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Liverpool take a two-goal lead back to Anfield after victory in the round of 16 first leg

Roberto Firmino’s second half header and a late Mohamed Salah strike was the difference between Liverpool and Inter Milan.

The first leg of the Champions League round of 16 was a very even game with the home side making a host of chances.

In the first half they should have taken the lead as Hakan Calhanoglu hit the bar however for all the other chances the Italian side made Alisson Becker didn’t have a save to make.

It was a magnificent professional performance from Jurgen Klopp’s side even if they weren’t at their best as the manger got his substitutions spot on to change the game for his side.

The second leg at Anfield will be after the League Cup final.

Player ratings:

Alisson: 7

Didn’t have a save to make throughout the game even though Inter piled on the pressure. Solid from set-pieces and his distribution was decent.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: 5

Came close with a free-kick in the first half. Ivan Perisic had the beating of him for the majority of the game. 

Ibrahim Konate: 8

Vital interception to stop Dzeko going through on goal in the first half. Was impeccable throughout the 90 minutes.

Virgil Van Dijk: 10

Ludicrous performance. Won the most aerial dules out of everyone. Cleared everything that came his way and there was one point when Lautaro Martinez had him one on one and was scared to take the man mountain on. Also, his passing is ridiculously good as he completed the most out of anyone on the pitch, getting better and better every game near enough back to his absurdly high standards.

Andy Robertson: 8

Got the assist for Firmino’s goal with a fantastic corner delivery. Faultless defensive wise.

Fabinho: 7

Looked to be playing well keeping his outstanding form going so was a surprise to see him substituted. A big threat from set-pieces again.

Thiago Alcantara: 4

Struggled to get a grip of the game in the middle uncharacteristically being complacent on the ball and losing possession a couple of times.

Harvey Elliott: 4

Champions League debut at the San Siro is special but this looked to come a bit too soon for as like Thiago he struggled to have any impact and was subbed off.

Mohamed Salah: 6

Not his greatest performance but got the all important second goal with an instinctive finish. 

Diogo Jota: 3

Could not get into the game at all and the save in front of Inter’s backline was suited for Firmino hence why he was brought on for Jota at half-time. Klopp revealed though after the game his ankle had swollen.

Sadio Mane: 3

Missed a fantastic chance early on in the game heading the ball over after a great delivery from Robertson. Like Jota just could not get into the game.

Substitutions:

Roberto Firmino (Diogo Jota 45): 7

A glorious header from a corner to break the deadlock and was dropping in the half space being the glue for Liverpool’s attacks. 

Luiz Diaz (Sadio Mane 59): 6

A burst of energy when he came on and came close to scoring his first goal after some neat link-up with Alexander-Arnold but Milan Skriniar blocked his effort.

Naby Keita (Harvey Elliott 59): 6

Added composure to the midfield and helped take control of the middle of the park.

Jordan Henderson (Fabinho 59): 7

Arguably the best change, was superb when he came on in the deeper midfield role. Grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. A reaction he needed to show after getting benched.

James Milner (Thiago 86): n/a

Came on and gave away a foul in those four minutes on the pitch. Funny.

READ MORE: A scruffy win for Liverpool takes them back to nine points behind leaders Manchester City

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