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One man takes full marks as the Reds excel in Liverpool vs Villarreal: Player ratings


Liverpool put themselves into the driving seat of their Champions League semi-final tie with a 2-0 win over a stubborn Villarreal side thanks to a pair of second half goals.

The Reds dominated the first half, but could not find a way through a solid and hard-working Villarreal side set up in typical Unai Emery fashion. The second half was different, however, and Jurgen Klopp's side found the net on four occasions (though two were ruled out for offside) as they planted one foot in the final against a low scoring La Liga outfit.

It means that Villarreal, who generally don't score too many goals, need two without reply against the Reds in the return leg just to take the game to extra time next Tuesday.

Player ratings

Liverpool

Alisson - 6

Could have brought a chair or sat with the Liverpool fans behind the goal. The Brazilian didn't have a save to make.

Trent Alexander-Arnold - 7

Saw plenty of the ball and made good use of it as always. His move further deeper in the second half caused Unai Emery's side plenty of problems.

Virgil van Dijk - 6

One moment on the halfway line was all that blemished the report card of Liverpool's colossus.

Ibrahima Konate - 6

A threat in the air from set-pieces, like van Dijk the Frenchman had little to do defensively.

Andy Robertson - 6

Was not troubled defensively but could not deliver when asked to in the final third.

Fabinho - 8

A rock at the heart of midfield, his ability to win the ball back high up the pitch was vital in keeping the pressure on Unai Emery's side, that eventually led to them cracking.

Thiago - 10

Rattled the crossbar in the first half and ran the show in the second, Thiago was key to opening up the Spanish side and has been a major difference maker in Klopp's team.

Jordan Henderson - 7

Was energetic in midfield, but worked far better when asked to push on in the second half, opening up the space for his more technically gifted teammates.

Luis Diaz - 8

The only real bright spark in the first half, Diaz was a constant threat and regularly had the beating of Juan Foyth in the clash between the pair. How Liverpool only had to beat Tottenham for his signature is continuing to baffle.

Sadio Mane - 7

Headed over in the first half and struggled to impose himself. Netted the all-important second goal for his side, though, with a cute finish.

Mo Salah - 7

One of his quieter nights, but the Egyptian remained a threat and provided the assist for Mane to double his side's lead.

Subs:

Naby Keita - 6

Offered additional energy late on.

Diogo Jota - 5

Didn't have an impact when he came on.

Divock Origi - 5

Hardly touched the ball after coming on for Diaz.

Villarreal

Geronimo Rulli - 5

Shaky in the first half and was very lucky that his parries fell to yellow rather than red shirts. Continued in the same vein in the second.

Juan Foyth - 6

Solid but unspectacular, was perhaps fortunate not to be at fault for his side falling behind as Diaz regularly got the better of him.

Raul Albiol - 8

The veteran defender threw his head, body and boot at anything and everything sent his way, and is one of few that can come away from the game with some credit.

Pau Torres - 7

Only behind his partner in terms of dedication and performance, it is clear to see why Premier League clubs are circling.

Pervis Estupinan - 4

Struggled against Salah and Alexander-Arnold, even more so once booked, and saw the opener fly in off him. A night to forget for the full-back.

Dani Parejo - 4

Anonymous against Liverpool's hardworking trio, and taken off after an hour.

Etienne Capoue - 5

The former Tottenham man could do nothing to stem the flow or disrupt the dominance.

Francis Coquelin - 4

Deployed in a wide area, in truth he looked lost and was taken off through injury.

Samuel Chukwueze - 5

Had a quiet night and hardly got the ball.

Giovani Lo Celso - 7

Made one vital sliding block in the first half to prevent Mo Salah from opening the scoring.

Arnaut Danjuma - 4

A quiet night for the Dutchman who spent most of the game chasing shadows as expected. Not a fair reflection of his talents.

Subs:

Alfonso Pedraza - 6

Could do nothing to change the outcome.

Serge Aurier - 5

Came on for the booked Estupinan, but didn't really stand out.

Manu Trigueros - 5

Came on and was equally ineffective as the midfielders he replaced.

Boulaye Dia - 4

Couldn't get a touch despite coming on with his side chasing a goal.

What the experts said

What the fans said

What you might have missed

Former Tottenham and Villareal midfielder extended his miserable time at Anfield, having now lost five times in Liverpool at a combined score of 20-1.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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