Liverpool's best and worst players in Europa League exit at hands of Atalanta

  • Liverpool beat Atalanta in Europa League second leg but knocked out
  • 1-0 victory wasn't enough to overturn 3-0 defeat at Anfield last week
  • 90min rates the team's best and worst players from the performance
Liverpool are out of the Europa League
Liverpool are out of the Europa League / Timothy Rogers/GettyImages

Liverpool began this season as favourites to win the Europa League, but that dream came to an end in the quarter-finals on Thursday night.

The Reds might have won 1-0 against Atalanta in Italy, but the Serie A side had already done the damage with a 3-0 margin of victory in the first leg at Anfield a week earlier.

Mohamed Salah's early penalty gave Liverpool the perfect start and hope of mounting a comeback. But that was ultimately as good as it got for Jurgen Klopp's team, who lacked the energy and fight to match Atalanta's superior determination.

Using 90min's player ratings as a guide, who were Liverpool's best and worst players on the night?

Liverpool's best player vs Atalanta

Alisson - 8/10

Alisson was called on a few times
Alisson was called on a few times / Stefano Guidi/GettyImages

Given that Livepool as a whole underwhelmed and disappointed, this was not exactly a high bar. Alisson wasn't super busy in goal but he did make a handful of saves at various points that at least ensured his teammates still had a chance of getting back into the tie.

Without the Brazilian, things would have been over long before they actually were.

Honourable mention

Trent Alexander-Arnold - 7/10

Trent Alexander-Arnold's first start since February
Trent Alexander-Arnold's first start since February / Dan Mullan/GettyImages

With less than one half of football under his belt since recovering from injury, Trent Alexander-Arnold made his first start in more than two months and clocked up 72 minutes.

That in itself is important as Liverpool gear up to now put all their focus on the Premier League title race, especially with Conor Bradley suddenly ruled out until early May. But the No.66 was also a decent creative outlet on the right flank and in midfield that was lost when he was withdrawn.

Liverpool's worst player vs Atalanta

Mohamed Salah - 5/10

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah scored a penalty but was off his game / Dan Mullan/GettyImages

Mohamed Salah scored without problem from the penalty spot just 12 minutes into the game, but it wasn't that which defined his night. Usually so ruthlessly effective, the Egyptian superstar wasn't at the races and arguably hasn't been consistenly good since an injury at the Africa Cup of Nations.

There was a lack of confidence and sharpness from Salah, who was tellingly substituted with around half an hour (including stoppage time) to play when Liverpool needed at least two more goals. His single worst moment came when Cody Gakpo played him in over the top and an attemped lob over the onrushing goalkeeper was skewed harmlessly wide. For him, it should have been pretty easy.

Dishonourable mention

Alexis Mac Allister - 5/10

Atalanta shut down Alexis Mac Allister
Atalanta shut down Alexis Mac Allister / ISABELLA BONOTTO/GettyImages

It wasn't that Alexis Mac Allister was bad per se, Atalanta just did a really good job of stopping him from being influential at the heart of Liverpool's midfield.

The hosts worked tirelessly to pressure Liverpool players on the ball, denying the likes of Mac Allister the opportunity to pick passes through the lines to create chances. The Argentine was often forced to go backwards or sideways just to keep the ball, or to send it long ineffectively.