Monday, 2 March 2015

Player Ratings - Liverpool vs. Manchester City: 2-1


After the disappointment of bowing out of the Europa League, coupled with an important Premier League fixture than 72 hours away, Liverpool FC came into the game against title contenders, Manchester City with most pundits writing them off. As said throughout these parts sum seven days earlier; the juggernaut continues. It was a heroic victory for the men from Anfield, in a performance that can undoubtedly be described as their best this season. The elation is high to the point where I can't say much more. My Liverpool FC player ratings as follows:

Simon Mignolet - 6: During the critical moments, Mignolet looked rather shaky; a surprise, considering his current resurgence. Should have come for the ball in the lead up to Sergio Aguero's chance shortly after Liverpool took the lead. Thankfully, those critical moments in front of goal proved few, as the Belgium didn't have a lot to do.

Dejan Lovren - 6: After his penalty miss in the Europa League, it was important for the much maligned Croatian to get back to basics. He had an up and down afternoon, but made several important interventions throughout. Commanding in the air and whilst rash in the game's embryonic stages, his second half was steady. It was important for his confidence that he finished on the winning side.

Martin Skrtel - 7: Once again commanding. The back three were undone by a brilliantly worked Manchester City goal, but other than that, proved able. Skrtel's role in the team proves more important as the weeks pass.

Emre Can - 7: Showed great strength throughout and continues to defy his critics from earlier in the season. Was moved to right wing back in the game's late stages. Once again, he took to it like a duck to water.

Alberto Moreno - 7: Another solid display from the marauding Spaniard. Had to deal with a lot of the traffic in the first held and by and large, dealt with it well. A work in progress, but so far the former Sevilla man's season can be defined as a success.

Lazar Markovic - 6: A mixed afternoon for the nonchalant Serb. Conducted his defensive duties well, whilst also involved in some of Liverpool's finer moments in the final third. He still needs work on his end product, but I have no doubt it will fall into place for the young man.

Jordan Henderson - 8: Talismanic. Outplayed his opponent in Yaya Toure. His goal, no doubt his finest in a Liverpool shirt, thus far. His pressing was first class whilst his leadership skills continue to flourish.

Joe Allen - 9: Imperious. A player who's divided opinion amongst the Anfield faithful, he didn't put a foot wrong in a performance which can be defined as his best in a red shirt. The way he turned on the ball was a skill that simply can't be taught. He's risen to another level and long may it continue. Adam

Lallana - 8: Another player who perhaps had his best match in a red shirt. Lallana's work rate was Dirk Kuyt esque as he ran himself into the ground from the opening whistle. Had the ball in the back of the net twice. The first, goal of the season contender had it counted. Some - including myself - thought it should have.

Philippe Coutinho - 9: Man of the Match. Unplayable. Again, he well and truly outplayed his opponent in David Silva, who himself didn't have a bad afternoon by any stretch. Another goal of world class proportions and one that rivals his pile driving strike from last week against Southampton. Had the ball on the string from the opening whistle. When he's on like he was today, he is simply unstoppable.

Raheem Sterling- 7: Missed a chance late in the first half, but other than that, led from the front in a defensive sense where Liverpool chose their moments to press their opponent. A tireless performance.

Substitutes:

Daniel Sturridge - N/R: Missed a golden opportunity late on to put the game to bed. After his disappointing night in Turkey, some may say he is struggling at the moment, but while the team is winning, the main focus for Liverpool's main man is to continue getting game time.

Kolo Toure – N/R: Shored things up at the back where he won several late aerial duals. A good option to have coming off the bench in these situations.

Brendan Rodgers – 8: After the rigours of the past 72 hours, he somehow got his squad up for this match in what can perhaps be described as a minor miracle. Adopting the pressing tactics, which have brought him success during his Anfield tenure, this win could be described as his greatest as a Liverpool manager, thus far.

By Simon K.