Liverpool trounced Crvena Zvezda 4-0 at Anfield on Wednesday, courtesy of a Mohamed Salah double, alongside strikes from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
Liverpool returned to winning ways in the UEFA Champions League, as they thrashed Serbian heavyweights Crvena Zvezda 4-0 in their third Group C encounter at home on Wednesday.
After losing to Napoli earlier this month, Jurgen Klopp’s men needed three points to remain in contention to top the group. And, Roberto Firmino fired them ahead in the first half, applying the finishing touches on a fine cutback from Andrew Robertson in the 20th minute.
Salah then doubled the home side’s lead on the stroke of half-time after being played in by Xherdan Shaqiri, before adding his second from the penalty spot six minutes into the second half, after Sadio Mane was adjudged to have been fouled. The Senegalese superstar added the fourth goal in the 80th minute, having missed a penalty minutes before.
With Napoli drawing 2-2 against Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool’s win catapulted them to the top spot in Group C, with six points from three games – a point ahead of the Italians who sit second.
Full-time at Anfield…
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 24, 2018
Here’s how the Liverpool stars fared on the night at Anfield.
Alisson Becker: 6/10
A cakewalk for the Brazilian international. Had very little to do in goal, with Crvena Zvezda hardly threatening going forward. Distributed well from the back, helping launch counter attacks with his quick throws on a number of occasions. His seventh clean sheet in 12 games for Liverpool.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6.5/10
Back into the starting XI after being left out for the last two matches, the England international was solid if not spectacular on his return. Defended well, kept things simple. Wasn’t very adventurous going forward in the first half but that changed after the break. His free-kick was handled in the box leading to the Reds’ second penalty.
Joe Gomez: 7.5/10
Showed his strength and burst of pace in a couple of duels to keep the visitors at bay. Was alert to whatever the Serbian outfit threw at him. Strode out with the ball confidently and was effective with his distribution from the back. Another solid display from the youngster.
Virgil van Dijk: 7.5/10
Handed the captain’s armband for the game, the Netherlands international hardly had to break a sweat on the night. Dealt with everything that came his way, which wasn’t much, with great ease. As usual, his passing out from the back was crisp and accurate.
Andrew Robertson: 7.5/10
The Scotsman was a threat all night with his constant forward forays down the left flank. Had little to do defensively, which afforded him the time and the freedom to join up in attack at every possible occasion. Provided the assist for the opener with a brilliant cutback and could have scored one himself. Withdrawn late on for Alberto Moreno.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 7.5/10
The Dutchman has been one of Liverpool’s most consistent performers this term and that did not change on Wednesday night. Showed great energy in the engine room, kept things ticking over with neat passes, offered cover defensively when needed. A strong and efficient showing.
The summer signing was handed a rare start in the absence of captain Jordan Henderson and he took his opportunity with both hands. After a slightly nervy start, the Brazilian grew into the game and stamped his authority in the middle of the park with some crunching tackles and eye-catching passes. A dominant display from the former AS Monaco man.
Xherdan Shaqiri: 9/10
Played a beautiful lobbed pass for Salah, which the Egyptian failed to finish. Was then involved heavily in the opener, winning the ball in the middle, before playing in Robertson with an inch-perfect through ball, who in turn set Firmino up. Then got the assist for the second goal as well, with another brilliant pass.
Drove forward with pace and purpose and wasn’t shy in doing his defensive duties as well. Grew visibly tired in the second period and was taken off to a well-deserved standing ovation in the 68th minute.
Roberto Firmino: 7.5/10
Exceptional work rate off the ball from the Brazilian international, who was deployed in the No. 10 role by Klopp. Harried and hassled the opponents each time Liverpool were not in possession and showed great composure to open the scoring.
Sadio Mane: 7/10
Back into the starting XI, the Senegalese speedster was a threat on the counter with his pace, but lacked the end product at times. Won the penalty that Salah converted to make it 2-0, but then failed to convert from the spot. Did redeem himself by stabbing home the fourth, but was a bit wasteful on his return.
Mohamed Salah: 8/10
The Egyptian was a threat all night but squandered a couple of great opportunities in the first period before he eventually found the back of the net on the verge of half-time with a classy finish. Made no mistake from the penalty spot in the second period to score his 50th goal for Liverpool. Still not at his best, but three goals in two games will have done his confidence a world of good.
Adam Lallana: 6.5/10
Came on to replace Shaqiri a little while after the hour-mark. Looked sharper than he did against Huddersfield Town at the weekend. Had a chance to score late on, but was denied by some dogged defending by the visitors.
Daniel Sturridge: 7/10
Replaced Salah in the 73rd minute. Got the assist for Mane’s goal and could have scored one himself.
Alberto Moreno: N/A
Came on for Robertson with less than ten minutes left on the clock.