HEAVY squad rotation today as Liverpool face Danish Superliga champs Midtjylland.
Jurgen Klopp rotates out his entire front 3 and most of the regulars in midfield too. That’s a good sign of how far Liverpool have come in building competent squad depth.
How will they fare?
Pretty bad! That was as poor and lifeless of a first-half display possibly ever under Klopp. Liverpool and their ZERO SHOTS ON TARGET take it 0-0 into the half.
The lads woke up in the second half. Xherdan Shaqiri shined. Diogo Jota scored Liverpool’s 10,000th goal of all-time. And Mo Salah buried a well-earned pk in stoppage.
Liverpool go top of the group with 6 points. With Atalanta and Ajax drawing, the Reds are in pole position in this group.
Credit to Midtjylland. They came to play and had a good, confident showing.
Liverpool starting XI vs Midtjylland
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (6) –
The skipper is putting a lot of trust in his bench today. In the first half, it’s not paying off. Klopp rightly subs off Taki and Big Div early, bringing in Salah and Mane. The game finally starts tilting Liverpool’s way. Still, an uninspired showing until late has to have Klopp worried.
Alisson (8) –
Big save in the 3rd minute to keep it scoreless. Big attempt at the end to keep a clean sheet. Thank gawd for Ali.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (7) –
So-so early. Second half is more lively. Makes a well-timed run off a smart Shaq pass to assist Jota’s opener. Should’ve had a second assist but Bobby jacked up his shot. Grew into the game.
Fabinho (5) –
Aaaack. Suffers an injury and comes out after 30 minutes. Not good.
Joe Gomez (6.5) –
Starting to look cozy again patrolling center-back. Liverpool’s best player in the first half, but that doesn’t say much. It’s like being the prettiest girl on Isle of Man. Really strong defending in second half — in 67th minute powers a dispossession. However, gets beat like a drum in the closing minute and almost causes Liverpool to draw.
Andy Robertson (6) –
A steady but not spectacular Robbo showing today.
Jordan Henderson (5) –
Most unimpressive display from Hendo in a year. Comes off at half. Not a good sign and Henderson isn’t locked in.
James Milner (6) –
Basically did as Gini does–all the grinding dirty work. Nothing flashy but no mistakes either.
Xherdan Shaqiri (7.5) –
Big Shaq is back! And playing the #10 role, interestingly. Quiet first half. Second half comes alive with some smart passes and hockey assists the opener. Feeling more confident as game goes, using skill and penetrating dribbles. Let’s see more of second-half Shaq.
Diogo Jota (7.5) –
Very much a Klopp player in the way he tracks back / speeds forward. Definitely the best of the front 3 and deservedly gets the opening goal. It was also the 10,000th goal in Liverpool club history. Comes off in the 80th for Firmino.
Takumi Minamio (4) –
Klopp puts him at center-forward. Hoping for a better showing but his decision-making is off. Does almost sneak a header in the net right before HT. Subbed off in the 60th. He’ll be disappointed.
Divock Origi (4) –
Pushed out to the left wing. Not really making an impact. Comes off in the 60th.
Rhys Williams (6) – Comes on at 30 minutes for an injured Fabinho. Does nothing to stand out, good or bad.
Gini Wijnaldum (6) – Comes on for Henderson at the half. Typical Gini — all work and no play.
Sadio Mane (6) – On in the 60th during the Taki – Big Div double sub off. No real impact though attempted some darting runs.
Mo Salah (7) – On in the 60th during the Taki – Big Div double sub off. Well-earned pk. Confidently buries it.
Roberto Firmino (NR) – Comes on in the 80th for Jota. Should’ve put the game away but made a really sloppy finish. Lazy. Not good.
MAN OF THE MATCH
No clue here. Giving it to Ali. I don’t think many people realize how totally fucked Liverpool would be without him every single match coming up big when called upon.