Liverpool stormed to a comprehensive victory away to Atalanta in the Champions League on Tuesday night, securing a four-point cushion at the top of Group D at the halfway point of the group stage.
The Reds dominated proceedings from the first whistle and were happy to hold the ball and draw out Atalanta, whose press was far too lifeless and disorganised. The Italians caught Liverpool in possession once or twice within the first 10 minutes, but were punished for giving Jurgen Klopp's side too much space in behind when Diogo Jota finished off an exquisite long ball from Trent Alexander-Arnold after 16 minutes.
He added a second just after the half-hour mark as the Premier League champions continued to pick holes in an intimidated Atalanta back three up until the half-time whistle. Gian Piero Gasperini's side conceded a third 47 minutes in as Mohamed Salah chased down a long ball from a poor Atalanta corner.
The floodgates opened after this and Sadio Mane added a fourth two minutes after, before Jota completed his hat-trick in composed fashion after 55 minutes. A late flurry saw Duvan Zapata score from an offside position in injury time, but Atalanta were largely helpless. Three points would've been enough for Liverpool, but a clean sheet was the sweetener and the perfect maiden Champions League start for 19-year-old Rhys Williams.
Here's how Atalanta and Liverpool's players performed throughout the evening.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Marco Sportiello (GK) - 4/10 - Not a lot he could do for the first two finishes and made some decent saves around that, but lost his head when the floodgates opened. Hurt by a lack of defensive organisation in front of him.
Rafael Toloi (CB) - 4/10 - Best of a lacklustre back line; made a few decent blocks but was positionally poor and gave forwards too much time.
Berat Djimsiti (CB) - 3/10 - Djimsiti was chopping and changing with his other two centre-backs cluelessly. Diogo Jota had all three on strings in the first half particularly.
Jose Palomino (CB) - 3/10 - Struggled to contain overlapping runs and often found himself spun. Had no idea how to evade Liverpool's press, along with his defensive colleagues.
Hans Hateboer (RWB) - 4/10 - Didn't really know whether he was coming or going at times. Caught too high and left a lot of space in behind in the first half, and was skinned alive on the break against Mohamed Salah.
Mario Pasalic (CM) - 5/10 - Largely quiet game for Pasalic who's often a vital cog in the machine that is Atalanta's midfield. Subbed off on the hour for Ruslan Malinovsky who was marginally better.
Alejandro Gomez (AM) - 6/10 - Initiated the press for his side and looked capable of causing a problem in the first half, but found opportunities limited as his side crumbled around him after the break.
Remo Freuler (CM) - 4/10 - Created one or two chances but was completely overrun and overworked in midfield by Liverpool's starting trio.
Johan Mojica (LWB) - 4/10 - Struggled to hold a good position and was caught ball-watching several times, costing Atalanta the first goal.
Luis Muriel (ST) - 4/10 - Had very few chances which he snatched at early on, and did nothing but helplessly chase possession in the first half. Hooked shortly after half time, and understandably so.
Duvan Zapata (ST) - 5/10 - Struggled for service in the first half and was kept out several times by Alisson in the second half. Unfortunate not to score a powerful effort, but it wasn't his most clinical performance.
Matteo Passina - 5/10
Ruslan Malinovsky - 5/10
Sam Lammers - 5/10
Matteo Ruggeri - 5/10
Fabio Depaoli - 5/10
5. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Alisson (GK) - 7/10 - Not a lot to do in the first half and kept the ball out of the net when tasked with doing so, but he did seem to spill one or two tame efforts early on. Looked much more up to pace in the second half and defended his clean sheet well.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - 7/10 - Another incredible passing display from the England international. He grabbed an incredible assist and helped out defensively, showing his qualities at both ends.
Rhys Williams (CB) - 6/10 - Comfortable in possession but a little too eager at times; expected considering his inexperience.
Joe Gomez (CB) - 7/10 - Not awfully busy but a mature performance next to Williams and a peach of a ball to get an assist for Jota's second.
Andy Robertson (LB) - 7/10 - Worked tirelessly and was key to Liverpool's swift changes of pace which constantly kept Atalanta under the cosh. A few wayward passes, but great movement and there defensively when needed.
Jordan Henderson (CM) - 7/10 - Kept Gomez quiet and swept up for Liverpool off the ball. Nothing extravagant but an important role played well.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) - 7/10 - Struggled initially to contain Alejandro Gomez which resulted in a booking, but moved the ball in crisp fashion which was key to Liverpool's slick attacks in the first half.
Curtis Jones (CM) - 7/10 - Very mature performance from Jones, who looks incredibly comfortable already. Held onto the ball a tad too long at times, but an impressive performance nonetheless from the 19-year-old. Also finished with a 93% pass accuracy - not too shabby.
Mohamed Salah (LW) - 8/10 - Rather quiet in the first half but scored with his first few touches at the start of the second; testament to just how talented the Egyptian is.
Sadio Mane (CF) - 8/10 - Worked tirelessly in the first half and was rewarded in the second; put away a chance with a sublime dink over Sportiello to top off a concentrated performance.
Diogo Jota (RW) - 10/10 - Composed for the opener and his movement caused Atalanta's back three all sorts of problems. Took his second incredibly well on the volley and rounded the keeper for the third. Insanely cool, razor sharp.
Roberto Firmino - 6/10
James Milner - 6/10
Naby Keita - 7/10
Neco Williams - 5/10
Kostas Tsimikas - 6/10
Source : 90min