. Another typical Firmino performance which deserved to be capped by a goal. And by the way, I'm off to watch that nutmeg on repeat once I'm done with this post. 7.5
Wini - Got injured before the game got into gear, so can't rate. Hope he'll be alright.
Danny - Didn't have much of the ball when he came on but did well with the gift he was given. Finished like a true striker. Can't ask for more from a late substitute. I've got to say that his body language following Salah's opened was a little saddening. As Klopp celebrated, you could see him on the bench with his head down. Was probably upset about not starting and, I've got to say, looks like he wont want to stick around much longer - 7
Grujic - Didn't have enough time to make a mark but was nice to see him on the anfield grass in a Champions League match.
Klopp - No complacency! I know many were asking for our youngsters to start and for experimentation but I was happy to see our lineup. This was a must win and therefore required a strong team. Though we seems to be running into walls in the first half, I was encouraged when I saw him run to the locker room at the whistle as he would need every second of those 15 minutes to pass on the second half game plan. It worked and we got a comfortable 3-0 win. Onward - 8
« Last Edit: Nov 02, 2017 12:49:32 pm by TorontoRed »