Liverpool endured a frustrating night in Europe as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Spartak Moscow at the Otkrytiye Arena on Tuesday
The month of September fails to bring much good news for Liverpool fans as Jurgen Klopp’s men played out another winless result on Tuesday, which extended their wait for a first away win in the UEFA Champions League since 2009.
This time though, the familiar problems didn’t present themselves as the usually fragile Liverpool defence looked the part for large parts of the match. Instead, the much revered attacking unit failed to produce the goods, despite having several chances to grab a lead on the night.
The points are shared. pic.twitter.com/BRqX9I3oJc
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 26, 2017
It was the hosts who took the lead in the match, midway through the first half as Fernando converted a long-range free-kick. But, Liverpool pulled things back soon after through Philippe Coutinho, who linked up well with Sadio Mane before producing a smart close-range finish.
But, the Reds failed to score any further goals as the frustrations mounted for Klopp and co. as the match progressed. They now sit second in Group E, two points behind Sevilla. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Loris Karius: 5/10
One player whose involvement lately has been met with a lot of questions from the Liverpool fans, Karius did little to prove his doubters wrong on Tuesday. Largely a quiet night for the German, he failed to look the part in one of the most crucial moments on the night as he was easily beaten by a Fernando free-kick.
Watch Karius from this fan angle – way too slow ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/yaeuz7t3kH
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) September 26, 2017
Other than that moment, he just had one save to make in the match. But, in the wake of a superb penalty save by Simon Mignolet on the weekend, one has to wonder why the Belgian goalkeeper continues to be kept away from the European nights.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7/10
The teenager has been highly impressive since making his senior debut earlier this year, and he continued making an impression on Tuesday as well. Rarely caught out defensively, he created a lot of impact in the final third, with his incisive passing. Nathaniel Clyne will have a hard time getting his place back once he regains fitness.
Joel Matip: 6.5/10
Didn’t have a lot to do on a night when Liverpool dominated the proceedings for large parts of the match, Matip was efficient in his display, showing calmness on the ball and negating most of the threat posed by the hosts with ease.
Dejan Lovren: 7/10
Lovren has some support in Russia at least 🔴
— Anything Liverpool (@AnythingLFC_) September 26, 2017
Another highly maligned figure at Merseyside, Lovren was a picture of composure all through the night, unlike Karius. The usual lapses in concentration were fortunately absent from his game on Tuesday, and the Croat dealt with whatever little came his way with efficiency, something Liverpool fans would hope he does on a consistent basis.
Alberto Moreno: 7/10
Like Alexander-Arnold on the opposite flank, Moreno had very little to contribute defensively, making most of his impact in the final third. As the game progressed, the Spaniard was a picture of desperation as he did his bit to get the match-winning goal, although he was caught out of position at times in the process.
Emre Can: 5/10
The unenviable award for the worst player on the night is a straight shootout between Karius and his compatriot Emre Can. Careless in possession, sloppy with his passing and uncertain off the ball, it goes without saying that the German midfielder has seen far better days.
His worst contribution on the night was yet another reckless moment when he gave the ball away in his own half which eventually led to Spartak getting the free-kick that was subsequently converted by Fernando. With Georginio Wijnaldum snapping on his heels for a start, such performance won’t do Can much favour.
Jordan Henderson: 7.5/10
The Liverpool captain continues clawing towards his best levels after recovering from the gruesome foot injury of last season. And yet again, Henderson was the best player on the pitch for the Reds as he put in an effective performance, breaking up Spartak attacks while creating several chances for the attackers.
All in all, the Englishman did everything he could to see off a positive result for his side on the night, but was not backed by a clinical performance by the men in the final third.
Philippe Coutinho: 7/10
Philippe Coutinho has been directly involved in 3 of Liverpool’s last 4 goals in all competitions:
Coutinho ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/PRsy2hGTZq
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 26, 2017
His night didn’t start off well as Coutinho recklessly gave away the free-kick that led to the opening goal. But, the Brazilian soon made up for it by scoring the equaliser for his side, combining brilliantly with Sadio Mane before finishing from the acute angle.
As the game progressed though, he struggled to get into areas that would have let him create more impact as he often drifted too wide. However, this was another performance that can see him regain the love of the Liverpool faithful.
Mohamed Salah: 6/10
Not one of his better outings, the Egyptian was brilliant whenever he was involved in building up the chances, like with Coutinho’s goal. But, Salah was disappointing with his finishing, failing to convert the few chances that came his way.
Roberto Firmino: 5.5/10
Things are going from bad to worse for Firmino, who looks like he could do with a confidence booster. The Brazilian not only seems to have lost his scoring boots, but his decision making is poor while his passing has been nothing short of sloppy. Liverpool need Firmino to be at his best, especially at a time when results are starting to get so frustrating.
Sadio Mane: 7/10
— Anything Liverpool (@AnythingLFC_) September 23, 2017
The brightest performer for the Reds in the final third, Mane was a constant threat all through his stint on the pitch as he shrugged off the initial rustiness to link up well with his teammates and getting into dangerous areas. Used his speed to good effect and left Liverpool fans bemused when he was taken off by Klopp.