Simon Mignolet: Had a pretty quiet night in that he didn’t have to do much. Which is just as well, since the one thing he did (almost) have to do resulted in him gallantly trying to save the disallowed headed goal from Bournemouth early in the game. He looked like a 5 year old child reaching for a balloon caught in a breeze. I think he actually caught the string on the balloon, but the balloon definitely evaded him. Still capable of hitting Benteke on the head regularly. 7/10.
Joe Gomez: JOEY G. That’s my new nickname for him, it’s decided. He was…competent. Not outstanding, but he’s only a child, so that’s allowed. He’s a decent defender. Needs to work on his ‘distribution’ I see a lot of people saying. Sod off, if he keeps the opposition winger quiet, I’m happy. End of. 7/10.
Dejan Lovren: That first 20 minutes was ‘vintage’ Lovren…of last season. He actually made me shake my head in astonishment as he got used and abused (not in the nice way) by Wilson of Bournemouth twice in 20 seconds at one stage. To his credit however he recovered well, and became a steady rock in the LFC defence. Well, maybe not a rock. A stone? A pebble? A grain of sand? Two clean sheets though, and the Sakho fan-club continue to gnash and wail without having any actual evidence that they’re right. They probably are in fairness. 7/10.
Nathaniel Clyne: Alright, I’m not one that is prone to hyperbole, but young Patsy (Patsy Cline – get used to it, it’s his new nickname), is probably the best full back in football since…the dawn of time. Wins his tackles, swats away pesky opponents, marauds up the wing. He’s awesome. He’s immense. He’s ours. Cheers Southampton. Still only gets 8/10 though. Well, he didn’t score a hat-trick, now did he?
Jordan Henderson: A courageous captain. He actually lost his foot in a freak incident 25 minutes before kick-off, but he sellotaped a water bottle to his leg, stuffed it into his boot and led the team into battle. The only reason he came off was because the sellotape started to wear off. Given the responsibility of ‘holding’ in the midfield, and again I’m not sure that’s the best use of his talents. He’s effervescent for us. He’s annoying for them. He buzzes, he swoops, he hassles, he harries. He should do all that further up the pitch. His assist was so good that three LFC players could have scored from it. Phil Coutinho admired it so much that he waved his foot at in in admiration. Remarkable. 8/10.
James Milner: Ah Jimmy. Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. You were destined to get a solid 7/10 from me. It was nailed on. You grafted, you passed it around, you were decent if unspectacular (your epitaph, mate). Then you go and spoil it all with THAT free-kick. What the ACTUAL f*ck was that? Never before have I seen a free-kick taken at the Anfield Road end result in the Kop faithful having to duck. I’m a hard taskmaster James, so you get 6/10 for that alone.
Phil Coutinho: Phil, listen here and listen hard. You’re the fly in the ointment. You know it, I know it, and now the rest of you are going to find out why. Yes, he scores worldies every now and again. Yes, he controls a football better than most of us can control our bowels. Yes, he shimmies. He shammies. He bamboozles. But…but…he slows things up. Now, stop abusing me and listen for a second. He’s always looking for the ball, he regularly gets it, but he doesn’t use it quick enough. Sure, some through balls dazzle, but quite a few don’t. Some dribbles amaze us, but quite a few go nowhere. This team is going to work best with PACE. Raw, searing, disgusting pace. Get the ball and feed it into space where Firmino, Big Ben and/or Sturridge can race onto it and cause havoc. Phil needs to learn to do that more often. It won’t always fall to him to be the hero. Oh, and when you’re offside by 900 MILES, don’t wave your foot at a ball you can’t reach, eh? Ta. 7/10.
Jordan Ibe: You’re in with the big boys now Jordan. You’re supremely talented and you’ve seriously been hammering down those creatine sandwiches, but you’re starting to learn that you’re not the best boy in the playground now. You’ve moved up to the big football pitches of this world. The old ‘knock it past him and sprint past him’ trick won’t always work. Your opponents are more savvy than that. You’ve got to add more to your game to earn the space and time to do what you do best. It will come. However, when you were subbed for Firmino last night, I think you were subbed for a few months. Chin up though, you’re way better than Lallana, eh? 7/10.
Adam Lallana: *Sigh* Adam. The worlds greatest footballer stuck in a time warp. Watch him next time. Watch him real close. He is stuck in an alternate reality just 1 second behind the time zone we all occupy. It’s tough on him, it really is. He is constantly doing the right thing – the right run, the right pass, the right trick – exactly 1 second later than it was required. TIme is a cruel mistress. It takes no prisoners and gives no sympathy. Thus, Adam looks…a bit rubbish. But he’s not. He’s just stuck in an alternate universe, 1 second behind us all. 6/10
Christian Benteke: Big Ben! DONG! First appearance in red at Anfield. First half attacking the Kop. First goal. Thus a legend is born. Maybe. Ben was great last night. He was BEASTING the Cherries defence from the very start. Winning header after header, bringing the ball down, bringing teammates into the play. His movement off the shoulder of the last man was superb too. His awareness of others around him was almost telepathic. Keep it up big man, you’re doing just great. 8/10.
Emre Can: Emre will play when we’re away at tough opponents (and judging by how this season started, that’s everybody except for Sunderland and Chelsea…). His drive and tackling alongside the work-rate of Hendo and Jimmy Milner will be needed to get us a foothold in the tougher games. Emre did well last night when he came on, including one cracking slide tackle from the back/side on the edge of our box. A few glimpses of his now customary CHARGE upfield with the ball, and one day he’ll work out what to do next with it. That’ll be fun. 7/10.
Roberto Firmino: A few nice touches, a few nice dashes, and a glimpse of things to come. Get yourself fully fit young man, we can’t wait to see what you can do. I’m sensing a potentially lethal partnership between Roberto and Phil. If you could start that next Monday v Arsenal, that would be just spiffing. 7/10.
Alberto Moreno: BERTIE! Good to see ya pal. Like a young kid plied with sugar, Bertie is full of energy, at all times. Must be a nightmare to watch a movie with. Constantly fidgeting, shuffling, longing to be out in the open air, running freely ‘tween hills and dales. He’s basically a cocker-spaniel. He burst into the game late on last night with his usual energy. At one stage he bombed up the left wing, kept going into the Anfield Road end, around the back of the crowd, and emerged in Goodison Park in the dark. Remarkable. 6/10.