Monday, 26 October 2015

Player Ratings: Liverpool F.C. vs Southampton F.C. - 1-1



Jürgen Klopp’s first game at Anfield in the Premier League. That alone should have been a cause for celebration among many Reds aficionados. The result? Slightly disappointing. Even more so, considering the Reds weren’t too far away from securing three points. However, to say Southampton didn’t deserve a point would be an unfair statement. You could define Liverpool’s performance as lacklustre throughout parts of the match and until Christian Benteke was introduced at half-time, the Reds didn’t look likely. At times, Southampton looked threatening going forward on the break, but they too were also lacklustre throughout parts of the match.

If it’s one thing Liverpool supporters will have learnt over the last three games it’s this: the current situation requires time. This is no quick fix and Jürgen Klopp knows this as good as any other person.

I can’t emphasise the next two points enough. Patience. Solidarity; the principles this club was built on are now required more than ever. Don’t worry about the noise outside; the overwrought social media commentary, not to mention the drama of the written word from a section of so called football “experts”. These facets which encompass the hysteria of modern day football should be curtailed by our club’s principles. Things will turn. We just need to keep strong and think of two things. Patience. Solidarity. 

Ratings as follows:

Simon Mignolet - 6: Despite a brief wobble with his distribution in the first half along with one save from Virgil Van Dijk, it was another quiet evening for the Belgium. He did his best to keep out Sadio Mane’s equaliser, but it was beyond him.

Nathaniel Clyne - 6: Solid and dependable throughout. I get the feeling Klopp will want a bit more from him in the attacking third, but his defensive capabilities are undoubted.

Martin Skrtel - 6: Made several timely interventions, in particular one glancing header which kept the ball from falling to Graziano Pelle. Arguably his best game under the new regime.

Mamadou Sakho - 7: His impressive form continues. Largely untroubled and won majority of his aerial duals with conviction. Struggled to get into the match-day squad under Brendan Rodgers, now arguably the first name on the team-sheet.

Alberto Moreno- 7: Another great display from the young Spaniard. His tackle on Mane will dominate many a highlight reel. His incursions in the final third will be a welcome sight, despite the fact they failed to impact on the score sheet.  

Lucas – 7 (Man of the Match): Liverpool’s best player. Won countless tackles in the centre of midfield. Provided he can continue to stay fit, will be a permanent fixture in the midfield under Klopp, who evidently holds a great deal of trust in the Brazilian.

Emre Can - 6: Provided plenty of industry, but lacked creativity. His best work was done off the ball and not on it. Will look for further improvement. 

James Milner (C) - 6: Another up and down display from the England International. Provided a superb cross for Benteke’s opener, but then gave away a needless free kick which led to Southampton’s equaliser.

Adam Lallana - 6:  Tidy display from a player who – despite what some may suggest – continues to improve under new management. You feel he just needs a goal to really kick on from here.

Philippe Coutinho - 6: By his standards, the little Brazilian was poor. Gave away the ball in key areas of the pitch and was lucky his mistakes were not punished by Southampton on the counter attack. If Liverpool are to recapture their attacking zest, his form needs to improve. Benteke in front of him will help his cause.

Divock Origi - 5: Poor. Three games in eight days appeared too much for the young Belgium, who - simply put - wasn’t at the races. Substituted at half-time.

Substitutes:

Christian Benteke - 7: An imposing introduction, putting himself about from the opening whistle in the second half. Capped off the game with a header of world-class quality. Scorer of great goals and a great goal scorer? Time will tell, but the signs look positive for the man known as Big Ben. The big question is his long-term fitness.

Roberto Firmino - 6: An encouraging cameo from the Brazilian. Looked very bright with the ball in tight areas. A shoe in to start in the League Cup against Bournemouth in midweek. Could very well start at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, too.

Jordan Ibe- N/R: Introduced late in an attempt to hit Southampton on the counter. Won a corner, but didn’t have time to provide much else.
 
By Simon K.