See all articles Perfect Liverpool pair make Champions League best XI

There are not one, but two, perfect 10s that feature in our Champions League team of the week, with Liverpool pair Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both receiving the score this week. The former is the player of the semi-final first leg meetings according to our unique rating system and it’s richly deserved.

Salah opened the scoring in the first half against his former side as he netted a sumptuous curling effort past Alisson before adding a second on the stroke of half time. With an additional five key passes, two assists and three successful dribbles, the Egyptian sensation was a deserving winner of the man of the match award with a perfect 10 in the 5-2 win over Roma.


Perfect Liverpool pair make Champions League best XI


Partner in crime Firmino stars in attack after a superb showing in midweek, with the Brazilian also netting twice and providing two assists. With the two assists for a Salah goal, it means the Firmino to Salah assist-to-goalscorer combination is the best in the Champions League this season, returning four goals. Having also made three tackles and four successful dribbles, the Liverpool striker did enough, like Salah, to warrant a perfect 10.


However, Liverpool aren’t quite guaranteed a spot in the Champions League final just yet after a late lapse in concentration allowed Roma back into the tie as they netted two goals in the dying embers of the match at Anfield. Edin Dzeko netted the first as he capitalised on a Dejan Lovren mistake to fire past Loris Karius, with the Roma striker scoring his fourth Champions League goal from his last four away appearances in the competition.


To go with his goal, Dzeko also won seven aerial duels, made two key passes and completed one successful dribble to return a rating of 7.83. Radja Nainggolan provided the assist for Dzeko’s goal and he too features in our team of the week. The Belgian also had the shot that won Roma a second half penalty, that one of three efforts on goal he mustered, while his assist was from one of four key passes on Merseyside. With two tackles and two successful dribbles to his name, Nainggolan did enough to warrant a rating of 7.50.


Bayern Munich star James Rodriguez partners the Roma man in central midfield as a result of a splendid showing against former side Real Madrid. While the German outfit fell to a 2-1 home defeat, Rodriguez was an impressive performer for Jupp Heynckes’ team, with the Colombian providing the assist for Joshua Kimmich’s goal, that coming from one of four key passes. On top of that, Rodriguez made four tackles, one interception and returned a pass success rate of 90.1% to gain a rating of 7.62.


Sadio Mane rounds off the midfield and is the third of four Liverpool players to make the cut. For a period in the first half, it seemed as though the Senegal international could play all night and not score after he fluffed his lines with two good chances, but made amends with a second half goal. With one key pass and one tackle, Mane did enough to earn a rating of 7.62. Goalkeeper Loris Karius rounds off the Reds contingent as the German gained a rating of 6.91 on a memorable night at Anfield. Four saves and two successful cross claims meant Karius was the best of – in truth – a bad bunch of goalkeeping displays in midweek.


Two Real Madrid defenders feature ahead of Karius in the best rated XI on the back of their respective displays against Bayern Munich. Marcelo scored a crucial equaliser for Los Blancos at the Allianz Arena, that coming from his only shot on goal in Munich, while two tackles and five interceptions saw the left-back gain a rating of 7.66. Raphael Varane is the other Real Madrid ace to make the cut as a result of his solid defensive showing against the Bundesliga champions. The Frenchman gained a rating of 7.63 after he won four aerial duels, made four tackles, one interception and six clearances.


Perfect Liverpool pair make Champions League best XI


Now this is where the team of the week gets interesting as Roma centre-back Federico Fazio features in the best-rated XI. It’s keen to stress that, by conceding five goals, the Argentine’s rating will have taken a battering, but Fazio still ranked high for a number of stats that will have reflected positively on his score. The 31-year-old won a whopping 11 aerial duels and was on hand to make five tackles, three interceptions and nine clearances for Eusebio di Francesco’s side. Factor in an additional four accurate long balls and it’s feasible to suggest that Roma would have conceded more than five had Fazio not ranked highly for key defensive stats and, as a result, the Giallorossi still have a chance of making the Champions League final.


Kimmich rounds off the Champions League team of the week, despite ending up on the losing side against Real Madrid. The German defender scored Bayern’s only goal of the game, helped in part by Keylor Navas, while the young right-back made three key passes, two interceptions and one tackle in the loss to gain a rating of 7.68.