Liverpool were left frustrated in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg tie as they were held to a goalless draw by Bayern Munich at Anfield.
The hosts started the game the stronger of the two sides, with Jordan Henderson set up an early chance for Mohamed Salah, only to see the Egyptian fluff his lines. But, Bayern Munich soon hit back with a chance of their own, although the opening was largely created by Joel Matip, whose poor clearance bounced of Alisson Becker’s face.
It was then Alisson’s chance to put Matip under pressure, with Kingsley Coman shooting into the side netting from the resulting opening. The first half though, ended with Liverpool on top, with Sadio Mane, Salah and Matip coming close for them.
Post the half-time break, chances came few and far between, with Salah continuing to frustrate. On the opposite end, Serge Gnabry fired over the crossbar as Bayern struggled to conjure up the meaningful openings. But, just like the first half, the second period ended with the best chance falling to Liverpool once again.
Mane came close to finding the back of the net this time too, only to see Manuel Neuer thwart him with a solid stop. The goalless draw leaves the Round of 16 tie open, with everything to play for in the second leg at Allianz Arena next month. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 6/10
A largely quiet night when he did not have many saves to make apart from a stop from point-blank range to deny Robert Lewandowski. But, it was still a game to forget for Alisson, who disappointed with his lax attitude on the ball, coming off as a tad bit overconfident when he put Joel Matip under pressure as well as with his touches.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6/10
An underwhelming performance from Alexander-Arnold, who did have some promising moments but was quite clearly far from his best. Apart from one dangerous ball to Salah, there was not much to talk about of the Englishman, who even switched flanks with Andrew Robertson towards the end of the first half.
– @_fabinhotavares vs Bayern Munich
2/5 aerial duels
Wasn’t dribbled past
Pocketed Lewandowksi 👌🏻 pic.twitter.com/NxYdkHb00E
— LFC Stats (@LFCData) February 19, 2019
Liverpool’s defensive crisis meant that Fabinho had to fill in as a makeshift centre-back once again. Given the task to mark the dangerous Lewandowski, the Brazilian produced an accomplished showing, barely giving the Polish striker an inch. Has become such an important figure after the slow start to his Liverpool stint.
Joel Matip: 6/10
Matip, like Fabinho was quite solid for the most part. But, his rating has been docked due to a few hairy moments that could have cost Liverpool dearly. Made a poor attempt at a clearance that did not end in a goal due to an instinctive stop by Alisson, who also sold the Cameroonian short a few minutes later. Came close to score just moments before half-time, and should have done better.
Andrew Robertson: 5/10
Robertson has been Mr. Reliable for Liverpool this season. But, his performance was Tuesday was uncharacteristically poor. Perhaps, it was the pressure of dealing with the dual threat posed by Serge Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich, but Robertson was not himself on either end of the pitch, with his end product leaving a lot to be desired. Hopefully, a rare blip.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 8/10
From Mr. Reliable to Mr. Consistent. Wijnaldum, unlike Robertson, was in his elements on the night, driving the Reds forward from the midfield, but his drive was not always met with the right finishing touches. Tailed off towards the end of the game, but the minutes have been racking up for him.
Jordan Henderson: 9/10
Jordan Henderson won four tackles and recovered possession eight times in total against Bayern, both more than any other Liverpool player on the pitch.
Cleaning up in central midfield. 🧽 pic.twitter.com/QznpM7bNsX
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 19, 2019
The Man of the Match. There was just no stopping Henderson on Tuesday, with the Liverpool captain a colossal figure on the defensive front – a major reason why Bayern could not thread together attacking moves on a consistent basis. No Reds player won the ball more than the Englishman – a staggering eight times.
Moved the ball forward with purpose and a pass early on should have met with a better finishing touch from Salah. Just another accomplished performance in a solid season.
Naby Keita: 7/10
Another game that showed that Keita’s stock is growing. The Guinean cut a confident figure in the middle of the park, even trying his luck with an overhead effort. More impressively, he had a 100 per cent success rate with tackles (3/3) and dribbles (4/4). Finally looking every bit the money Liverpool paid for him.
Mohamed Salah: 5/10
It just wasn’t to be for Liverpool’s top scorer against Bayern Munich, with the Egyptian spurning two glorious opportunities to score in the first half. Was stopped in his tracks whenever he looked to cut in, with David Alaba not giving him an inch. Ought to do better in such games.
Roberto Firmino: 6/10
Chalked off as a major doubt ahead of the game due to illness, Firmino made himself available to start but blew hot and cold on the night. While his link-up and hold-up play looked on point, his movement did not always create the space as he usually does. Created one good chance for Matip, only to see the Cameroonian miss his header.
Sadio Mane: 6/10
The brightest spark for Liverpool in the final third, Mane had the best chances to break the deadlock for his side. Would count himself unlucky to not score late on in the game, with Manuel Neuer producing a terrific save. Looked dangerous otherwise, although he could not get on the ball as much as he would have liked.
James Milner: N/A
On for Keita in the 76th minute, Milner brought a sense of calm. But, Klopp would have liked the veteran midfielder to assert himself more, although he was key in creating the late chance for Mane, owing to his link-up with Robertson.
Divock Origi: N/A
Introduced in place of Firmino, Origi was not involved much, even though he had plenty of time to make a minor difference.