Curtis Jones was the only positive on a night to forget for Liverpool, who were handed a shock 2-0 defeat by Atalanta on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League.
It was an off night for almost the entire Liverpool side, with Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini not forced to make even one save. While the first half was an end to end affair, Atalanta had the best chance to break the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes when Robin Gosens nearly caught Alisson Becker by surprise on his near post.
Surely enough, Atalanta did grab the lead when at the hour mark, Josip Ilicic turned in Papu Gomez’s searching cross from close range. Shortly after, Liverpool were behind by two goals, as an unmarked Gosens beat Alisson from inside the box.
The second goal effectively put the game to bed, as Liverpool struggled to mount any sort of comeback. The Reds still remain perched atop Group D of the UEFA Champions League but are now looking over their shoulders, with both Atalanta and Ajax just two points behind. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 6/10
A night when Alisson barely did anything wrong, yet ended up on the losing side. The Brazilian was brilliantly aware when Robin Gosens tried to squeeze in a powerful shot into his near post. The Liverpool no. 1, though, did not really have a chance to stop either of Atalanta’s goals.
Neco Williams: 5/10
A game of hits and misses for Neco Williams. The young full-back was a constant target whenever Atalanta bombarded forward and Gosens easily won the duo’s duel. The Welshman was also quite sloppy in possession, giving the ball away in dangerous areas (and 27 times in all). His crosses did not find their target either, as he tended to overhit them.
Joel Matip: 6/10
The best of the Liverpool defenders, although that does not say much. However, Matip should be given some leeway, considering he was paired with his fourth different central defensive partner this season; and that invariably had an effect on the organisation of the backline. On an individual level, though, he was largely solid, winning 4 duels and making 4 clearances.
Rhys Williams: 6/10
Installed as Matip’s partner at the heart of the Liverpool defence, Rhys Williams had both positive and negative moments to show for. The youngster was nowhere to be seen when Gosens scored the second Atalanta goal. But, he was quite imposing in the air (3 aerial duels won) and completed 3 interceptions while being accurate when building up play from the back.
Kostas Tsimikas: 6/10
With Liverpool dominating possession for parts of the game, Tsimikas saw a lot of the ball going down the left flank. His crosses did carry some threat but were never really met by the target man. At the back, he had his hands full with Hans Hateboer and could have done a little better to react for both the goals.
Curtis Jones: 7/10
Curtis Jones vs Atalanta:
– 88 touches
– 95% pass accuracy
– 1 key pass
– 1 long ball
– 10 ground duels
– 4 tackles made
– fouled twice
Another good performance from the 19 year old 🌟 pic.twitter.com/5EaqaG5iuI
— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) November 25, 2020
The bright spark for Liverpool on a night to forget. The young midfielder showed a lot of urgency and did not let his energy levels drop, even when Atalanta overpowered Liverpool. Jones misplaced just 3 passes while creating one fine chance in the game. Also put a shift in off the ball, winning 6 duels and completing 4 tackles.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
Starting as Liverpool’s defensive midfielder once again, Wijnaldum struggled to cope with the threat of Papu Gomez, as Atalanta overran Liverpool in midfield. Kept things simple with ball at his feet, losing possession just 5 times. Needs to do better at the base of midfield.
James Milner: 6/10
Moved from right-back to midfield, Milner tried to pull the strings from the middle of the park, but did not always see his ideas come to fruition. Part of the Liverpool midfield that was overrun by Atalanta, but he might be better off playing as a right-back for now, with Liverpool in dire need of experience at the back and a position where he was so excellent last time out.
Mohamed Salah: 5/10
Back into the starting lineup after recovering from coronavirus, Salah was a part of the Liverpool attack that lacked bite on Wednesday. Having said that, the Egyptian forward was the Reds’ best outlet on the night, posing a threat whenever he found the ball at his feet. Alas, it was not to be for him against Atalanta.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Manè, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota all featured against against Atalanta tonight.
Liverpool had *0* shots on target. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/xASgn3upzr
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 25, 2020
Divock Origi: 4/10
Handed a rare start, Origi looked incredibly rusty and failed to pose any sort of threat in the final third. Always seemed to run into an Atalanta defender when he looked to make things happen. Those moments came few and far between anyway, as Origi found himself to be isolated. Just not the player to make an impact for Liverpool.
Sadio Mane: 4/10
Mane, as always, saw a lot of the ball and looked to make things happen. However, his attempts came to naught whenever he looked to take the opposition defender on, while he had a paltry pass completion rate of just 64 per cent. Mane has seen better days and will look to move on from this one quickly.
Diogo Jota: 6/10
Part of the quadruple change at the hour mark, Jota replaced Salah on the right flank. However, the Portuguese could do nothing to stem the flow of the game in Atalanta’s favour.
Fabinho initially slotted in at the base of the midfield from where he gave Liverpool slightly more control. Did some solid work off the ball, but the game was already gone by then.
Andrew Robertson: 6/10
Replacing Tsimikas, Robertson looked to whip in cross after cross to pull a goal back for Liverpool. However, apart from one chance created, Robertson could not do much of note.
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
On for the underwhelming Origi, Firmino hardly saw the ball while on the pitch, attempting a mere 14 passes.
Takumi Minamino: N/A
Not on the pitch long enough to make any sort of impact, with Atalanta already having the game in the bag.