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Liverpool v Hearts Player Ratings

That is the classic three eared bunny shadow puppet in case you were wondering.
That is the classic three eared bunny shadow puppet in case you were wondering.

Yikes, that was a bit closer than it should have been. Same old story (stop me if you've heard this) loads of possession, loads of chances, loads of corners, no goals. Oh, you have heard it before? Yeah, it seems the same virus that infected last year's squad is making it way through this year's as well. This game should have been put away early. I just don't know if my nerves can handle another year of this crap.

On another note, anyone else see the stewards tackle the pitch invader after the Hearts goal? Well done to them. On to the ratings (starting with an absolute howler):


Reina - 3 - Little to do other than pull the ball from his net...because he buttered his gloves up. No excuses, that was a horrible howler. He needs to be kissing Suarez's boots for saving his ass.

Downing - 7 - I love this idea from Rodgers and Downing performed quite well considering it was his first game at this position. He was never really beaten down the line and got forward well. However, his attacking presence and crossing seemed much better in the first half than second. I am anxious to see more from him here.

Skrtel - 7 - Solid as ever, limited Hearts to only a handful of half chances. Can't complain about a thing from him, also had a few decent forward runs.

Carragher - 6 - A bit shaky, but pulled it together. Let's be honest, if this isn't his last year, he needs to pick an MLS team. He is still just a step off the pace.

Kelly - 6 - Crossing could use some improvement, but he is still covering well at right back. He still seems a decent option against lesser sides to give Johnson a breather. I wouldn't mind seeing what he could do in his preferred position of CB.

Henderson - 5 - Really just anonymous. I realized he was played way out of position at left mid, but he really offered nothing. All the attacking guile from that side of the pitch came from Downing.

Allen - 8 - He was absolutely immense and is likely the reason Skrtel and the rest of the defense had very little to do. His passing was superb and he played some sublime balls forward to spring attacks. He put in some crunching tackles. Played like a man with 10 years experience. Crazy to think he is so young.

Gerrard - 8 - Worked his socks off to make attack after attack. They didn't all come off, but his effort and his passing were all there. He was a bit frustrated a couple times by the inexperience of others.

Shelvey - 7 - While his touch let him down a few times, he had a significant number of long passes which were spot on and created a number of chances. A much improved game from him over the first leg. However, it still remains to be seen if he can do this against better opposition.

Morgan - 6 - Loads of heart. You can just tell he wants nothing more than for the team to succeed. However, he is extremely raw, like 50 grit sand paper between your butt cheeks raw. He tactically seems to understand what he should do, although sometimes it seems like he figured it out about half a second too late. That said, for a first start he played quite well and the hustle was immense. I'm just not 100% convinced he has what it will take to make it in the long run. That said, I just loved the drive and determination he showed.

Suarez - 8 - What can I say? He did it again. Made something out of very little and actually finished it for a change. He probably should have scored at some point earlier, but I'll take it. A bit of a slow start from him and he seemed to ease himself into the game. However, he proved that no matter how many chances he fails to convert, it only takes one. Also, a classy gesture for Lucas as well when he lifted his shirt in Ballotelli-esque fasion to reveal an undershirt that read "BE STRONG LUCAS" . In fact Lucas tweeted after, "I wasn't expecting that message." I'm not sure if that means he didn't know Suarez did that or didn't think Suarez would score, I'll let you decide.


Borini - 6 - Not a whole lot from him other than a nice jump onto Suarez's back to celebrate the goal.

Sterling - 7 - He was an absolute menace in the short time he was on the pitch. He is apparently justifying all of our screams last year to see more of him. His future is extremely bright.