Football Features

Player ratings as 10-man Inter snap “overconfident” Liverpool’s unbeaten run but the Reds still make the Champions League quarter-final

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:37, 8 March 2022

In a dramatic night of football, 10-man Inter Milan beat Liverpool 0-1 at Anfield but still qualified for the Champions League quarter-final.

The Reds were mostly outplayed, but still had the better of the chances, and find themselves back in the elite eight of Europe even as Inter have ended their 15 match unbeaten run (and inflict Liverpool’s first defeat at Anfield for a year).

Here’s how the players rated at Anfield:


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Liverpool

Alisson – 5 – Was fairly untroubled by Inter’s poor shooting, until Lautaro’s wondergoal left him helpless.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8 – Absolutely relentless in his attacking application. Created a game-high 5 chances.

Joel Matip – 7 – Really quietly brilliant, albeit he hit the bar in the first-half and his pass was picked off by Inter for their goal.

Virgil van Dijk – 7 – The big man has most definitely got his aura back, terrified every Inter player so much they didn’t even dare run at him. Almost scored in the first-half but saw his effort blocked by Skriniar.

Andrew Robertson – 7 – A decent outlet up and down the left.

Fabinho – 7 – Definitely involved, but only really defensively as Inter dominated in the middle of the park.

Thiago – 6 – Safe with the ball but didn’t really progress it as we know he can.

Curtis Jones – 6 – Ran and ran (and ran) but did little more. Lots of potential, but still very raw.

Mohamed Salah – 5 – Really vibrant with his movement but his finishing was just off as he hit both posts and he overdribbled rather than passing to team-mates in better positions. Not bad, obviously, but not at his usual level.

“Maybe in the back of our mind we feel like ok, we’re overconfident at the moment,” Salah said after the game, speaking self-critically but with a positive outlook that the Reds can learn from this defeat as they build towards the end of the season: “I think that [this was] a good game for us to take [the defeat] and learn from it and carry on.”

Sadio Mané – 5 – A poor performance as he didn’t really impact the game at all apart from some poor touches.

Diogo Jota – 5 – Did he even play? Surprisingly quiet given his form.


READ MORE: Premier League title odds


Liverpool Substitutes:

Naby Keita (for Jones 65′) – 6 – Worked hard.

Jordan Henderson (for Thiago 65′) – 7 – As in the first-leg, his presence transmitted confidence and security to a Liverpool side in need of both. He really is a great leader.

Luis Diaz (for Jota 84′) – 6 – Would have pulled off a great equaliser but for a superb block.


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Inter Milan

Samir Handanovic – 7 – Had a reasonable presence in goal but in general was bailed out by his defenders and a couple of poor finishes from Salah. Still, a clean sheet at Anfield is no joke.

Milan Skriniar – 9 – An absolute monster. Drove forward with the ball superbly but his best work was done at the back where he put in a rearguard display worthy of the legendary Chiellini.

One imagines that Juve’s warrior would have been watching that at home and wishing the Slovakian was a Juve player, because that was unreal. 9 clearances a game-high, sure, but his blocks from Van Dijk and Diaz saved Inter from conceding twice and losing the game.

Stefan de Vrij – 7 – A solid display in the first-half. Had to go off at the break because of injury.

Alessandro Bastoni – 8 – Once again he led the way as Inter put the mighty Mohamed Salah in a chokehold for the vast majority of the game. Strode out from defence in a way that would have made Chris Wilder’s eyes green with envy.

Denzel Dumfries – 7 – Took up some sensational positions down the right but was rarely found and when he was, didn’t use the ball with any real guile and that was a problem for Inter.

Marcelo Brozovic – 8 – Sublime. Dominated Liverpool’s midfield and set the tempo for Inter when they had the ball. His injury derailed Inter’s momentum as much as Alexis’ madness did.

Arturo Vidal – 9 – A giant, a monster, a colossus, Starscourge Radhan has nothing on Arturo Vidal as the Chilean whirlwinded his way around Anfield hammering anything in a red shirt with unflinching brutality but outrageous finesse. 4 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 clearances, 3 aerial duels won. A stat-line befitting a man as fearsome as Vidal was at Anfield.

Ivan Perisic – 7 – Defended well, pitching in to help get the ball out of danger and drove it forward quite nicely.

Hakan Calhanoglu – 5 – Really struggled to impact the game.

Alexis Sánchez – 4 – Had been playing well, and picked up a nice little assist for Lautaro’s goal, but undid all his hard work and all of his team-mates hard-work with his senseless studs-up half-challenge a mere minute after Inter had taken the lead, collapsing so much of Inter’s momentum and putting the Reds at ease when they would have been at their most nervous. Sheer idiocy.

Lautaro Martinez – 7 – Didn’t play well, was clearly intimidated by Virgil van Dijk and repeatedly shied away from running at the Dutch centre-back. However that worked to his benefit when he, not wanting to run at van Dijk, just launched a stunning shot from the edge of the box into the top corner to give Inter a big win on the night.

Substitutes:

Danilo D’Ambrosio (for De Vrij 46′) – 7 – Came on at half-time, did well, could have scored a goal after a great run but panicked and smacked the ball over the bench.

Roberto Gagliardini (for Brozovic 75′) – 5 – Did his best but is very obviously is not Brozovic.

Joaquin Correa (for Lautaro 75′) – 5 – Barely saw the ball. Made just 4 touches, but did at least complete both his passes.

Matteo Darmian (for Dumfries 75′) – 5 – Couldn’t get into the game.

Matias Vecino (for Calhanoglu 83′) – 5 – Added little, missing an easy pass that could have led to a great shot for Inter.

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