Five things we learned from Liverpool’s narrow Europa League victory v Augsburg

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Liverpool’s 1-0 aggregate victory over Augsburg confirmed our passage into the Last 16, and here’s what we learned from last night’s win.

(Video) Liverpool 1-0 Augsburg: Match report and highlights, as Milner pen secures progression
Liverpool player ratings v Augsburg: Coutinho shines, with Sakho back to his best as well

The Reds still lack a consistent finishing touch…

Liverpool purred at times last night, playing some of the best football we’ve seen at Anfield this season. But bar a dodgy penalty, we didn’t actually score a goal – and we didn’t threaten in the first leg either. After we plundered six past Aston Villa it looked like our goalscoring issues had been fixed, but even with Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino up top, they still exist. Our front-three’s buildup play was stupendous at times, but all three missed guilt-edged opportunities to put the game to bed.

Mamadou Sakho has finally put his dodgy form behind him…

The Frenchman returned from his hamstring problem before Christmas, but it’s actually taken him until now virtually to re-find the form which made him our most impressive player during the first period of the season. After winning a place back in the team under Brendan Rodgers – Sakho was faultless – and he brought those performances into Jurgen Klopp’s reign as well. After a blip, he’s back on it, and just in time for the League Cup final as well. Against the Germans, Sakho was composed on the ball again, as well as being dominant in the air. There was no clumsiness, just assured defensive prowess.

Jordan Henderson is still struggling…

Unlike Sakho, it seems Henderson is still finding it hard to discover his best after a long-term absence. He was difficult to notice in truth, as he tamely pressed channels on the left of midfield. Henderson’s creative passes went astray, and there was the sense that while he was trying to contribute in defence and attack, he actually offered little in either.

We’ve a lot to learn from the Augsburg support…

Tiny Augsburg did themselves proud over these two legs. They made us welcome in Germany, and stayed until the bitter, bitter end at Anfield last night, bringing flowers for the Hillsborough Memorial and showing us the kind of respect as supporters we’ve very rarely seen. A great set of fans who truly understand football.

Klopp is nervous about Kolo Toure starting the League Cup final…

Jurgen Klopp essentially gave Lucas an audition to start at centre-back on Sunday by selecting him ahead of Kolo Toure alongside Sakho. Lucas has done very well in the unnatural position when deployed there so far in 2016, but he committed an almost costly blunder with a wayward back-pass in the first-half last night. Will that be enough to convince Klopp he should choose Toure, the experienced option? There’s also a chance Dejan Lovren will have sufficiently recovered from his illness and can start too – probably the best option.

Liverpool player ratings v Augsburg: Coutinho shines, with Sakho back to his best as well

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