Monday, 7 December 2015

Player Ratings: Newcaslte United F.C. vs. Liverpool F.C. - 2-0

Reality. It hurts sometimes, doesn't it? This will be a huge wakeup call to those putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Five points to consider:

- Liverpool played badly today. Guess what? In sport this happens.

- Newcastle had a game plan. They executed it well against a side well below par.

- Don't let your imagination cloud the reality of the situation. Despite some exhilarating moments so early on in the Jürgen Klopp reign, this is a team still very much in transition and results like this will happen. Many won't like to hear this, but It's probably not the last indifferent result we'll see this season.

- Did Steve McLaren give Jürgen Klopp a managing master class? No, and don't let the media lead you to believe otherwise. Newcastle were tentative for the most part, but took their chance when it presented itself. Liverpool didn't. These things happen in sport.

- Finally, this one is important. Jürgen Klopp is the manager of Liverpool Football Club. Just remember this little fact before posting overwrought missives on social media outlets and message boards.

Player ratings as follows:

Simon Mignolet - 6: Not at fault on either of Newcastle's goals. Apart from picking the ball out of his own net, he was largely untroubled.

Nathaniel Clyne - 6: Defended quite well, but like many of his teammates, his final touch in attacking areas was poor.

Martin Skrtel - 5: His seventh own goal for the club summed up his afternoon. Was also caught too deep in the lead up to Newcastle's opener.

Dejan Lovren - 7: Liverpool's best player. Barely lost a header all evening while also making some very nice challenges. The only bright spark in a gloomy day for the away team.

Alberto Moreno- 6: Will be bitterly disappointed by the officials' decision to disallow his equaliser, which was onside every day of the week. Defended well for the most part.   

Lucas - 5: A complete contrast to his recent form, which was rather symptomatic of Liverpool's performance. He tackled well, but his touch and passing were clearly off. Looking very laboured from start to finish.

Joe Allen - 6: Once again, a reasonably tidy display from the little Welshman. Probably wasn't helped by the lack of movement in the attacking third from the likes of Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke.

James Milner (C) - 5: Like a lot of other players wearing red, his touch was poor and his lack of pace caused him to be dispossessed throughout the match. Looked better playing centrally as opposed to be isolated out on the left.

Jordan Ibe - 6: The youngster was the away team's likeliest attacking threat. Sadly, his final ball proved infuriating which basically summed up Liverpool's day.

Roberto Firmino - 5: Along with Christian Benteke, was anonymous. Initial indications will suggest the two don't really work well together. One would suspect his form will improve once Philippe Coutino is back from injury.

Christian Benteke - 5: Like Firmino, a day to forget for the big Belgian. Should have put Liverpool ahead, spurring a point blank chance from a corner. His brightest moments thus far have come from the bench.


Adam Lallana - 7:  Surprising he didn't start, however his second half introduction was lively, putting Daniel Sturridge through on goal. A certain starter next weekend at home to West Brom.

Daniel Sturridge - 6: Missed a fantastic opportunity to put the Reds level. Other than that, he failed to get into the game. While Benteke looks more threatening coming off the bench, Sturridge certainly looks more of a threat from the outset.

Divock Origi - N/R: Introduced late in an attempt to salvage something.

By Simon K.