Liverpool Player Ratings vs Newcastle

Gareth Copley

Team effort obliterates sorry Magpies.

STARTING XI:

Reina - 6 - Didn't get sent off which is a vast improvement from the corresponding fixture last year.

Enrique - 6 - Didn't need to get forward as much as usual because of the scoreline which seemed to help preserve his energy throughout the match. Better final half than we're used to seeing from him and made some important defensive plays.

Agger - 8 - He scored in the opening five minutes and overall rebounded nicely from his lackluster display a week ago against Chelsea. He did what he had to do defensively, made a couple of acrobatic maneuvers to snuff out Newcastle attacks, and seemed very composed.

Carragher - 7 - I barely noticed that he was on the pitch which is a good thing to say about a defender that so often is noticed for the wrong reasons against a counter attacking team like this.

Johnson - 5 - You'd think that a game like this would help Johnson regain his form. Nope. If he wasn't distracted doing everything in his power to get sent off perhaps he could have added to the goal parade. Seriously stupid play at times by Glen. Lucky to have walked away with only a yellow in the end.

Lucas - 8 - When Lucas is right, Liverpool is right. Finally, after weeks of craptastic displays from the Brazilian, Lucas came up big and really set the tone. He led the game in total touches with 103, tackles won with 9, and ground duels won with 13. Against Newcastle, Liverpool had to control the midfield to be successful and Lucas certainly did that.

Gerrard - 7 - Classy showing from Gerrard. When the game asked him to step up he did so, lobbing the defense wonderfully to put Hendo in on the buildup of the fourth goal. Liverpool needed a strong leader after the week that was and there is no better leader in English football than Stevie G. The way that Liverpool came out calmly and ready to dispatch a side asking for a romping is a testament to some of the less visible qualities that make Gerrard such a legend. He did pick up a knock at the end which is which is worrisome.

Downing - 7 - He assisted Agger's goal with a well placed cross and linked up with Borini for the second. Downing isn't flashy but he's useful. A good game for him was overshadowed by even greater performances from his fellow frontmen.

Henderson - 8 - Best game in the Liverpool shirt. He needed it to believe in himself and we needed it to restore our faith. He scored twice, and while one was a tap in and the other a free kick perhaps meant to be a cross, I can't complain. He also found Sturridge nicely to add an assist to his fine match. It's easy to forget how young Hendo still is, and if his high work rate can be accompanied by the skill he showed over the weekend then we'll have a top player on our hands for awhile.

Coutinho - 9 - This guy is too awesome. Less outgoing perhaps than the controversial duo of Suarez and Sturridge, Coutinho carries an equal amount of ability. It was all on display against Newcastle. His passing is extra terrestrial at times as he sees plays develop so well. Too bad his cracking long range shot found the crossbar, as that would have earned him a straight 10. Lucky to have both legs after Debuchy saw red for trying to take them off.

Sturridge - 9 - Unbelievable play from Sturridge. He continuously terrorized Newcastle's back line and had two goals and an assist. He is a legitimate goal scorer if given enough playing time and Brendan Rodgers intends to do just that. I liked that in this game Sturridge let the game come to him a bit more without forcing the issue through poor long shots.

SUBS:

Borini - 7 - Welcome back. Newcastle were handing out goals like party favors and Borini happily took one after coming off the bench. Really happy to see him on the pitch.

Shelvey - N/A - Not enough time to do much. Only contribution was to trip over himself.

Suso - N/A - Hadn't seen him in awhile. Didn't make an impact in his short spell.

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