Salah, Matip both 5/10 as rotated Liverpool suffer upset vs. Atalanta

Liverpool must wait to confirm their progression into the last 16 of the Champions League after the Reds suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat to a reinvigorated Atalanta side, who reignited their own qualification hopes.

A dismal opening 45 minutes saw the two teams head in level at the break, but Liverpool were punished for a flat performance as Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens handed the visitors a quick-fire two-goal lead after the interval.

Jurgen Klopp threw on four substitutes in one go as the hosts searched desperately for a way back into the contest, but that never really looked on the cards and the Italians secured a thoroughly deserved victory against the odds.

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Liverpool can take comfort from the fact that qualification remains very much in their own hands and the Merseysiders at least remain top of Group D with two games to play.


The Reds produced some sloppy passing and failed to register a single shot on target against a well-drilled Atalanta side who ended the hosts' 100 percent record in the competition this term.

Manager rating out of 10

4 -- You can forgive Jurgen Klopp for ringing in the changes given the unrelenting schedule clubs face this season, but Klopp was probably more animated than his entire starting XI combined, which was reflected both by the scoreline and a bold quadruple change on the hour mark.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alisson, 7 -- It took a mightily strong right hand from the Braziilan to preserve his side's perfect defensive record as Gosens' early thunderbolt almost stunned the Reds, but he could do little to prevent either of the Atalanta goals.

DF Neco Williams, 6 -- A second Champions League appearance for the teenager. He coped well against a flurry of attacks down the Atalanta left and produced a delightful tackle to halt Gosens. That said, found it tough going after the break.

DF Rhys Williams, 5 -- Like Joel Matip alongside him, the 19-year-old struggled to contain a spirited Atalanta attack, and was caught ball-watching by a low cross into the box as the visitors took the lead.

DF Joel Matip 5 -- The German-born defender was Liverpool's most experienced defender by some distance, but even he looked uncomfortable and couldn't keep the Serie A side at bay.

DF Konstantinos Tsimikas, 7 -- A decent performance from the left-back who showed a real willingness to put in the hard yards in a game where his side lacked their usual rhythm. He was always looking to get forward in a battling performance prior to his withdrawal.

MF Curtis Jones, 6 -- The youngster remains an exciting prospect, but this wasn't really his night and he struggled to have any real influence. His only notable involvement saw his lofted ball to Rhys Williams eventually cleared.

MF James Milner, 6 -- Even stand-in skipper Milner struggled to get his side going, but he did his best to inject some urgency into Liverpool's play. Fed Tsimikas on the left in the build up to the Red's best chance of the opening 45 minutes.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 5 -- Probably one of the quietest evenings the Netherland's international has produced during his time at Anfield and he was withdrawn for Fabinho for the final half-hour.

FW Mohamed Salah, 5 -- A return to the starting XI for Salah, but his first involvement was a sloppy one as he gifted possession to Ilicic. Beyond that, the Egyptian had to feed off scraps and blazed his best chance over the bar.

FW Divock Origi, 5 -- The Belgian has found opportunities even harder to come by since Diogo Jota's arrival and he failed to grab this one on a night where he really needed to.

FW Sadio Mane, 5 -- When Mane floats a 20-yard pass straight out of play you can be forgiven for starting to think it just might not be your night. He didn't do much else either and the Senegal man was replaced with an hour played.


DF Andrew Robertson, 6 -- The normally flying Scot was introduced with Klopp looking to improve his side's play in wide areas, but he found opportunities to scamper forward limited and couldn't turn the tide.

MF Fabinho, 6 -- Replaced Wijnaldum as Liverpool made a host of changes but in truth, he did little to sure things up at the back as Atalanta continued to play with confidence.

FW Takumi Minamino, N/R -- Introduced for the final stages, but he had little time to have any impact.

FW Diogo Jota, 6 -- The in-form striker came into this one looking to become the fastest Liverpool player to reach five Champions League goals. He didn't have much of a chance to do so, although he almost picked out Roberto Firmino with a dangerous ball from the left.

FW Roberto Firmino, 6 -- This was a rare evening on which Liverpool's link-up play was virtually nonexistent, and even their classy No. 9 struggled to change that against an incredibly disciplined opponent.