Arsenal v Liverpool: LFC Player Ratings

Simon MignoletSimon Mignolet: Simon! Simon says NO! A third clean sheet in a row, a number of impressive saves, and we’re now a million miles away from where we were last December when Mignolet was considered more of a liability than Jeremy Corbyn. Migs didn’t have much to do in the 1st half as Liverpool dominated, but he was a very busy boy indeed in the 2nd half. A stunning save from Olivier ‘Gorgeous’ Giroud was the highlight of his night, but`he made a number of other very important and smart saves. One save in particular, changing direction when a long-range Ox effort flicked off the leg of Lovren showed great agility and alertness. He would have had a 9/10 except with a mere 5 seconds left he decided to play a last minute game of ‘Flappy Keeper’. He’s arguably the best goalkeeper in England right now – the stats prove it. 8/10.

Joe GomezJoe Gomez: JOEY G! I’m in love. Head over heels. I’ve not felt this way since a handsome young Jon Flanagan appeared in front of me and stole my heart. This kid was supposed to go out on loan for a year or two when purchased. Instead he’s turned heads in pre-season and turned in a performance that would make Cafu blush (If Cafu was caught with his pants down in Kings Cross). All credit to Brendan for giving young players a chance, as Joey G was fantastic tonight. For every minor error he made with his decision making with the ball, he more than made up for with his decision making without it. Time and again he got a foot in ahead of his illustrious opponents, showing savvy and game-reading far beyond his years. His potential is mind-boggling. 9/10.

Dejan LovrenDejan Lovren: *Gulp* Ummm, this is awkward. Really awkward. Dejan was….give me a moment…he was….just a bit more time…he was….GOOD. I know. He was though. Really good. No clusterf*cks. No mind farts. No panic. He marshalled Giroud well all match. He tidied up behind Skrtel when required. He is benefiting hugely from having a competent left back by his side, without having to worry about two positions at once. Keep it up Dejan. Please. 8/10.¬†

Martin SkrtelMartin Skrtel: OOOOHHHH MAMA! A good old fashioned, blood and thunder, sliding and diving, heading and tackling, centre-back performance. OLD SKOOL. Torben Piechnik would be proud. His sliding touch late in the second half when he sent the ball whizzing past his own post was a piece of performance art unsurpassed since the X-Factor final of 2007. Magnificent. 8/10.

Nathaniel ClyneNathaniel Clyne: A game of two halves for Patsy, similar to the game itself. Constantly bombing forward and dominating the right wing in the 1st half, followed by a gutsy, digging-in performance in the 2nd half. The best right-back in the league. Don’t believe me? Name a better one. Go on. And no, you can shove your Seamus Coleman up your arse. Patsy is a thoroughbred who will rule the LFC right-back slot for 5+ years. 8/10.

LucasLucas: If this was the final time we see Lucas in a LFC shirt, he has signed off in the best possible way, with a typical Lucas performance. Understated yet effective. Never flashy, but always there, working, beavering, getting a foot in. Understandably ran out of gas in the 2nd half, but given a rousing ovation on his way off by the LFC faithful. If you are packing your bags, thank you. 8/10.

Emre CanEmre Can: I know some people who think that Emre Can is a dog turd. A useless fraud who will never amount to much. These people have opinions as valid as the Westboro Baptist Church. Idiots. Emre was immense in midfield, with a surging, powerful performance in both defence and attack for the full 90 mins. The best example of this was in the 90th minute as Bertie Moreno burst forward on the break, and failed to pass to the free man on the right…Emre Can. He made numerous wonderful tackles in midfield, was accurate in possession, drove forward with the ball throughout the game and generally helped to control the usually dynamic Arsenal attacking midfielders. 8/10.

James Milner: So THAT is what James Milner does! Hey, he’s pretty good! Captain for the night, and he led by example. Similar to Emre Can, Jimmy Milner led the way with never-ending work-rate. Always helping out the defence, constantly starting attacking moves, often from the edge of his own box. A duracell bunny performance, where we didn’t notice the absence of the immense work-rate of Jordan Henderson. That is the biggest compliment I can pay Jimmy Milner. 8/10.

Philippe CoutinhoPhilippe Coutinho: Dunga is shithead. You think you can leave a player like that out of your squad? I don’t care if you’re Brazil 2015, Brazil 1970 or the Harlem bloody Globetrotters, you don’t leave Phil Coutinho out of your squad. What he did to Hector Bellerin in the 1st half was almost pornographic. He turned him inside out and humiliated him. Only the woodwork and Peter Cech denied Phil the goal that he thoroughly deserved. At one time both had to work together to conspire against him. Constantly probing, prodding, penetrating…I’ve made him sound like a rectal exam, sorry about that. If it weren’t for Joey G, he’d be Man Of The Match. 8/10.

Roberto FirminoRoberto Firmino: A solid hour from the latest Brazilian to wear the LFC shirt. Showed some neat touches, good incision and an eye for a pass in the 1st half as Liverpool dominated. Almost had an assist with a sublime cross for Benteke which left me open-mouthed, frustrated, angry and bewildered when it was saved by Cech. This was a sign of things to come. Firmino and Coutinho…they’ll tear the Premier League apart…Coming soon to a football ground near you. 8/10.

Christian BentekeChristian Benteke: Big Ben was immense all night. His ability to make a long clearance from defence stick, and to bring his teammates into the game led to Liverpool being able to turn the tide against Arsenal in the 1st half. He’ll be devastated that he didn’t score when he was denied by Cech from 3 yards. Not as devastated as me, mind. Many will say he HAD to score. I agree, he did. But many will say it was a MAGNIFICENT save by Cech, and I agree with that also. Football, eh? I’ve said this once, and I’ll say it again – the thought of Benteke, Firmino, Coutinho and Sturridge attacking Premier League defences makes me moist…and not in the physical exercise sense. PHWOAR. 8/10.

Substitutes:

Jordan IbeJordan Ibe: Jordan came back early from his summer holidays to work hard for the new season. For this he deserves respect. However, he was pretty ineffective when he came on, his touch leaving him down regularly. The concept that he is a direct replacement for Sterling is nonsense, but he’s got potential and should see quite a bit of game time this season, which will help him no end. 6/10.

Jordan RossiterJordan Rossiter: I admit, when young Jordan appeared on the touchline prior to his introduction, I left out an involuntary yelp. Firstly, he is a very young player who was about to be thrown into a heated Premier League encounter featuring numerous world class players. Secondly, I can’t keep up with the number of Jordan’s in the Liverpool squad. In any case, young Rossiter acquited himself well, if not spectacularly. He reminds me of another young Liverpool scally who made his debut looking 10 years younger than he is, with a shaved head. I wonder whatever happened to him? 7/10.

Alberto MorenoAlberto Moreno: Bertie…you bollox. You were brought on to do the one thing you got a chance to do – break from deep with space in front of you. The only problem is that you forgot to do the right thing with the ball. Emre Can was in enough space to accommodate 4,000 refugees from the Mediterranean, yet you failed to give him the ball. You excite me Bertie, but you disappoint me even more. 6/10.

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