Liverpool player ratings vs Benfica: Luis Diaz shines on his return to Portugal

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Liverpool gained a massive advantage in their Champions League tie with Benfica last night, beating the Portuguese outfit 3-1 at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon. 

The Reds were very comfortable in the first half of the match, dominating Benfica, who could barely make it out of their own half due to their struggles with the Liverpool press. Goals from Ibrahima Konate and Sadio Mane meant that the Reds would go into the break 2-0 up, with Benfica counting their blessings it was not more.

Although Liverpool never lost control in the second half, it got a little shaky in patches, especially after Darwin Nunez pulled one back for the hosts. However, the Premier League side continued to keep control of the tie and might have finished it, when Luis Diaz added a third for the Reds three minutes from time.

Here are the player ratings from a brilliant night for the Reds…

Alisson Becker – 7 

Didn’t have a lot to do in the first half but the reliable keeper made a big save to keep the tie at 2-1 in the second half, also showed us some of his samba skills.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8

Maybe Liverpool’s player of the season and he showed it again last night. Very confident performance with the right-backs range of passing on a show for everyone to see. The Scouser played a wonderful pass to Luis Diaz for the second goal, who then headed it across to Sadio Mane to finish. Had no real problems defensively either.

Ibrahima Konate – 8 

Although at fault for Benfica’s only goal, that should not take away from the centre-back’s excellent performance. Scored the opening goal of the night and bullied Nunez throughout the match. Showed character to bounce back from his mistake.

Virgil Van Dijk – 8

Assured and commanding as always from the Dutchman. Dealt with everything with ease in his calm like manner again.

Andy Robertson – 7.5 

Assisted Konate for Liverpool’s first goal and was a menace up and down the left in the first half for the Reds. Got caught a bit high for Benfica’s goal and was not as effective going forward in the second half but good performance all around.

Fabinho – 7.5 

Shielded the backline brilliantly in the first half and was very comfortable. A few shaky moments in the second in terms of positioning but another one of Liverpool’s more reliable players living up to those standards again.

Naby Keita – 8.5 

Brilliant performance from the Liverpool midfielder, especially when you consider his lack of consistent game time. The Guinea international got into some great positions in the first half and was part of everything that was good about the side. Had a small blip at the start of the second but topped off his night with an assist for Diaz’s goal.

A brilliant display from Keita in Portugal

Thiago – 7.5 

Dictated the play from deep and helped the Reds stay in control of the game. Ran out of steam in the second and made a few mistakes as a result.

Mohamed Salah – 6 

The only starter below par for the Reds. Struggled to get into the match and missed two good chances when he eventually did. Needs to start showing some form.

Sadio Mane – 7

Dropped deep to create space for others throughout and scored Liverpool’s second of the night. Had some heavy touches at times but an overall solid performance from the Senegal international

Luis Diaz – 9 

Imposed himself on the game throughout and showed it from the off with the number of times he attacked Benfica’s defence. Assisted Mane for Liverpool’s second and grabbed a vital third for the Premier League side. Probably should have had another after trying a deft chip in the first half but another really impressive display from the Colombian on his return to Portugal.

Subs: Henderson (6.5), Firmino (6), Jota (6), Gomez (5), Milner (5) 

Henderson was the best of the subs as he tried to rally the side at 2-1. Jota and Firmino did not have the desired impact and were a little sloppy, as Gomez and Milner did not have enough time to impact the match.

More Stories Alisson Andrew Robertson Diogo Jota Fabinho Ibrahima Konate James Milner Joe Gomez Jordan Henderson Jurgen Klopp Luis Diaz Mohamed Salah Naby Keita Sadio Mane Thiago Alcantara Trent Alexander-Arnold Virgil van Dijk