Liverpool are in the midst of (what feels like) the worst run of form in the history of human soccer.
Even better, they draw a very difficult RB Leipzig side for their Champions League Round of 16 match-up.
Jurgen Klopp goes with what, in theory, should be about his best available starting XI. We’ll know if theory becomes reality by about 5pm ET.
True story, on our #ynwa text thread, it was posited at what point would RBL score their first goal. The line was set at 4 minutes and 30 seconds. RBL hit the post and almost score–at exactly the 4:30 mark.
Liverpool dominated the first half but had a 0-0 score line to show for it. The second half though saw their chances actual get converted during a fruitful five minute stretch. Mo Salah started the scoring, and Sadio Mane followed.
Liverpool see the match out 2-0, taking a commanding lead to Anfield for leg 2.
Liverpool Starting XI vs RB Leipzig
Liverpool Player Ratings vs RB Leipzig
Jurgen Klopp (8) –
Skipper needed this one. Right line-up and subs. #ynwa, Klopp.
Alisson (8) –
Ali has meant so much to us. I’m not going to shred him for his recent form. You got this, Ali.
Having said that, DEEP. BREATHS. every time he comes off his line. Never really challenged. A clean sheet will do wonders for his confidence.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (8) –
On front-foot early. Great ball in to Salah that should’ve led to the opener. Service is on point. Great, confident, darting run in the 83rd earns a corner. Hopefully he builds on this one.
Ozan Kabak (7) –
Didn’t do much to earn the trust and faith of Klopp for another start so soon. But we’ll reserve judgement for now.
Had a strong first half. Won three tackles. Passes finding their man. Heady defending. Earns a unnecessary booking but otherwise a much better showing today.
Jordan Henderson (7) –
Seeing a ton of the ball. Very involved though not making a massive impact, but no mistakes either. A well-timed tactical foul gets him booked. But his soccer IQ is really showing off at the center-back spot with the whole field in front of him.
Andy Robertson (6.5) –
Lots of runs. Some real clever ball work. Launches one from LONG when keeper came out that almost led to Liverpool’s first in the 31st. Hard work, some service, though not as involved as he usually is.
Thiago (6) –
Please, PLEASE do not mindlessly give another foul away in or near the box. PLEASE.
Much better first half then we’ve seen from him the past few matches. Still isn’t contributing to the score sheet but today’s match a step in the right direction. Subbed off in the 71st for Ox.
Gini Wijnaldum (6) –
This one has been more about Gini chipping in defensively. Sees very little of the ball but is running everywhere providing cover.
Curtis Jones (7) –
Looks confident. Completing lots of short passes. However, it’s a long loopy ball into Mane that earns him an assist to Mane and Liverpool a 2-0 lead. Best of the midfielders today.
Mo Salah (8) –
Should’ve finished TAA’s ball in the 15th minute. Seeing lots of the ball early, very involved. Gets a very well-earned goal in the 53rd to put Liverpool up 1-0. Mo just keeps scoring despite the haters.
Good defensive work rate today too. Subbed off late. Hail King Mo.
Roberto Firmino (7) –
All over (in a good way). Finds Mane’s head with a cross that almost leads to the opener. Holding possession well, clever footwork. Gets a hockey assist with a little flick back to Jones that leads to Mane’s goal.
Comes off for Shaq in the 71st. Get Bobby some rest before the derby this weekend.
Sadio Mane (7.5) –
Poor run of form of late. Gets pocket picked early. Lacking a spark. Does get elevated well for a Firmino cross that just misses the mark. Good confidence building goal to put Liverpool up 2-0. Had lots of time to think about it and still finished. Hopefully leads to better form.
Xherdan Shaqiri (NR) – Comes on for Bobby. Interestingly, Klopp keeps him in the center forward role. No real impact.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (NR) – Comes on in the 71st for Thiago. Looks a little lost and tentative.
Neco Williams (NR) – On late for Mo to see the game out.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Could to a few. I liked what I saw from Salah tonight though. Worked his ass off on both ends of the pitch.