Player Ratings v. West Ham

Scott Heavey

How did the squad do?

Let's dive right into it, shall we?

Pepe Reina - 6: This is just going to be the start of some goofy ratings as it was just such a strange game. It's hard to give Reina anything else in a game where two goals were conceded, but he couldn't have done anything about them. I get a little annoyed that he hasn't stopped a penalty in so long (other than that joke of one against WBA where I'm pretty sure I could have gotten a hand to it while drunk), but that's only because he showed up with such a sterling rep about saving penalties. Was it something like nine of 13 in his last season at Villareal? Might have just been luck. Anyway, other than the two goals Reina didn't have to make any hard saves, which is also weird considering how long the Hammers were i control. But most everything was right at his chest. So we'll just stick with right in the middle.

Glen Johnson - 7.5: After 15 minutes, this looked like it could have been a 17 rating. He was everywhere. He still had a very good match, but got too easily pinned back by Jarvis, which he probably couldn't really help. Wasn't the force in the 2nd half, though that had much to do with LIverpool not using him as much as it did with Johnson.

Martin Skrtel - 6: There is still a fear that Skrtel can get bullied around by physical strikers, and more than just Didier Drogba. Sadly, this was another match where he did. In fact, 6 is probably too high. Carlton Cole basically had his way with both center-halfs, and every ball launched up to him started some sort of attack. That shouldn't happen.

Daniel Agger - 6: Agger had the same problems, and West Ham's pressing kept him from contributing to the ball going forward as much as he usually does. Sam Allardyce won't be the last one to figure out that pressuring Agger actually does hamper Liverpool's attack, because his distribution -- even as simple as it may be at times -- really does get everything going. And Cole battered him as well.

Luis Enrique - INC: Went off too early to get a handle, but it's weird to think we all hope his injury doesn't keep him out long, considering where we were at the start of the season on him.

Lucas - 6.5: They weren't all going to look like Southampton on his comeback, were they? Diame and Noble hassled everyone in the Liverpool midfield, and Lucas wasn't immune. Not as tidy as the first game back, and it's harder for him to influence defensively when the ball is consistently launched over his head. Maybe could have done better on those second balls, but this was always going to be a tough match for him. Tired visibly, but that's to be expected.

Steven Gerrard - 6.5: Hard to read. And harder to believe that Liverpool scored three without Luis Suarez and without Gerrard having a tangible impact. He and Allen were clearly supposed to interchange as who was the farthest forward, but it always felt like Gerrard was deeper. Some wonderful passes in the opening exchanges (almost all to Johnson, who he recognized at having the match in his hand), and some ill-advised ones. Didn't get in the box as much as you'd like for a team without a striker, and as the match went on seemed to lose influence. But hardly bad either.

Joe Allen - 6.5: We know Allen is capable of being the most advanced midfielder, and doing a job there, but it's no coincidence that Liverpool looked stronger when Hendeson took up that role as Allen was shifted back. Tidy, but pressed out of most of it by Diame. I like him a lot when he's not the deepest midfielder, but more as the box-to-box connector than the attacking point. Did well when back to the holding role after Lucas's sub.

Raheem Sterling - 7.5: Could have been an 8 for just his through-ball to Cole alone. But a lot of his final deliveries or shots were not very good, and he really should have scored when Liverpool had their foot on West Ham's throat in the first half. Because they could have been out of sight in the first half an hour. But bright and energetic, he never really stops does he? Also proved to be a good foil for seeing out the lead as a central striker at the end and keeping the West Ham back four pinned.

Stewart Downing - 7: Considering the whirlwind of usefulness and positions that Downing has played this year, being complimentary in a match where he had to shift from right-sided forward to left-back is a pretty huge accomplishment. Got more and more involved forward as the match went on. I won't shed a tear when he goes, but I also don't think he's beyond use at this point either.

Jonjo Shelvey - 8: Mostly because he did so well in a position he's probably never played before. Was it elegant? No. But he made up for it with tireless running that opened paths at the very least for the equalizer ad winner. Maybe should have buried a couple chances himself, but we'll give him a pass. A player growing before our eyes.

Subs

Joe Cole - 8: Wow. Huh? Did you think it was possible?

Jordan Henderson - 7.5: I can't wait until Henderson's touch and finishing match up with his running and energy, and sometimes passing. Put himself about to really turn the midfield in Liverpool's favor, and crossed for the winner. Still so young, there's something here, I just know it.

Sebastien Coates - NA

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