Friday, May 27, 2022

Champions League player ratings: Luis Diaz leads Liverpool to final, Villarreal keeper Geronimo Rulli stumbles

Unai Emery’s men started strong but couldn’t hold on as Liverpool scored three in the second half

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On the brink of history 2-0 up at half-time, Villarreal CF were ultimately unable to see it out for the win and Liverpool launched a come back of their own to win 3-2 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate.

Jurgen Klopp brought on Luis Diaz at halftime and turned the tide. Fabinho put Liverpool’s first through Geronimo Rulli’s legs before Diaz leveled things and Mane picked off Rulli to score into an open net putting things out of sight.    

But how did each home player perform in this one? Here are our player ratings for the match for every starter, substitute and manager.

All ratings are out of 10, and the higher the number the better. A zero would be a first-minute red card. A 10 would be like a dominant hat trick.

Villarreal ratings

(GK) Geronimo Rulli

90

Unfortunately, the Argentine picked up where he left off at Anfield and was at fault as Liverpool fought their way back into the contest. Untested in the first half, he will not want to watch his second 45 back anytime soon.

3

(DEF) Juan Foyth

90

Continued his solid run of continental form, but the entire defense collapsed after the visitors got one back.

6

(DEF) Raul Albiol (c)

79

The veteran Spaniard did his best to marshal his troops after Fabinho scored, but it sucked the wind out of Villarreal’s sails and it showed at the back.

6

(DEF) Pau Torres

90

Happy to let Albiol lead by example once more, it was a collective defensive collapse when it arrived as opposed to an individual one. Also picked up a booking.

6

(DEF) Pervis Estupinan

79

Gave it all he could until he was hauled off with just over 10 minutes to go. It was his cross that set up the opener.

6

(MID) Giovani Lo Celso

90

Stood aside as Capoue stepped up to the plate creatively, but was a nuisance for Liverpool in the first half until things started to go pear shaped. Got himself booked as well.

5

(MID) Dani Parejo

90

Outshone by Capoue and Coquelin on the night, things were going according to plan until Fabinho’s goal brought everything crashing down — including the battle for midfield supremacy.

6

(MID) Etienne Capoue

86 (red card)

Unexpectedly creative with two assists, but he reached his limits in the second half as Villarreal dropped off massively and was sent off late on.

7

(MID) Francis Coquelin

68

⚽ 41′ Notched the crucial second goal and anything seemed possible at that point — just not being subbed off with 20 minutes to go with the home side chasing the game.

6

(FWD) Gerard Moreno

68

Just back from injury and it was clear that he was not 100% fit and ready to go.

5

(FWD) Boulaye Dia

79

⚽ 3′ Got the early goal which gave Villarreal belief.

6

Alfonso Pedraza

Coquelin, 68′

Sent on as Villarreal chased the game, but before they collapsed further.

5

Samuel Chukwueze

Moreno, 68′

Sent on to stretch the Liverpool back line when it was too late to do so.

5

Manu Trigueros

Estupinan, 79′

Relieved the exhausted Ecuador international towards the end.

5

Serge Aurier Albiol, 79′ Came on as Emery looked for a desperate attacking flourish. 5
Paco Alcacer Dia, 79′ The final throw of the dice in the search for an unlikely third. 5

Unai Emery

5

For just over an hour, Emery had reached god-like status in Villarreal. Sadly, his team could not see it out and his game plan was once again obliterated by this incredible Liverpool machine.

6

Liverpool ratings

(GK) Alisson

90

Didn’t have much of a chance against both goals conceded and then wasn’t tested in the second half as Liverpool dominated the match and didn’t allow a shot after the break.

6

(DEF) Andrew Robertson

80

Beaten on both of Villarreal’s goals, Robertson was off the pace to start the match but along with the rest of the team he recovered in the second half to create three chances, combining with Diaz.

5

(DEF) Virgil van Dijk           

90

Along with the rest of the defense, not a great first half but steady enough in the second period to get things done for Liverpool.

6

(DEF) Ibrahima Konate

90

Basically, see, van Dijk, Virgil. An okay match for Kounate, but this just wasn’t a good day for the defense.

6

(DEF) Trent Alexander-Arnold

90

Caught in no man’s land on Coquelin’s header, Alexander-Arnold did make up for it by assisting Fabinho’s opener. He also created two chances and was good at keeping Villarreal in check during the second half.

7

(MID) Fabinho

84

⚽ 62′ Take one shot, score a goal while megging the keeper to do it. What a goal from Fabinho to get Liverpool back into things. He has had more influential days in the past but he was good enough to get the job done.

8

(MID) Thiago

80

While Liverpool had issues controlling the ball in possession, Thiago wasn’t among those impacted as he had an excellent day. Thiago dominated the second half and did what he could to keep things going while others struggled in the first half.

8

(MID)  Naby Keita

79

Not a great day for Keita but he still got an assist which shows just how good the team has been. The standards for this side is sky high as they chase the quad.

7

(MID) Sadio Mane

90

⚽ 74′ Liverpool’s only player causing danger in the first half, Mane had a hard job as the sole counterattacking outlet to start, but his pressure on Rulli created his goal on an impressive day all around.

8

(FWD) Diogo Jota

45

Not his day as Villarreal marked him out of the game. He had 13 touches and one shot in the first half.

4

(FWD) Mohamed Salah

90

Excellent as always at making things happen. Even when Salah doesn’t score or take over he still impacts a game which gives others room to make things happen.

7

Luis DIaz

Jota, 45′

⚽ 67′ An excellent day from Diaz. From the second he came on, it was clear that he was going to score a goal and he did but what’s more important is that his presence allowed everyone on Liverpool to get things going to unlock the game in the second half.

9

Curtis Jones

Thiago, 80′

The game was out of reach so while Jones had a shot, he didn’t have time to do too much.

N/A

Jordan Henderson

Keita, 79′

Part of a triple change when things were out of reach, Henderson helped clear the bench and spell the starters.

N/A

Konstantinos Tsimikas Robertson, 80′ Another guy added in to rest the starters. N/A
James Milner Fabinho, 84′ Good time to make sure Fabinho makes it to the weekend unscathed. N/A

Jurgen Klopp

5

At the start of the game it looked like Klopp and his team were overmatched but Liverpool always finds a way. Klopp has so many tools on the bench and he uses them all well with Diaz stealing the show on the day.

8

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