Adrian was the catalyst of the late capitulation as Liverpool were booted out of the UEFA Champions League by Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Liverpool thoroughly dominated the contest, having the bulk of the possession while taking as many as 34 shots on goal. One of these shots ended with the opening goal of the game, as Georginio Wijnaldum headed in from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross to score the only goal in regulation time.
Liverpool then took a decisive lead early in extra time through Roberto Firmino before a late capitulation ended their Champions League campaign. Adrian was the enabler of this defeat as Marcos Llorente scored twice before Alvaro Morata completed the Reds’ misery to send the holders packing. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Quite simply abysmal, to say the least. Adrian has had some noteworthy displays in the absence of Alisson Becker this season. However, this performance would have left Liverpool fans yearning for the Brazilian’s return. The Spaniard did not have a great deal to do in the game, with Liverpool dominating the proceedings.
When it came to the crunch time, though, Adrian inexplicably gifted the ball to Atletico Madrid before Marcos Llorente scored the visitors’ first. Should have done better when dealing with Alvaro Morata’s effort as well. Liverpool fans would now hope Adrian can return to the form he showed in the early season ahead of the Merseyside derby.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6/10
Wednesday was a relentless pursuit of creating goalscoring opportunities for Alexander-Arnold, who had a staggering 165 touches on the ball and attempted as many as 25 crosses. However, while he made 7 key passes, only 5 of his crosses reached the desire target, while he lost possession an alarming 41 times. A game of hits and misses.
Joe Gomez: 6/10
Making his 100th appearance for Liverpool, Gomez enjoyed a decent outing for the most part, shutting off the threat of Joao Felix rather well. However, much like the rest of the Liverpool defence, he failed to win the key moments late on, giving Llorente too much space for his second.
Virgil van Dijk: 5/10
Virgil van Dijk had the task to negate the threat of the combative Diego Costa, which he did with elan. Liverpool’s defensive leader won as many as 11 duels, but when it came to keeping a solid front late on, he faltered, having been caught out of position when Atletico Madrid scored the decisive second goal.
Andrew Robertson: 5/10
Birthday boy Robertson was a purposeful figure for much of the evening, having been given the license to add to the bodies in the final third. However, smashing a header against the woodwork from point-blank range was an unforgivable lapse while he, too, was caught out of position for the second Atletico Madrid goal, ultimately selling Adrian short.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 8/10
Quite easily, Liverpool’s best player on the night. Oxlade-Chamberlain was a bundle of energy all throughout and showed a lot of desire to win the ball high up the pitch. Delivered an inch-perfect cross for Georginio Wijnaldum to head from for his side’s first. Oxlade-Chamberlain was also thwarted a couple of times by the irrepressible Jan Oblak. A surprising first substitution.
Jordan Henderson: 6/10
Back into the side after recovering from his hamstring injury, Henderson was key in exerting the hosts’ control on the game for the most part. The Liverpool captain kept things simple, linking up with the full-backs, who shouldered much of the creative responsibility. Energy levels dropped at a high rate late on, and he was one of those culpable for the second Atletico Madrid goal.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 8/10
4 – Four of Georginio Wijnaldum’s five goals in the Champions League have come in the knockout rounds of the competition, scoring three headed goals in the process. Decisive. pic.twitter.com/JgS9cdjtEp
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 11, 2020
Like Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum can hold his head up high despite being part of the defeated side. Typically industrious in the middle of the park, the Dutchman worked hard to retain the ball, winning 14 duels in all. Wijnaldum made as many as 4 key passes on the night, one of which saw him create Roberto Firmino’s goal. Sacrificed for Divock Origi as Liverpool sought a late leveller.
Mohamed Salah: 5/10
Salah was one of the brightest sparks on the pitch for Liverpool over the course of the game, but it does not amount for much if there is little end product to back it up. The Egyptian had a couple of shots saved, but many of his efforts were wayward while he lost the ball 34 times. Much more is expected from a two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner.
Roberto Firmino: 7/10
For much of the game, it looked like Firmino’s intriguing Anfield drought would continue on the night. The Brazilian, though, applied the finishing touches at long last, showing good composure to score from the rebound after his initial effort from Wijnaldum’s pass struck the upright. Otherwise, it was a typically busy night for the Brazilian off the ball.
Sadio Mane: 5/10
Much like Salah, Mane needed to do better when he had the chances coming his way. Quite often, the Senegalese looked to go for the more extravagant effort rather than keep things simple and try to find the target. Just one shot on target is a rather underwhelming return while his passing rate was a dreadful 64 percent. Copping less flak than he should for a wasteful performance.
James Milner: 5/10
On for Oxlade-Chamberlain, Milner was a lively presence in midfield for Liverpool, but should have done better with a chance inside the box late on. Worked hard off the ball, as is usually the case with the Liverpool vice-captain.
Divock Origi: N/A
Given 15 minutes to do an Origi special, it was not to be for the Belgian, who has produced some brilliant moments for Liverpool in the last one year. He did have his chance, though, only to pull his shot wide from close range.
Replacing a tired Henderson, Fabinho barely made an impact.
Takumi Minamino: N/A
A late introduction, Minamino hardly got a touch on the ball.