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 By David Usher

Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Milner shine in Liverpool's rout of Man City

Liverpool have one foot in the Champions League semifinals after pulling off a stunning 3-0 victory over Manchester City in front of a typically raucous European night Anfield crowd. The first half was a stunning exhibition of high-intensity pressing and attacking, while the second period showed that Liverpool can also defend when they have to. It was a complete performance from Jurgen Klopp's men.

Positives

Too many to list. Every player performed to a high standard and the result was something that few supporters could have imagined even in their wildest dreams. Scoring three goals will have surprised nobody but keeping a clean sheet and not allowing City a single shot on target was a remarkable achievement.

Negatives

Mohamed Salah limping off is a big concern ahead of the second leg, while Jordan Henderson's late yellow card makes him a definite absence for next week.

Manager rating out of 10

10 -- Klopp won the tactical duel with Pep Guardiola and had his team perfectly prepared to take advantage of the incredible atmosphere generated by the supporters. The second half was a masterclass in closing down the spaces that City like to play in.

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

GK Loris Karius, 7 -- Incredibly, given the calibre of the opposition, the German did not have a save to make all night. He looked assured and confident in anything he did have to do, but in truth it was not much.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 10 -- A maximum grade is a very rare thing indeed, and perhaps a 9 would have been appropriate under normal circumstances. In this case though, context is king. The teenager has made some high-profile errors of late and was widely regarded as a possible weak link, particularly as he was tasked with shackling the brilliant Leroy Sane. He responded with a virtually flawless performance. It was a remarkable display considering his inexperience and the magnitude of the occasion. Take a bow, young man.

DF Dejan Lovren, 8 -- Solid and dependable. Positionally sound and on the rare occasions when City managed to get in and around the six-yard box, the Croatian was usually there to clear the ball or get himself in the way.

DF Virgil van Dijk, 8 -- Rarely looked in any trouble and generally cruised through the game, organising those around him and giving off an aura of control. One sloppy pass in the second half could have proved costly, but other than that he was excellent.

DF Andrew Robertson, 8 -- Another rampaging display from the fan favourite, who caused City countless problems in the first half with his lung-busting charges forward. Didn't get much chance to attack after the break but defended stoutly, although he was perhaps a little fortunate not to concede a penalty when he appeared to bring Raheem Sterling down in the box.

MF Jordan Henderson, 8 -- Very disciplined display from the skipper who held his position well and diligently covered the space in front of his back four. A little unfortunate to pick up a late booking that rules him out of the second leg and Liverpool will be hoping Emre Can recovers in time to replace him.

Trent Alexander-Arnold rose to the occasion to shut down dangerous winger Leroy Sane.
Young Trent Alexander-Arnold was extremely impressive in his matchup with the dangerous Leroy Sane.

MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 8 -- The last time these sides met he scored a terrific goal from distance. He repeated the feat, only this strike was even more spectacular. He was a real thorn in City's side in the first half and then embraced his defensive duties after the break when it was all hands to the pump.

MF James Milner, 9 -- Simply magnificent. A monstrous performance from the veteran midfielder against his former club. Won so many tackles, used the ball intelligently and provided the kind of experience and leadership that Liverpool will need over the next couple of months. Heavily involved in all three goals.

FW Mohamed Salah, 8 -- Scored his now customary goal and then turned provider to create one for his pal Sadio Mane. Had he not been forced off with an injury early in the second half this tie might already be over.

FW Roberto Firmino, 7 -- More than played his part in the brilliant first-half performance where his tireless running and closing down of City's players helped to keep the Reds on the front foot. Heavily involved in the opening goal when his persistence created the opportunity for Salah. Seemed to run out of gas in the second half and was substituted after 71 minutes.

FW Sadio Mane, 8 -- City had all sorts of problems dealing with the combination of Mane and Robertson on Liverpool's left and the Senegalese forward got a deserved goal when he headed in a Salah cross in front of the Kop. After the break, he had little chance to shine but worked tirelessly off the ball and tried to provide an outlet as Liverpool struggled to get out of their own half.

Substitutes:

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 7 -- Brought on for the injured Salah and did the job that was required of him. Closed down space very well, got his foot in when the opportunity was there and carried the ball forward to relieve the pressure.

FW Dominic Solanke, NR -- Somewhat surprisingly sent on to replace a tiring Firmino. His first involvement almost created a goal for Mane but after that most of his work was in a defensive capacity.

MF Alberto Moreno, NR -- Given a late run out in an advanced role. Didn't have time to make an impression.

Dave Usher is one of ESPN FC's Liverpool bloggers. Follow him on Twitter: @theliverpoolway.

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