Champions League

Liverpool 0-1 Inter (2-1 agg): Player ratings as Reds progress despite Anfield defeat

Jamie Spencer
Liverpool are through
Liverpool are through / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Liverpool are through to the Champions League quarter-finals, despite losing 1-0 at home to Inter, with Jurgen Klopp’s side ultimately progressing 2-1 on aggregate thanks to their first leg lead.

Lautaro Martinez scored a screamer to win it on the night. But the tie rather hinged on a red card shown to Alexis Sanchez at a time when Inter would have been hoping to kick on for a second goal.

The Reds had the better of relatively few chances for either team in the first half. Joel Matip directed a powerful header onto the crossbar, moments before Virgil van Dijk was only denied in a similar situation by a flying block from Milan Skriniar.

However, it was Alisson who made the first meaningful save of the night as he managed to parry a low Hakan Calhanoglu to safety, despite it deviously bouncing just before it reached him.

The game had been temporarily paused midway through the first half as stewards and medical staff rushed to attend a medical emergency in the stands.

A deflected Trent Alexander-Arnold shot threatened to wrong foot Samir Handanovic soon after the restart but the Inter goalkeeper managed to adjust his feet quickly enough to avoid embarrassment.

An opening goal for Liverpool looked like it might only be a matter of time when Mohamed Salah pounced on a rebound from Handanovic, seeing the ball strike the post and bounce clear.

Instead, Inter went ahead. Martinez had been kept completely quiet for an hour by Van Dijk, but when the Nerazzurri won the ball back and, for once, the Liverpool press didn’t come, the Argentine simply lashed the ball into the top corner from distance.

That should have been ‘game on’ and Inter’s chance for an aggregate comeback. Yet it was only moments afterwards when Sanchez was given his marching orders upon picking up a reckless second yellow card, killing the momentum that had just been built.

Salah went on to hit the other post, while a spectacular last-ditch block from Arturo Vidal, who seemed to be everywhere all night, denied substitute Luis Diaz a certain equaliser late on.

Liverpool player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Joel Matip hit the crossbar
Joel Matip hit the crossbar / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Alisson (GK) - 6/10 - Made a good save in the first half but stood no chance as Inter broke the deadlock.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - 7/10 - Stunning delivery into the box gave Liverpool an incredible aerial threat. Often took up quite a narrow role in possession which gave him a lot of freedom.

Joel Matip (CB) - 7/10 - Smacked the crossbar in the first half. Defended on the front foot when the situation called for it.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) - 6/10 - His very presence appeared to have Martinez beaten, but the one time he stood off the Inter man he was punished.

Andrew Robertson (LB) - 5/10 - Okay but not outstanding by any stretch. Summed up by a poor cross during a late counter attack.

2. Midfielders

Thiago was back for Liverpool
Thiago was back for Liverpool / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Curtis Jones (CM) - 6/10 - Worked hard and gave energy to the performance but was sacrificed soon after Inter scored.

Fabhino (CM) - 7/10 - Almost flawless on the ball. Rarely gave it away and regularly won it back as well.

Thiago (CM) - 6/10 - Passed it well and created some opportunities. A lack of match fitness probably contributed to coming off relatively early.

3. Forwards

Mohamed Salah hit both posts in the second half
Mohamed Salah hit both posts in the second half / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Mohamed Salah (RW) - 7/10 - Thought he'd given Liverpool the lead but his effort bounced back off the post. Then went on to hit the other post.

Diogo Jota (ST) - 6/10 - Pressed well from the front and his presence was a constant potential threat for Inter, although chances didn't fall his way.

Sadio Mane (LW) - 6/10 - Seemed to pose a danger by taking up good position but was limited to just a single shot.

4. Substitutes

Naby Keita (CM) - 6/10 - Provided fresh energy for the final half hour.

Jordan Henderson (CM) - 7/10 - Was a vital addition to calm things down.

Luis Diaz (LW) - 6/10 - Denied a late equaliser by a point-blank block.

Inter player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Samir Handanovic had a mixed night
Samir Handanovic had a mixed night / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Samir Handanovic (GK) - 6/10 - Made a few important interventions but also had a few rather hairy moments as well.

Milan Skriniar (CB) - 7/10 - Made some sort of diving header block in the first half to deny Van Dijk a certain goal.

Stefan de Vrij (CB) - 6/10 - Didn't return after the break but had done well before that.

Alessandro Bastoni (CB) - 6/10 - Took some heat from the home crowd as a result of his rough and ready style.

6. Midfielders & wing-backs

Arturo Vidal seemed to be everywhere
Arturo Vidal seemed to be everywhere / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Denzel Dumfries (RWB) - 6/10 - Maybe an outstretched leg in the first half could have given Inter a first half lead?

Arturo Vidal (CM) - 8/10 - Looked his usual combative self. Of course he wound up getting booked. On a one-man mission to stop Liverpool.

Marcelo Brozovic (CM) - 7/10 - Patrolled the midfield pretty well. Couldn't finish the game because of a knock in the second half.

Hakan Calhanoglu (CM) - 7/10 - Forced a good save from Alisson in the first half. Set pieces provided a threat.

Ivan Perisic (LWB) - 6/10 - Always had to be mindful of Alexander-Arnold, which limited his opportunity to get forward as much he would have liked.

7. Forwards

Lautaro Martinez scored a wonder goal
Lautaro Martinez scored a wonder goal / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Lautaro Martinez (ST) - 7/10 - Got absolutely no change out of Van Dijk for an hour...but then took out his frustration on the ball by lashing it into the top corner instead. Looked a little perplexed at being taken off.

Alexis Sanchez (ST) - 4/10 - Looked the more threatening of the Inter pair prior to Martinez's goal. Then sent off for a reckless tackle.

8. Substitutes

Danilo D'Ambrosio (CB) - 6/10 - Replaced De Vrij at half-time.

Matteo Darmian (RWB) - 5/10

Roberto Gagliardini (CM) - 6/10

Joaquin Correa (ST) - 5/10

Matias Vecino (CM) - N/A

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