Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Player Ratings - Liverpool vs. Tottenham: 3-2

Okay, so a "culture" blog isn’t complete without some culture of the terrace variety. That's my opinion, anyway. Yes, it’s time for football musings, folks. The mighty Liverpool (or not so mighty depending on where one's persuasions lie) reigned supreme this morning, 3-2 victors over the very impressive Tottenham Hotspur.

From here until the end of the season, I’ll do my best to post player ratings as each game passes.

Starting XI:

Simon Mignolet – 7: Made one world class save from an Erik Lamela effort, as well dealing well with a Christian Eriksen free kick. Was unfortunate with the follow-up (debatable offside). Looking assured since he regained his place back into the starting XI.

Emre Can – 8: Man of the Match. Changed the game with his introduction in midfield. Assured on the ball, reads the game as good as anyone in the Liverpool squad. German engineering, indeed.

Martin Skrtel – 7: Dealt with Harry Kane well enough. Continues his renaissance as the sweeper in the new back three system.

Mamadou Sakho – 5: Looked very shaky, particularly in the first half. Slipped during the lead-up to Spurs’ opener and looked careless at times on the ball. Looked more like himself as the game went on.

Jordan Ibe – 8: Very much looking like a player for the future, as well as a player for the now. The step up in level hasn’t phased him one iota, while his physical attributes for a player his age are almost unprecedented. He’ll get an extended run in the side.

Steve Gerrard – 6: Scored Liverpool’s second but was largely overrun in midfield. Sadly, he no longer has the legs to play in the central midfield role. Was rightly substituted.

Jordon Henderson – 6: Also overran in the midfield. Henderson’s performances seem to suffer when paired with Gerrard. Looked a lot brighter with Can beside him.

Alberto Moreno – 7: Very solid display both in defence and attack. His marauding runs down the left hand channel are becoming a feature of his game.

Philippe Coutinho – 5: By his standards, a poor game. Gave away possession far too often and lacked precision with his final pass. Spurs did a good job on him, though, very much like Everton at the weekend.

Lazar Markovic – 6: Mixed night. Got his goal with a Hugo Lloris error, and looked bright thereafter, but faded in the second half. Coutinho seemed reluctant to find him with the final pass.

Daniel Sturridge – 7: Could’ve had a brace, but it just wasn’t his night for the scoresheet. Won a cast iron penalty with his trademark trickery in tight areas. His movement off the ball makes those around him even more dangerous. His match fitness isn’t far away.

Dejan Lovren – 6: Looked quite comfortable as a part of the back three. Made a vital tackle against Harry Kane late on. He needs another run in the team, despite the stick he’s copped from the Anfield faithful.

Mario Balotelli – 7: Another who has copped the ire from many, Super Mario’s match winner may just be the start of something. Undoubted quality, and with Sturridge back in the fold, I think many could see a more productive Mario.

Adam Lallana – 7: His movement off the ball in the lead up to Balotelli’s goal was fantastic. A tireless runner off the ball, too; a feature that goes largely unnoticed in the way of plaudits.

Brendan Rodgers – 8: He’s been largely criticised for his substitutions this season. Tonight, though, Rodgers got it spot on. Moving Can into the midfield was the right call and a late one, judging by the action on the touchline with Allen being readied beforehand. Balotelli’s introduction was important, too. Rodgers could’ve easily looked towards Rickie Lambert. All told, I think Brendan Rodgers progressed as a manager tonight.

By Simon K.