Let’s analyse, player by player, the performance of Liverpool on the night:
S. Mignolet – 7
The Belgian has barely had an easier game in a Liverpool shirt. 0 shots on goal for Rubin shows that he was not tested in Russia. For the first 80 minutes he didn’t have anything in his box to deal with, but then a five/six minute spell of pressure from the home side produced one or two nervy moments. All in all a very easy night for him.
N. Clyne – 6.5
Clyne had a very solid night. Defensively he didn’t have much to do and he was solid in possession – providing overlapping runs for Ibe was his main output. Match by match he is becoming a key man under Klopp. Klopp, however, would like him to improve his crossing ability, as that addition will make Clyne a complete right-back.
D. Lovren – 6
The Croatian replaced Martin Skrtel for this game and was under a little pressure to perform. He actually didn’t have to do much as Marko Devic was barely making runs in behind to test him. He did, however, give away a cheap free kick in dangerous territory late on, but overall I would say he had very little to do.
M. Sakho – 7.5
The Frenchman produced another classic centre back display in a Liverpool shirt, as he grows both as a player and a leader at the back. His offensive passes were extraordinary with more than 90% of them being completed. Defensively he didn’t have much to do – one or two headed clearances and blocks in later stages of the game when Rubin were trying to equalise. Overall a thumbs up for the former PSG man, who is becoming Liverpool’s main centre back..
A. Moreno – 6.5
The Spaniard also had a solid night in Russia. With not much to do in defensive sense, he was good in possession, stretching Rubin in wide areas. That said, he needs to improve his crossing and decision-making in final third of the pitch. All in all a stroll for him as he continues to thrive under Klopp in the left back position.
J. Allen – 6
Allen replaced Lucas for this game and was in the centre of the midfield. It was a typical Allen display with few neat touches and clever transition tocuhes as he helped his midfield partners to press higher up the pitch. Apart from one or two losses of possession and fouls, the Welshman had a comfortable night.
E. Can – 7
Can was again influential in midfield and continues to thrive as a player in his favoured position. He was neat in his passing, pressing, tracking back and breaking of the opposition’s counter attacks. He really needs to be more decisive in passing when in final third of the pitch and needs to release the ball quicker from his feet, though. However, in all fairness, the German looked increasingly comfortable in that central midfield role and we have to remember that he is still young and has a long future ahead of him.
J. Milner – 5
Milner was on the left of the three men behind the centre forward, and the former Manchester City man endured another tricky outing – questions will be raised whether he should be a regular starter and whether he will continue to wear the captain’s armband. A below average performance as continues to struggle in wide areas, fails to track back and slows play down. He had a good chance early on in the game from which he struck the top of the crossbar, but apart from that a sub-standard outing from the 29-year old, who was eventually substituted in the hour mark.
R. Firmino – 7.5
The Brazilian continues his good form and produced another crafty performance in that No.10 position that he’s slowly making his own. He was the player who looked like creating an opening whenever had the ball and always tried to run in behind or between the centre backs causing problems. A typical playmaker’s performance from the ex-Hoffenheim man, who is now finding his feet at Liverpool.
J. Ibe – 8.5 (MOTM)
By the far the most impressive player on the pitch and this was, arguably, his best performance in a Liverpool shirt. The teenager played on the right side and looked at ease when cutting inside and shooting. He was was impressive in holding the ball and letting Clyne make overlapping runs, too, and those two combined well. Ibe, of course, scored a wonderful goal that eventually proved to be the difference on the night. A statement performance from the 19 year old, which could earn him more starting berths in future.
C. Benteke – 6
Starting for the first time under Klopp, the Belgian had a quiet night in front of goal, mainly due to lack of effective crosses from either side of the field. He was fairly strong in the air, winning headers and holding up play for runners to get up in support. Liverpool have to improve their crossing to get more from him, though. Overall a good performance.
A. Lallana – 7 (on for Milner in 60th minute)
Came on for Milner and did pretty well. The Englishman provided few neat touches and turns and laid a good pass to Ibe on a notable Liverpool break. He has looked different player under Klopp and is becoming a regular in the team.
Lucas – 7 (on for Firmino in 81st minute)
The Brazilian came on when Rubin started to look a bit dangerous. He came just to shore up the backline and be a presence between the centre backs.
M. Skrtel – NA (on for Can in 90+2 minute)
The Slovakian came for a few seconds and had no involvement in the game.
Jurgen Klopp – 8
The manager continues to impress and the results are now showing just that. Three wins on a bounce in all competitions – the last two coming in tough away trips – is pleasing. He started with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Can and Allen in central midfield and gave Ibe the start he needed, which proved to be a master stroke. He continued with Firmino in the No.10 position, which also paid dividends. Overall, tactically a good showing for the manager, who maintained his unbeaten start as Liverpool boss.
All in all, a solid away European performance for Liverpool, which was their first away European win in three years. They also became the first English team to beat Rubin Kazan in their own back yard.