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Fantastic Woodburn – The Best And The Worst Rated Liverpool Players Against Leeds United

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Liverpool paid to the victims of the plane crash involving Brazilian club Chapecoense ahead of their EFL Cup tie against Leeds

Liverpool made it through to the semi-finals of the League Cup for the third season in a row following a satisfying 2-0 win over Leeds United at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp made as many as 8 changes to the starting line-up as Liverpool’s injury problems began to mount. While Philippe Coutinho’s unfortunate ankle ligament damage meant a 6 weeks layoff, Klopp preferred not to risk either of Sturridge, Firmino or Lallana.

Garry Monk took a leaf out of Sunderland’s book as his Leeds side proved extremely resilient and compact while defending, but a major threat while on the counter-attack. His defensively resilient and compact Leeds side managed to keep out any attacking threat posed by Liverpool to such an extent that even the frustration among the Anfield faithful was made evident.

Just as it seemed that Leeds were beginning to impose themselves on the game, a moment of sheer brilliance caught them out cold. A delightful cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold from the right was poked in at the near post for the opener by the weekend’s hero, Divock Origi. Before Leeds could even fathom what had transpired, Liverpool had put the ball into their net again. An intricate play between Mane, Origi and Wijnaldum allowed 17-year old Ben Woodburn to lash home into the open net from six yards out to become Liverpool’s youngest ever goal scorer!

Here’s a brief assessment of how each individual fared on the night:

Simon Mignolet

Chances have been limited for the Belgian off-late, but he was called into action sooner than he would have thought to deny Hadi Sacko a one-on-one chance. Did well to hold on to Kemar Roofe’s drive. As always the shot-stopping was on point, but showed the usual tendency to flap while defending from corners. A clean sheet was a bonus.

Rating: 7/10

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Man of the Match performance. Not once did he give the impression of someone making just his second ever start. Beautiful cross to assist Origi’s opener, another delightful cross which Lucas couldn’t quite give justice to. Tackled well, headed well and put in a tireless shift.

Rating: 9/10

Lucas Leiva

Leeds' Kemar Roofe struck the post in the second half

The ever reliable Brazilian, slotting in as a central defender, produced a dependable performance. He may not have the physical presence of Joel Matip, but he led by an example and looked composed on the ball. A surge deep into the Leeds’ half could’ve even seen him break his long-standing drought for a competitive goal, but finishing is not quite his natural trait, eh?

Rating: 6/10

Ragnar Klavan

The Estonian’s performance was solid on the whole, but in truth, not convincing enough to merit a starting spot ahead of Lovren and Matip. Looked vulnerable at times when faced up against a counter-attack, Kemar Roofe’s pace a particular concern to deal with. A long-range attempt from 45 yards out with the ball headed for the corner flag instead of the back of the net was a particularly forgettable moment!

Rating: 6/10

Alberto Moreno

A typical Alberto Moreno performance. Enthusiastic as always heading forward down the left flank, his general decision making and use of the ball were a major let-down with some awfully wayward shooting into the stands. Defensive discipline and positional sense, although slightly improved, are still major flaws in the Spaniard’s game.

Rating: 5/10

Kevin Stewart

Deployed as a deep-lying midfielder, Kevin Stewart kept things ticking over in the middle of the park and dictated the tempo of Liverpool’s play with some neat passing. Tackling was on par and showed a sound positional awareness that defied his experience. A minor blip could’ve nearly gifted Leeds the opener when he was caught in possession 20 yards out and would have breathed a sigh of relief when Kemar Roofe’s curler bounced back of the post.

Rating: 6/10

Emre Can

Emre Can was one of the most noticeable players in a Red shirt from the start to finish in a tireless box-to-box performance. The German international was always looking to make things happen whenever in possession, but for someone playing that high up the pitch, his finishing could do with some improvement.

Rating: 6/10

Georginio Wijnaldum

Slotted in on the left of Liverpool’s front three suggested that Klopp could play him there often during Coutinho’s six-week injury absence. Struggled to impose his presence on the game in the first half but grew into it in the second. Forced Silvestri into making a clever save before hitting the post with an angled drive.

Rating: 6/10

Ovie Ejaria

Much like Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria repaid Klopp’s faith by putting in a matured performance. The 19-year old looked unpredictable when in possession, assured when pressing and picked out WIjnaldum with a delightful pass to set up Liverpool’s best chance in the first half. Struggled for the same momentum in the second half, but definitely looks one to watch out for in the future.

Rating: 7/10

Sadio Mane

Another rather off-night for the Senegalese international. After a rather poor showing against Sunderland, Mane was again below-par against a stubborn Leeds’ defence. Showed signs of tiredness early on in the first half and looked absolutely knackered by the hour mark. His pace and movement were a threat, but his general touches were a major disappointment. Was a major surprise when he wasn’t substituted and was kept on for the full duration of 90 minutes.

Rating: 6/10

Divock Origi

Liverpool's Belgian striker Divock Origi celebrates scoring his team's first goal

It’s fair to say that for someone struggling for game time for much of the season, Divock Origi has grabbed his chance with both hands. After a heroic display at the weekend against Sunderland, Origi got himself another goal and was a major threat due to his pace and movement. He made something happen everytime he had the ball, and was critical in the build-up to Woodburn’s goal too.

Rating: 8/10

Substitutes

Ben Woodburn (on for Stewart 67’)

The 17-year old himself couldn’t have written a better script if he’d tried! Handed a surprise debut at the weekend against Sunderland, Woodburn wrote his name into Liverpool’s history books as he smashed home in front of the Kop to become the club’s youngest ever goalscorer.

Rating: 8/10

James Milner (on for Ejaria 82’)

An emotional night for boyhood Leeds United fan James Milner when he came on to replace Ovie Ejaria in the 82nd minute. He didn’t have much time to make an impact, but definitely enjoyed Woodburn’s moment. With a big smile plastered across his face, Milner was the first one to come across and congratulate the Welsh youngster.

Rating: Not available

Marko Grujic (on for Origi 90’)

Will be gutted not to have started the game and made a case for himself. Brought on very late to see off the clock.

Rating: Not available

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