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Rating Liverpool's 2005 Champions League Winning Team Against Their Current XI

Rating Liverpool's 2005 Champions League Winning Team Against Their Current XI
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With the Champions League final nearly upon us, it seems a long time since Liverpool were constant force in Europe. Of course the match that propelled them back among the European elite was their improbable victory over AC Milan in 2005. A team of promising youngsters, local heroes and... average journeymen combined to come back from 3-0 down in one of the most remarkable finals in the competition's history.

With that in mind let's evaluate the current crop of Liverpool talent with that of 2005.

NB: I realise with a lot of these positions I am not comparing like with like, but as a general means of evaluating how far Liverpool have come since 2005, it will have to do.

Lloris Karius/Jerzy Dudek

In short, two dodgy 'keepers. Dudek went into the Champions League final out of necessity rather than merit, due to injuries to Chris Kirkland, but as we all know he had a very memorable night in Istanbul.

Lloris Karius has taken the number one shirt from Simon Mignolet this season, but the young German has failed to make it his own. The 24-year-old has had some good performances since replacing Mignolet, but errors in the Roma game have left question marks over whether he is the man for Liverpool going into next season.

Karius: 6/10

Dudek: 6/10


Trent Alexander-Arnold/Steve Finnan

Young Liverpool right back Alexander-Arnold has has been a mixed bag in his first full season with the first team. The 19-year-old has shown his attacking worth, but has sometimes been found wanting defensively, with his performance in the second leg against Roma drawing criticism.
Finnan, on the other hand, was Mr. Dependable during his six years in Merseyside. The Limerick born defender edges Alexander-Arnold for his defensive capabilities but the young full back comes up trumps in the final third of the pitch.

Alexander-Arnold: 6/10

Finnan: 7/10


Dejan Lovren/Jamie Carragher

Croatian defender Dejan Lovren has had a Jekyll and Hyde career at Anfield. The former Southampton player has had performances where he looks like a dominant, composed centre back and others where he looks like he does not have the requisite concentration levels to be a defender in a team challenging for the highest honours. Take Liverpool's first leg at Roma, where Lovren misjudged a through ball, letting Dzeko in to score for the Italian side. These types of brainfarts occur far too frequently for the 28-year-old.

Liverpool fans would be a lot calmer about Saturday if Carragher was in the starting line-up, with the Bootle born defender a far better option than his Croatian counterpart.

Lovren: 6/10


Carragher: 9/10

Virgil Van Djik/ Sami Hyypia

Virgil Van Djik has been a revelation since his 75 million move from Southampton in January. The Dutch colossus has shored up an often leaky defence and brought a calming influence to Liverpool's back line.
The 26-year-old has similar qualities to Liverpool's 2005 centre back Sami Hyypia. The Finnish defender was also a commanding presence in the Liverpool back line, though Van Djik is in the prime of his career whereas Hyypia was at the tail end of his, and lacked mobility.

Van Djik: 9/10


Hyypia: 7/10

Andrew Robertson/Djimi Traore

Andrew Robertson has impressed for Liverpool since ousting Alberto Moreno halfway through the season. The defender who was relegated with Hull last season has shown that he is a solid choice on the left side of defence with his tireless running and willingness to attack currying favour with the Anfield faithful.
Djimi Traore once did a backheel own goal in the FA cup.



Robertson: 7/10

Traore: 4/10

Jordan Henderson/Xabi Alonso


While Henderson has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons, the England international has proved that he fits in well with Jurgen Klopp's gegenpressing style of play.


Alonso was in his maiden season with the Anfield club in 2005 and had shown flashes of brilliance, with the Spaniards passing catching the eye. Alonso beats Henderson for quality but if it were up to Jurgen Klopp Henderson would probably get the nod over Alonso for his sheer energy and suitability to Klopp's system.

Henderson: 6/10

Alonso: 8/10

Gini Wijnaldum/Harry Kewell

Gini Wijnaldum is one of those players that you're not quite sure if he does anything. The 27-year-old can drift in and out of matches at times, but when on his game the Dutch midfielder does a lot of the dirty work in Liverpool's midfield and showed his worth to fans in the first leg of Liverpool's quarter final against Manchester City, coming on for the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and linking defence and attack effectively.
Harry Kewell had a nightmare spell on Merseyside over his six years at Anfield. The Australian winger had to deal with various injuries including the one which meant he was withdrawn from the Istanbul showpiece after 23 minutes. He was replaced by the outgoing Vladimir Smicer and we all know what impact he had on events in the Ataturk stadium.

Wijnaldum: 7/10

Kewell: 6/10

James Milner/Steven Gerrard

Gerrard was coming into the prime of his career when he captained Liverpool to European glory. Milner, however, is looking at his last season of consistent first team action, though the former Leeds winger has confounded expectations and sits at the top of the CL assists chart with 9. While Gerrard was obviously a key factor in the Istanbul victory and that Liverpool team for the guts of 15 years, Milner has become a fan favourite due to his professional attitude and also due to the fact that unlike most Liverpool midfielders, he never gets injured.

Milner: 7/10

Gerrard: 9/10

Mohamed Salah/Luis Garcia

We ran out of superlatives to describe the Egyptian a long time ago so let's just say he's had a really, really, really, really good season. Luis Garcia was Liverpool's mercurial talent of 2005, his goals against Chelsea, Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen were one of the major reasons Liverpool found themselves in the final. The little Spaniard did have a penchant for giving the ball away however, and however vital his contribution was in 2005 in pales in comparison to the impact Salah has made on the team since his arrival from Roma last summer.

Salah: 9/10

Garcia: 7/10

Sadio Mane/John Arne Riise

We all remember John Arne Riise for his thunderous left foot, but the Norwegian was also capable defender. He lined out for Liverpool on the left wing in 2005 and it was his pinpoint cross that started the comeback in the Ataturk stadium.

Sadio Mane endured difficult second season syndrome this term but came into good form as the season progressed. Perhaps the least lauded off all the front three, Mane's contribution to Liverpool's Champions League campaign cannot be underestimated.

Mane: 9/10

John Arne Riise: 7/10

Roberto Firmino/Milan Baros

No real competition here, Baros was one of those head down and shoot on sight strikers, almost the antithesis of the unselfish Brazilian. Firmino has had his best season at the club so far notching 27 goals across all competitions, with Baros finishing the 04/05 campaign with 13 goals in all.

Firmino: 9/10

Baros: 5/10

Combined total:

Liverpool 2005: 75

Liverpool 2017: 81

See Also: Our Ranking Of All Of The World Cup Away Kits

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