Liverpool Player Ratings v. Manchester United

Glorious - Alex Livesey

Liverpool hold on to win 1-0 on the back of a first half Daniel Sturridge goal. Let the high player ratings roll.

STARTING XI:

Mingolet - 8 - God I love this guy. To the tune of The Lion Sleeps Tonight: "He's our keeper, our Belgian keeper, it's Simon Mingolet! A Mingolet, a Mingolet, a Mingolet, a Mingolet!

Johnson - 8 - A world class performance that reminded us why he's one of the best right backs in football. He defended better than he has in a really long time, blocking a venomous Welbeck shot in the first half and making some superb tackles in the second. Unfortunately one of his best tackles caused him to leave the match prematurely with an injury.

Skrtel - 9 - Um, what? That was, for lack of a better word, amazing. After being so bad last year that Jamie Carragher took his place in the squad, and only playing against United because of a multitude of squad injuries, Skrtel had a man of the match performance. It was a game for the ages for Skrtel, who has often been accused of shrinking in the spotlight. He made all the right challenges, didn't turn the ball over, and served as executive badass. Well done. I wonder now with the arrival of two new center backs and Toure coming back from injury if this was Skrtel's last hoorah. The sentimentalist in me hopes not.

Agger - 7 - It was a classic game for Agger as he played solidly in the back and made the rest of the defenders more assured around him. It says a lot about Agger's pitch presence that Skrtel plays at his best only when Agger is his partner in crime.

Enrique - 7 - The Spaniard was quietly successful, although it seemed like a good deal of uncontested crosses were flying in from his side of the defense.

Lucas - 8 - Lucas was a focal point in the midfield's dogged pressure of United. This pressure forced turnovers and kept United off its game. United couldn't create chances on the counter, in large part because of Lucas' play.

Gerrard - 7 - Gerrard was another part of the midfield that pressured United into enough mistakes to get a clean sheet. It was his corner that ended up headed into the back of the net. This isn't a criticism, but it seemed like Gerrard was sitting pretty deep in this one. Perhaps the most important part of Gerrard's game was his leadership in handling the heated kerfuffles that broke out between the rivals.

Henderson - 8 - It had to be Hendo with Allen unable to play, and the midfielder was up to the task. If you want a player to harry the hell out of an opponent, Hendo is your guy. Not only was his normal tireless running and ball fetching at a high level, but Henderson also was very smart on the ball.

Aspas - 6 - A generous 6 for Aspas, as he has yet to do anything really. He'll complete a few side to side passes and dribble a bit but there hasn't been any end product. He was once again subbed off early, and you get the sense that it's his place that Suarez will take. Hopefully the international break does him well.

Coutinho - 7 - After clearly giving United problems in the first half, Coutinho suffered a bit from the way Liverpool opted to sit back in the second. Nevertheless it was a solid overall game for the player.

Sturridge - 8 - He just keeps on scoring goals. His 4th minute header proved the match winner for Liverpool, and that's now three winners in as many games. Besides the goal, Sturridge was good but not necessarily great. After the match Rodgers said that Sturridge was nowhere near fit going in, so that might explain why he maybe didn't move quite as well as we're used to.

SUBS:

Sterling - 6 - There's no getting around the fact that Antonio Valencia bullied Sterling off the ball and took his lunch money, but beyond that, Sterling demonstrated that his pure skill is good enough to stick around. He created a great chance for himself by letting go of a swerving crack after a few nice dribbles although Luis Alberto was wide open and could have been slipped in.

Wisdom - 7 - Wisdom admirably filled in at right back when Johnson went down injured. This kid has some serious potential considering he's excelled at right back even though he's a center defender. Not many guys can do that.

Alberto - N/A - It was nice to see him on the pitch even though he didn't have time to do much.

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