Sure, we can complain about questionable officiating, getting Stoked by Oldham and a bit of hard luck, but the bottom line is the side just weren't good enough. The tactics were questionable and for the first time, I think Rodgers was entirely too slow to make a change. Gerrard should have been on at the half. You could see what Oldham were doing and it was screaming for a player like Gerrard to come in a boss the midfield. Enough of my ranting, on to the ratings:
Jones - 3 - An absolute howler. Yes the pitch would be considered poor even by rugby standards, but he nearly caught a boot in the face for his failure to secure a routine shot early. He them completely fumbled to gift Oldham their second. In addition, knowing his over-aggressive nature, failing to come for the first ball may have put the defense off a bit. Even his distribution was relatively poor. For all the people who want Reina out, make sure you have a good back up plan because Jones clearly is not it.
Wisdom - 5 - Was beat physically on a couple of occasions which was surprising considering he is a big lad. However, he was in no way the worst defender on the pitch.
Skrtel - 4 - Was given a torrid time by the bruising front line of Oldham. Were they extremely aggressive and overly physical? Yes. Did the referee let a lot go? Yes. Is Skrtel more than physical enough to deal with it? Absolutely.
Coates - 2 - Is that too high? Probably. Completely beaten for the first goal (although it must be said the Oldham player definitely had arm on shoulder and used it to climb). But we can put that aside and see he got even worse as the game went on. Nearly got caught in possession late in the game and was just generally beaten to nearly everything in the air which is shocking because he is built to deal with aerial threats.
Robinson - 3 - Completely turned around on the third goal. Also, got caught in the center of the pitch on the second goal when he should have been out closing his man down. Then, for some reason when in a fantastic position to cross the ball late on, he decides he is Luis Suarez and wastes a fantastic opportunity when he had no angle on the goal. Completely overrun all game.
Allen - 5 - A five because he did score, and looked like it would have been a cracking goal without the deflection based on the way it came off his foot. However, he was horrendous in the first half. In addition, his passing was uncharacteristically poor as well. There were a number of times I found myself screaming at the TV when he missed the simple pass to the open man. That said, his final 15 minutes were much better and he showed real intent when forward.
Henderson - 5 - Struggled alongside Allen in the first half. I still for the life of me can't figure out why Allen was pressing so much higher than Henderson in the first. It should have completely been the opposite. He grew more into the game after Gerrard came on, and he did well to collect possession after Oldham cleared after that sub.
Sterling - 5 - The magic might be gone, too often he tried to do entirely too much in possession. I don't think the foul that earned him an early yellow was either a foul or a yellow, just a crunching challenge. He also wasted a glorious chance when played in with a clever 1-2 in the first half. Could have had a penalty early in the second when he appeared to be contacted in the box while trying to turn, but it was just one of those days.
Borini - 5 - Failed to get himself into the game. Was played through seconds into the second half and completely wasted the chance. Aside from taking a ball to the face, he had very little influence on the game.
Suarez - 7 - While he did score (and looked to have scored a second in a very tight decision), playing behind Sturridge did not appear to suit Suarez. His goal was a fantastic bit of individual play essentially doing every bit of the work himself. Was much more dangerous late when he was pushed out wide and allowed to drive in at players and interchange with Sturridge.
Sturridge - 6 - He was lively and did create space with his movement. He still lacks a bit of clinicality, but my worst fears appear to be not true. His passing and interplay was actually pretty decent all game. However, he really didn't get the service that he needed to do much with.
Downing - 7 - Very lively, his hustle down the flank really troubled Oldham. It was his pursuit of the ball that led to the corner from which Allen scored. He is really in decent form.
Gerrard - 8 - Agonizingly close, he rattled the crossbar and took a number of dangerous shots that had to be blocked my Oldham players throwing bodies at them. He took the game all on his shoulders and nearly eeked out the replay in true Gerrard fashion. Alas, it wasn't enough, but he completely dominated and dictated the play while he was out there. He definitely should have been on at the half. An eight might be high for a player who only got about 30 minutes, but this performance was reminiscent of the 2006 FA Cup Final, just without the happy ending. Did well to get in Lee Probert's ear, as Suarez likely would have been unable to do. Probert had a poor game from a refereeing standpoint.
Shelvey - 6 - Didn't have a ton of time to influence the game, but he did some decent things while out there and looked a threat. Had a number of nice long balls.