Liverpool player ratings: Seven 8s as the Reds place one foot in Paris with Villarreal win

Liverpool v Villarreal: Match in Pictures

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Liverpool have one foot in next month’s Champions League final after a comfortable 2-0 win against Villarreal in their semi-final first leg. Jurgen Klopp’s side were dominant as a Pervis Estupinan own-goal and Sadio Mane’s strike sealed a huge result.

Villarreal were resolute in the first half as Liverpool boasted 67 per cent possession and took 12 shots but failed to find a breakthrough. In true Anfield fashion, the visitors eventually crumbled as the hosts, feeding off the energy of the crowd, cruised to victory.

Liverpool got slightly fortunate with their opener, with Jordan Henderson’s cross deflecting over Geronimo Rulli off Estupinan’s foot. Mane doubled the Reds’ advantage just moments later, beating the offside trap to poke home.

Express Sport provides the Liverpool player ratings on another triumphant Champions League night at Anfield.

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Alisson – 6

Hardly had a touch of the ball, an indicator of Liverpool’s dominance. Kept a clean sheet, completed all 18 of his passes. Easy night’s work.

Trent Alexander Arnold – 8

On a night dominated by Liverpool possession on the flanks, Trent Alexander-Arnold was once again a valuable outlet.

Maintained an 86 per cent pass accuracy, made seven ball recoveries, completed five crosses, won all five of his ground duels and created four chances.

Ibrahima Konate – 8

What a future he has ahead of him. Didn’t give Villarreal’s attackers a sniff, made 10 ball recoveries and won eight of his nine contested duels.

Virgil van Dijk – 8

Classy as usual and a great mentor for Ibrahima Konate. Recorded a 94 per cent pass accuracy, made seven ball recoveries and won six duels.

Andrew Robertson – 8

Andrew Robertson, like Alexander-Arnold, had a field day down the flank. Won 100 per cent of his tackles, completed 70 passes, and created four chances.

Fabinho – 8

Bossed the midfield battle with a 92 per cent pass accuracy. Also won all three of his tackles and made seven ball recoveries.

Jordan Henderson – 8

A captain’s performance. Provided the cross for Liverpool’s opener to go with an 87 per cent pass accuracy, six ball recoveries, four ground duels won, and three tackles won.

Thiago – 8

Another world-class display. Completed all NINE of his attempted long balls and 99 of his passes (96 per cent accuracy) on top of 10 ball recoveries and five interceptions.

Mohamed Salah – 6

Provided the assist for Mane’s goal but struggled to breach Villarreal’s defence.

Luis Diaz – 6

The least impactful of Klopp’s forwards. Had five shots and created two chances but it was one of his quieter outings since joining the club.

Sadio Mane – 7

Missed a good chance to open the scoring in the first half but netted Liverpool’s second to take the tie away from Villarreal.

SUBSTITUTES

Naby Keita – 5

Kept things flowing in midfield for the final 20 minutes.

Diogo Jota – 5

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Only took 16 touches.

Joe Gomez – N/A

A brief cameo.

Divock Origi – N/A

Another brief cameo.

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