Through sheer display of attacking football, Liverpool Fc (The Reds) thrashed the hosts Atalanta BC 0-5 in the Champions League 2020-21 Group D Match.
Joël Matip and Naby Keïta recovered from their injuries but were named among the substitutes. Thiago Alcântara did not start the match. The Spaniard was not named among the team that travelled earlier this week as he is still recovering from his knee injury.
Like the FC Midtjylland Match, Rhys Williams was lined-up again alongside with Joe Gomez in the heart of the defence. Curtis Jones was also shown faith by Jürgen Klopp and the youngster was named in the Starting XI.
As expected, both sides looked to attack. The Home side however could not match up to the high intensity and energy of the Reds attack. In the 12th minute Sadio Mané had his shot saved by Marco Sporteilo. The Home side had their first chance to score but Alisson Becker denied Luis Muriel in the 14th minute.
The Reds took the lead after a neat pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold found Diogo Jota. He then jostled his way past the Home Side Defence and scored the opening Goal in the 15th minute with a Left Footed Shot to the bottom right corner of the net.
Jota again found the back of the net thanks to a diagonal pass from Joe Gomez to the far post. The young Portuguese controlled the ball with One Touch and slammed the ball into the bottom left corner of the net in the 33rd minute.
The Visitors then headed into the Half Time with a comfortable 0-2 Lead. Following a fast break in the 46th minute, a pass from Curtis Jones inside his own box was met by Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian then sprinted half the length of the pitch and curled on to the top left corner of the net to make it 0-3 for the Reds.
More misery was piled on by the incessant Reds Attack as Jota completed his Hat-trick in the 54th minute thanks to clever assist from Sadio Mané.
Mané then made 0-5 in the 49th minute for the Visitors thanks an assist from Salah.
In view of the upcoming Manchester City Fc Premier League Match, Klopp then made triple substitutions in the 64th minute to replace Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson and Diogo Jota to bring on Keïta, James Milner and Roberto Firmino.
After a relatively quiet First Half, Alisson repeatedly made several saves in the Second Half to deny the Home Side a consolation Goal.
In the closing stages of the game, Konstantinos Tsimikas and Nico Williams were brought on to replace Georginio Wijnaldum and Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 82nd minute.
The Reds held on to a well deserved 0-5 win over the hosts Atalanta BC.
Reds Team Performance Ratings
Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)
Alisson Becker – 8: Was not so convincing with his saves earlier in the first half but made several saves to deny the Home Side and kept a clean sheet.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8: Superb performance. Defended well and provided the assist that led to the first Goal.
Rhys Williams – 9: Another dominating defensive performance from the Youngster. He surely is growing in confidence.
Joe Gomez – 9: Another near perfect performance from the young Englishman and partnered well with Williams to keep the home team’s attack at bay.
Andrew Robertson – 7: Not as influential like Alexander-Arnold but nevertheless, linked up well with Mané and defended well.
Curtis Jones – 7: Much improved performance from the youngster that included providing an assist that led to the Salah’s Goal.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 7: Lively and energetic. Kept thing tidy with neat passes and incisive movements into the final third.
Jordan Henderson – 8: Led the team superbly. Always got the team on the front foot and never allowed the Reds to take the foot off the gas.
Sadio Mané – 8: An assist and a goal. Threatening right from the word go. Excellent performance from the Senegalese.
Mohamed Salah – 8: Like Mané, the Egyptian too had an assist and a goal to his name. Brilliant performance.
Diogo Jota – 10: Bagged his first Hat-trick for the Club. His first 2 Goals in the First Half paved the way for an empathetic win for the Reds. Unfortunately, the young Portuguese sustained a heavy knock during the Second Half and was replaced by Roberto Firmino.
Naby Keïta – 6: Could not impact the match. After coming back from an unspecified injury, the Guinean was brought on to replace Andrew Robertson.
James Milner – 6: Brought on to replace Jordan Henderon and was temporarily slotted in the Left Back position until Tsimikas was brought on.
Roberto Firmino – 7: Looked sharp and could have got a Goal in his name as his efforts were either denied or wayward shooting.
Neco Williams – N/A: Brought on to close out the match.
Konstantinos Tsimikas – N/A: Returned after a lengthy layoff with injury and played well to see out the match.
Jürgen Klopp – 8: Despite scoring only 5 Goals, The Reds were running riot and could have scored easily more than 8 Goals much to Klopp’s delight.
Today’s win is a timely reminder to the rest of European football that the Reds are still here. The Charismatic Coach made strong decisions to bring on Curtis Jones ahead of Xherdan Shaqiri and bench Firmino in favour of Jota.
Klopp would be hoping that Jota’s injury would not be too serious.
The Reds next opponents Manchester City Fc will be preparing well to counter the new Reds attack with Jota and Thiago.
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