Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich: Player ratings as Javi Martinez justifies start at Anfield

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Liverpool and Bayern Munich played out a tense and absorbing goalless draw when they began their round-of-16 commitments in the UEFA Champions League.

In a game of precious few chances, the closest either side came to a breakthrough on Tuesday came early on when Joel Matip’s blushes were saved by Reds goalkeeper Alisson after the centre-back sliced a close-range clearance.

The sides meet again at Allianz Arena on March 14.

BAYERN MUNICH (4-3-3)

Manuel Neuer 6: Remained unflustered, as ever, in face of Liverpool’s press from front. Only true save came towards end, a low stop from Mane’s header.

Joshua Kimmich 7: Booked early on, but Germany international showcased his class. Remarkable composure to herd Mane when he looked in clear.

Niklas Sule 7: A lack of pace was picked out as a potential weakness. But the centre-back was a giant throughout.

Mats Hummels 8: In front of mentor Klopp, the ex-Borussia Dortmund defender oozed class. Great block on Firmino to quell danger.

David Alaba 6: Left it until 78th minute to make first surge forward of game. This was a night about digging in and surviving.

Thiago Alcantara 7: Smashed into Henderson, showing Bayern’s desire and drive. Made one smart pass to Rodriguez in the second half.

Javi Martinez 8: No ring rust, despite last start being on January 27. Made it his mission to frustrate Wijnaldum et al at Anfield.

James Rodriguez 5: Made surprise call to dump Goretzka look a curious one. Colombia playmaker was invisible, in both attack and defence.

Serge Gnabry 7: Very few players can make Robertson unsettled. Ex-Arsenal winger was a menace throughout. Forced Alisson into solid stop.

Robert Lewandowski 6: Tough toil for Poland superstar. Knew chances would be at premium, hence frustration after Fabinho tackle.

Kingsley Coman 5: Fired in cross to tee up Lewandowski, prior to Fabinho challenge. Did plenty of work going backwards at Anfield.

SUBSTITUTES

Franck Ribery N/A: Veteran winger handed the final throes days after celebrating birth of new child.

Renato Sanches N/A: Swansea flop was given responsibility to see out the final moments.

Rafinha N/A: Defensive job at the death, in place of the dogged Gnabry.

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Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich: Player ratings as Mohamed Salah and Co are frustrated

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Liverpool and Bayern Munich played out a tense and absorbing goalless draw when they began their round-of-16 commitments in the UEFA Champions League.

In a game of precious few chances, the closest either side came to a breakthrough on Tuesday came early on when Joel Matip’s blushes were saved by Reds goalkeeper Alisson after the centre-back sliced a close-range clearance.

The sides meet again at Allianz Arena on March 14.

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3)

Alisson 6: Brazil No1 recovered from shaky start to dominate area and fortunately get in way of scuffed Matip clearance.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 7: Grew into the game as it went along. One adventurous run in second half almost broke the deadlock.

Joel Matip 6: Was grateful for Alisson’s presence in early running. Sliced effort wide at other end before interval, should have netted.

Fabinho 7: Superb challenge denied Lewandowski what seemed a certain away goal. Influence continues to grow at Anfield.

Andrew Robertson 5: Strange performance from flying Scot. Sloppy throughout and was mesmerised by Gnabry trickery, plus pace.

Georginio Wijnaldum 7: Deft flick almost created opener in first half. That was the highlight of a solid display by Netherlands midfielder.

Jordan Henderson 7: Angered by Thiago collision past hour mark. Was diligence personified, otherwise. Lofted ball just evaded stretching Salah.

Naby Keita 7: Former Bundesliga performer relished battle with Bayern. Deflected first-half shot almost played in Mane for fortuitous goal.

Mohamed Salah 5: Last season’s knockout-stage hero for Liverpool did not perform to expected standard this time. Must be better in Munich.

Roberto Firmino 7: Showed little sign of pre-match virus that threatened spot in XI. No clear chance, however, came his way.

Sadio Mane 6: Snatched at deflected Keita shot when superbly placed to score for fifth-successive match. Energy hurt Bayern build-up.

SUBSTITUTES

Divock Origi N/A: Belgium striker barely touched the ball during his cameo performance.

James Milner N/A: Veteran midfielder tried to inject energy and urgency. Didn’t make much difference.

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Man City face swift reunion with former academy star Rabbi Matondo in Schalke clash

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Manchester City face a quick reunion with their Academy graduate Rabbi Matondo as they take on Schalke in the Champions League this week.

Matondo, who left City for Schalke in an £11milion deal in January, could line up against his old club in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Veltins Arena on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old Wales winger never made a first-team appearance for City but has already featured three times for the German side, including twice in the Bundesliga.

Coach Domenico Tedesco, however, was keen to play down expectations on the youngster as he held a press conference on the eve of the match.
Tedesco said: “He stressed to us that he is investing in his football (by coming) here and he is passionate about football.

“But he is a new player. We need patience, and we have this patience.”

The clash against the Premier League champions is a daunting one for Schalke, who are 14th in the Bundesliga amid a frustrating season.

Tedesco recognises this but insists his side will not be fazed.

He said: “We are the underdog, clearly not the favourite. This is obvious.

“But it’s nice if everyone thinks that. City have to prove they are stronger and superior to us.

“We will put everything we have against them. You can compare it to facing Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. They are one of the top teams in Europe and we want to show off. We want to take our fans with us and I think we have a chance.

“We know Man City are a very strong team and we will have to have our best day and prove ourselves.

“But, like every team, if you do something well you maybe lose a bit of the focus on something else. Maybe this is our chance.”

Tedesco, whose side finished runners-up in the Bundesliga last season, feels it is a clash his players should be relishing.

He said: “We know how to play against teams with such a strong attack. We have to look forward to it.

“We went through it last season. We worked hard for it and there is nothing nicer than to have such a match in front of us.”

Schalke will come up against one of their former players in Germany winger Leroy Sane, a club youth product who left for City in 2016.

Tedesco said: “Every player in their team sticks out – Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling are similar players.

“But we know the qualities of Leroy Sane. We will have to show a good performance and defend well against him.”

Tedesco confirmed Ralf Fahrmann will play in goal ahead of Alex Nubel, who will return to face Mainz at the weekend.

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