Liverpool Player Ratings v Man U

Alex Livesey

A look at the Liverpool player performances in their loss to United.

While frustrating, there were positives. Again, Rodgers was unafraid to change things early enough to give his team a chance. The game was lackluster, but it did once again expose United as a team that are really just getting by. It always amazes me how they just manage to win, no matter how poorly they play. Obviously they were much better in the first, but looked shell shocked in the second. Even though this loss stings, the pieces of Rodgers' vision appear to be coming together. If Liverpool can continue this form, they should make a decent run at a 4th place finish (although it would still be difficult).

In addition, it appears as if Howard Webb has left United this transfer window. Who have they replaced him with? Clattenburg or Halsey?

On to the ratings:

STARTERS:

Reina - 7 - Not a lot he could do with either goal. Stood strong after the collision and made a great save on Kagawa, especially considering how late he saw it.

Wisdom - 7 - He is getting a bit of flak for not closing Evra down on the first goal. However, he forced Evra to thread a needle and put the ball into a spot that should have been covered. It was just one of those goals. Overall though, he showed consistency for most of the game and looked good again.

Skrtel - 6 - Stupid foul again, but he had to do it because of his overzealous defending. It led directly to United's second. Otherwise, he did well to weather the first half storm.

Agger - 7 - He had a great match with a number of last ditch blocks and good tackles and headers. He and Skrtel kept RVP quiet in the second. Got forward a number of times and also slid over number of times to allow the outside backs to get forward. I'm still not sure how RVP's shot got through him for the first goal.

Johnson - 6 - Not one of his better games, his touch really eluded him when he got forward. He got himself into decent positions, only to waste them time and time again. In addition, he failed to stick with Evra for United's second goal. He did well in defense, but that is really only half of his game.

Gerrard - 6 - His poor first half just can't make up for his decent second half. He was largely responsible for Liverpool's goal. Not only did he take the shot that led to the rebound, he also nicked the ball off United in a dangerous area. That said, he was very ordinary in the first half with a number of uncharacteristic poor passes such as the return ball to Suarez.. It doesn't help that Allen ends up playing in the position Gerrard should be occupying.

Allen - 4 - He was dreadful. Rodgers is going to have to realize soon that he cannot play that more advanced role and that he likely can't be on the pitch at the same time as Lucas. It just doesn't work. He was just a lost puppy in their and was rightfully taken off albeit way too late. This game was screaming for Jonjo to play in Allen's position.

Lucas - 5 - He just isn't back yet and wasn't up to the task. He seemed always a step behind and after picking up his yellow, he had to be subbed at the half.

Downing - 5 - I'm still not sure why he wasn't subbed. He had absolutely no influence on the game. In addition, he somehow allowed Evra's "cross" to get past him for the first goal. This was not a game that would suit Downing's abilities and it showed. I just hope he can pick his head up and get back to the form he had been in as of late.

Sterling - 5 - Unimpressive performance. He was just trying to do too much when he got the ball rather than doing the simple stuff. Lost possession entirely too many times for my liking. Perhaps this wasn't the right game to have him starting.

Suarez - 7 - Completely isolated in the first half. However, he really grew into the game in the second with Sturridge's introduction. Even though he was playing deeper, he still managed to provide plenty of attacking pressure. It does look like a promising partnership going forward, although they seem a bit too eager to pass to each other at times, like those friendly groundhogs in the cartoons who insist that the other get to do whatever the task is.

SUBS:

Sturridge - 7 - Immediate impact. If he can poach on all of Liverpool's scraps like that, he will become a legend. The only reason I marked him down was his two chances that he didn't even put on frame. That has to change. I don't care if he doesn't make them, but they have to be on frame, especially from those distances.

Borini - 6 - Good to see him back. His very first touch had me very worried about whether it was right to bring him on, but it proved a decent decision. He was in and out of the game, but had some very nice touches and 1-2s. Now he just needs to regain his fitness.

Henderson - 6 - Although only on for a shirt time, he looked to get involved and begs the question why the substitution wasn't done sooner.

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