Liverpool won their first Champions League semi-final match against AS Roma with 5-2 on Tuesday. It’s a true joy to watch Liverpool play this season, but looking at the line-up before the match surprised me a little bit. I watch almost every match, but this was the first time I really analysed their line-up. This made me think about Jurgen Klopp. Is he a miracle worker or is his squad just really good? In this post I will give brief opinions on every player in the Tuesday line-up.
Jurgen Klopp’s line-up versus AS Roma
Loris Karius – average
Liverpool’s goalkeeper is an average one in my honest opinion. It’s not without a reason that Klopp couldn’t chose between Karius and Mignolet in the beginning of this season. None of both really excels in the goal. Karius is the better of the two but still a very average goalkeeper.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – potential world class
I needed some time to see his potential, but I must say he really surprised me in the course of this season. He is everything a modern day winger needs to be. He isn’t world class yet, but he isn’t even 20. I can see him play on the right wing for many more years in the Champions League and for the national team.
Virgil van Dijk – world class
Liverpool paid a big amount of money for him in the winter and I can see why they did that. He adjusted in no-time and really improved Liverpool’s defence. With his height and posture, he is still able to play a descent ball. I think Van Dijk is a world class centre back.
Dejan Lovren – average
He has his good moments, but overall he is just an average centre back in my opinion. He is responsible for the 5-1 by mistiming a ball in his own penalty box. Mistakes like this have cost Liverpool quite some goals in the recent years.
Andrew Robertson – good
I think this player surprised a whole lot of people this season. He came from Hull and fits in perfectly at Liverpool. Very good left wing back with an amazing cross in his left foot. Another player who can play here for years.
James Milner – Average
Played for Man City for years and is now in his third year at Liverpool. He has never been an undisputed first team player at either of these teams. He is an useful player for every manager, but don’t stands out.
Jordan Henderson – Average
Another quite average player. I don’t understand he has played so many matches for Liverpool and the national team with his capabilities. Isn’t really a stand out player, doesn’t score many goals and isn’t the type of player who puts his teammates in front of the goal. Should be happy with the fact his can play at this big club.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Good
Was already a pretty good player in his last season for Arsenal, but turned up an extra gear since he’s playing for Liverpool. Wasn’t happy with his wing-back role at the Emirates Stadium, so he moved to Anfield. After a rocky start he plays on his favourite position now and he does that very good. Jurgen Klopp really improved this guy. Was unfortunate to get injured in the match against AS Roma and I hope for him he makes the World Cup in the summer.
Sadio Mane – Good
Part of Liverpool’s magic trio. The Senegalese striker, has pace and knows how to score a goal. But if I have to be honest, he is the weakest player of the three.
Roberto Firmino – World Class
Firmino is such a good player. He scores goals for fun and is the perfect addition on Mohamed Salah. Everybody expected a setback from him after Coutinho’s exit, but if anything he’s only becoming better and better since.
Mohamed Salah – World Class
The star of this team. Salah has scored so many important goals it’s almost ridiculous. I honestly believe he should be the player to win the Ballon D’Or this year. Not even Messi and Ronaldo are as good as Salah this season.
Jurgen Klopp managed to reach the CL semi-final and potentially the final with at least four average players in his team. I believe this is quite a piece of magic he produced at Anfield.