Liverpool just did enough to see off Danish side FC Midtjylland in the Champions League Group D.
A rotated forward line saw the usual starters all left on the bench by Jurgen Klopp and the speed and fluency of play suffered accordingly.
Liverpool’s most notable moment of the first half was an injury to Fabinho, who has been filling in as an emergency centre-back of late.
Trent Alexander-Arnold produced a moment of clever play after the break to give Diogo Jota a tap-in and earn the Reds a lead, which was wrapped up by a Mohamed Salah penalty for a 2-0 win.
Here are the player ratings for the home side from the match at Anfield.
Alisson Becker - 7. A good early save from a one-on-one. Always proactive in coming off his line to sweep up long passes.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - 8. Produced the few moments of real class the game needed to find a breakthrough in the scoreline.
Fabinho - 6. Didn’t have too much to do before going off injured on the half-hour mark.
Joe Gomez - 8. Dominant in the air, saw off the challenge of Sory Kaba extremely well. Liverpool’s most important player now arguably after defensive injuries.
Andy Robertson - 7. Useful as ever on the overlap. Didn’t get into crossing positions too often and was often occupied by Midtjylland’s best outlet Dreyer.
Jordan Henderson - 6. Not much in the way of forward running from midfield, but a couple of decent balls into the box. Subbed at the break.
James Milner - 6. Lots of endeavour and covering runs. Mixed results on the ball at times but won back possession in the centre too.
Xherdan Shaqiri - 5. Caught out of position as a third midfielder. Had an important role in the goal but his on-the-ball work was infrequent.
Takumi Minamino - 6. Brought all his usual pressing and work rate, but didn’t have much fortune in the area or any runners to link up with. Went right side after the break but subbed on an hour.
Diogo Jota - 7. A couple of brief sights of the ball aside, he was marginalised down the right flank. Much better down the left and tapped in the opener. Subbed with about 10 to play.
Divock Origi - 4. Offered nothing in the first half other than winning a few free-kicks. Didn’t run the flank or in behind. Lost possession far too regularly. Subbed on the hour.
Rhys Williams - 6. On for Fabinho. A couple of early nervy moments but grew into the game and made a couple of interceptions.
Gini Wijnaldum - 6. On for Henderson. Brought some power and speed to the midfield but didn’t really dominate in the way he can in terms of possession.
Mohamed Salah - 7. On for Minamino. Didn’t get into the game much at first. Skied one effort, then raced through, was brought down, won a penalty and scored it.
Sadio Mane - 6. On for Origi. Minimal impact in his half-hour.
Roberto Firmino - 5. On for Jota. Played the closing stages and missed a great chance to wrap up the game.