Liverpool v. Chelsea Player Ratings

Yum - Michael Regan

Things happened in this game that didn't involve teeth.

STARTING XI:

Reina - 5 - Sure, he had some good punches but he also allowed two goals. The penalty was never going to be stopped but the first goal off of Oscar's header probably could have been saved. He got a hand on it so I'd like to think he could of also directed it off the target.

Enrique - 6 - He started off well enough, getting forward on a few intricate plays and making a few vital challenges but faded sharply towards the end. This seems to be the norm for Enrique, which is a little bit unsettling. However he was never terrible and had no involvement in either goal conceded. An average game for the left back which is fine by me.

Carragher - 6 - He'll get a lot of flack from the casual observer for the first goal but Oscar seemed to be Agger's responsibility on the corner. That said, Carra saw that Oscar was free and didn't react in time. Maybe a few years ago the play would have gone differently. After Liverpool went down 1-0 Carragher was pretty much spotless and made a few key tackles. He also won a dangerous free kick at the top of the box. Points to him for shoving David Luiz and his stupid afro midway through the second half.

Agger - 5 - He scared me when he went down clutching his leg in the opening five minutes and then proceeded to disappoint me when he left Oscar free on the corner. Set pieces are sometimes a problem for the Danish international. Not his best performance.

Johnson - 6 - We knew he would get forward aggressively against Chelsea and it almost paid off immediately as he shot wide after being played in on goal early on. Besides that he was classic Glen Johnson; his attacks were decent but his defending was sub par.

Lucas - 5 - He was frequently overrun and was also booked. Liverpool badly need Lucas to control games and it hasn't happened at all lately.

Gerrard - 6 - This wasn't one of the performances where Gerrard carried the team on his shoulders but he was still solid. In the second half he was asked to really push forward and he happily obliged, creating chances for himself and others. This was never his game but he played a positive role nevertheless.

Coutinho - 5 - He was virtually invisible until half time when he was curiously subbed off for Daniel Sturridge. I would have thought it would be Hendo to come off in that situation to allow Coutinho a chance to play his way into the game in the second. That never happened and we were left with a match lacking any sort of imprint from the skillful Brazilian.

Downing - 5 - Downing was pretty poor. A few terrible long shots attempted with multiple defenders in his path to go along with below average touches and passing. His only positive impact was slipping in Suarez in the first half.

Henderson - 5 - We've heard this story too many times. Lots of energy and effort, but not enough technique. So many times attacks were ended abruptly by a Henderson misplay. I love the guy but he should have been off at halftime.

Suarez - N/A - This was Suarez in a nutshell. The game's final score was 2-2 and the final score of good Suarez v. bad Suarez was also 2-2. He crossed sublimely to Sturridge for the first goal and set Anfield on fire with a last gasp equalizer in the 97th minute. But he also foolishly handled the ball in the area and bit someone. It's the latter that it seems we'll always remember with Suarez which is a shame because he is a darn good footballer.

SUBS:

Sturridge - 9 - Sturridge was a monster. He scored one, assisted on another, and had a goal bound missile clank off the post. He should have started but turned the snub into inspiration for what was probably the best substitute performance of the year for Liverpool. He's a streaky player so hopefully this is the start to a positive end to the season.

Shelvey - 2 - Absolutely terrible. It's rare to see a player screw up so royally in such a small period of time. Dimwitted challenges are why he hadn't played in months and he did it again. And I think Jamie Carragher could have done more with that chance in front of goal.

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