On a night where Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to Diego Maradona following his death, the German’s much-changed Liverpool lineup showed little of the Argentine’s devilment as they failed to manage a shot on target in defeat to Atalanta.
The Reds, having won 5-0 in Bergamo when the two sides met in their last Champions League match earlier this month, fell to a 2-0 defeat at Anfield.
Having been dominated for most of the game Klopp decided on a quadruple substitution on the hour.
But with Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota all waiting to come on Gian Piero Gasperini’s side scored twice in quick succession to win the game.
First Josip Ilic turned in Papu Gomez’s inswinging cross from the left at the far post.
And then, when Klopp had made his changes, the unmarked Robin Gosens sidefooted home a Hans Hateboer header.
Reds midfielder James Milner accepted it had been a “poor performance” from the English champions.
He said on BT Sport 2: “It was pretty flat. There were a lot of changes again and we never got going it was disappointing.”
Here are player ratings from Anfield.
Liverpool player ratings
Finally a defeat for the Brazilian at Anfield when playing for the home side. Little he could do about the goals.
Neco Williams 4
The Welshman can be erratic at times and perhaps it is harsh that he will be compared to Trent Alexander-Arnold, but Atalanta saw him as a weakness and played on it.
Joel Matip 6
Blasted by Jurgen Klopp in German in the first period for “f*****g about with silly passes”. Subbed late on but got though without injury.
Rhys Williams 5
Looked largely unflappable in Bergamo but found this a much more difficult evening. Lost his man on the second goal.
Kostas Tsimikas 5
Not the first start the Greek left-back would have been looking for. Capable of doing better, both with and without the ball. Subbed after an hour, having been caught out for the first goal.
Curtis Jones 5
Has been really impressive in recent weeks, but struggled to make his mark on this game.
Gini Wijnaldum 6
Asked to anchor midfield once more and gave a typically composed, hard-working performance before being taken off on the hour mark.
James Milner 5
Captain in Jordan Henderson’s absence but reverting back into midfield, found the going tough against the Italians.
Mohamed Salah 5
Another who was subbed on the hour mark, but this wasn’t his night anyway. Frustrating and far from his best.
Divock Origi 5
Brought back in to lead the attack and offered a start ahead of Takumi Minamino, the Belgian made little impact. Hooked on the hour.
Sadio Mane 5
Not often you see Liverpool and come away having not noticed anything of note from the Senegalese. This was one of those few occasions.
SUBS: Fabinho (Wijnaldum, 61’) Firmino (Salah, 61’), Robertson (Tsimikas, 61’), Jota (Origi, 61’), Minamino (Matip, 61’)
Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.