Liverpool v Crystal Palace: LFC Player Ratings

Simon MignoletSimon Mignolet: Ah Simon. Just when I thought we had turned a corner together, you go and have one of ‘those’ moments. You hadn’t a chance with the first, no issue there. However the winner…oh God the winner. If an opponent gets a free header from 10 yards out, please don’t ensure he has a rebound chance from 6 yards out without having to break stride, eh? Tonight, go home, run a bubble bath, light some candles, and put the following songs on your iPod shuffle: Beyonce – Irreplacable (Lyrics include: To The Left, To The Left). Anything by ‘Right Said Fred’. Finally, MmmBop by Hanson. No lyrics in there that are handy, but it is an incredibly CATCHY song. 7/10.

Nathaniel ClyneNathaniel Clyne: Now see here. It’s Monday. The weather is manky (well, it is here anyway). If you’re feeling sorry for yourself, just think back to the day that Patsy had yesterday. Dear Lord, the poor man was TERRORISED by Zaha and Bolasie. Yet, despite having to handle two of the most hyperactive players in the Premier League, he managed to bomb forward all game, showed a superb understanding with Jordon Ibe, and created the goal for Philippe Coutinho. He also handled the terrible twosome pretty well. Clearly one of, if not the best, right-backs in the Premier League. We’re lucky to have him.  8/10.

Martin SkrtelMartin Skrtel: Solid performance from Martin under the circumstances: He didn’t really have anybody to mark, had three players who could beat him in a 10 yard sprint by 5 yards running at him every couple of minutes, and lost his defensive partner and found himself playing alongside Dejan Lovren. You sense that Martin knows that Herr Klopp will be looking to strengthen the defence as soon as possible and is busting a gut to impress the new man. Good for him, and good for us.  7/10.

Mamadou SakhoMamadou Sakho: *Falls to knees, Platoon style* MAAAAMAAAAADOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU……..I hope to God your knee is alright. Having his usual strong performance when he landed awkwardly. We’ll probably find out that his knee fell off but that Sakho wanted to keep playing until he realised that one leg was now 3″ shorter than the other. What a warrior. Get well soon. The rest of us need to adopt religions (pick one, any one, they’re all the same really), and start praying to every known God in the universe. Spread out, let’s not all put our eggs in the one basket. 7/10.

Alberto MorenoAlberto Moreno: Another full back for Liverpool who had a torrid time of it at Anfield as the gruesome twosome switched wings and picked on each full back in equal measure. Bertie stood up for himself though, and got forward well for good measure. Yet again though, his final ball was just not able to open any doors. In fact, his final ball didn’t even hit the door, let alone open it. At times his final ball didn’t hit the house, never mind the door. I think you get my point. 7/10.

LucasLucas Leiva: They should make a movie about this match, featuring this man. It would be all about how one man and his friends took on an evil empire spearheaded by a loathsome creature with no morals, no dignity and no sense of self-awareness (Hi Alan!). It would show how our hero fought off the attacks of the enemy, and helped to launch counter-attacks keeping the whole empire together in times of trouble. Yeah, that sounds like a plan. I don’t know how successful it would be though. Has there ever been a successful ‘Lucas Film’? 9/10.

Emre CanEmre Can: *Shuffles feet* *Stares at the floor* *Mumbles* Yeah, umm, well, you know, it’s, like, kind of, you know, I think, it’s, anyway, the thing is, what I’m trying to say is, you know, I don’t think Emre had a good game. There. I’ve said it. The pressing of the Palace players exposed Jackie a few times, and this pressure led to his distribution being below its best. It may be the toll of the trip to Russia having an effect, and he was up against a bloody good team in Palace. What I do question however was the decision to withdraw him for Firmino. That didn’t make sense to me, and I’ll explain why later. Anyway, back to Emre, and we must remember he’s only 21. He’ll have days like this. Keep your chin up Emre. What? Jordan Henderson is back in training? Oh…nevermind, eh?  6/10.

Adam LallanaAdam Lallana: Handed the starting ’10’ spot, ahead of Coutinho. That’s when you know that the new manager ‘gets’ you. Did Adam disappoint? Nope. Did he excel? Nope. Lovely flick on the Clyne cross that led to the Coutinho equaliser, but you get the feeling that he meant to find Benteke with that flick. Harsh? Maybe. Was by far the hardest worker on the pitch according to the ground covered, so he’s really, really working his b*lls off for Klopp. I can only admire Adam for his attitude. If he can consistently influence games more, a star will be born. 7/10.

Jordan IbeJordon Ibe: Oh Jordon, in that first half you made my heart sing. My neighbours asked me to keep it down as a result, but they’re crabby asses so ignore them. You were ducking, you were diving. You were bobbing, you were weaving. You were doing to them what Bolasie and Co. were doing to us. Your work on the right-wing with Patsy was a joy to watch, and to get a start ahead of Firmino just shows the impression you have made on Jurgen so quickly. The decision to sell St*rling now doesn’t seem like such a bad move. Faded in the second period, but after the exertions in Russia combined with the 1st half display, that is to be expected. The future’s bright. The future’s Jordon. 8/10.

Philippe CoutinhoPhilippe Coutinho: It’s Monday. I’m grumpy. Bear with me. I know that Philippe got our goal, and that’s 3 in 2 games, but in 12 games this season he has 4 goals and 2 assists. 3 of those goals have come in the past week. Other luminaries of the Premier League doing better in terms of goals/assists include Tadic, Ayew, Mahrez and Wijnaldum. Am I expecting more? Damn right. Am I expecting too much? I don’t know…am I? Are you? Are we all? I feel frustrated. I also feel guilty for feeling frustrated. Oh, I’m a mess.  8/10.

Christian BentekeChristian Benteke: Regular readers of this blog will know that I have mused for a while now on one question: Is Ben a great goalscorer or a scorer of great goals? Yesterday served to act as evidence for the latter. A great goalscorer would most likely have had at least two goals yesterday. That first half fluffed kick on his right foot. The second half shot on his left skied over the bar. That header at the Kop end. All reasonable chances for a £32m attacker. None scored. We lost by a goal. On such margins are achievements won and lost, careers changed, hearts and minds captured. However he’s all we’ve got right now, so come on Ben, keep at it. 7/10.

Substitutes: 

Dejan LovrenDejan Lovren: Admit it. When Sakho fell, and Lovren warmed up, you had that sinking feeling too, didn’t you. A centre back combo of Skrtel and Lovren against Bolasie/Zaha/Sako. Hell, I even cheered a bit when Klopp told Dejan to sit down as Sakho tried to run it off. However, credit where it is due, once more Dejan Lovren made a solid contribution to the team effort, and I don’t recall ANY clusterf*cks during his time on the pitch. This is progress, and seeing as Sakho left Anfield on crutches and with his knee in a brace, we are going to be seeing more of Dejan in the next few weeks. *gulp* 7/10

Roberto FirminoRoberto Firmino: Brought on to replace Emre Can. Klopp certainly decided to ‘go for it’ with that change, eh? Unfortunately though, we didn’t really go for it after the change, and in fact we lost it as Bobby F found himself marking ‘Big Scott Dann’ at a corner, and the rest is history. Do I blame Firmino? A bit. However, asking a boy from the Copacabana Beach (no, I don’t know where he’s from. Yes, it is a lazy stereotype) to mark a brute like Dann at a corner is asking for trouble. Emre Can marking him? Yep, no issues. Firmino? Nah. 7/10.

Divock OrigiDivock Origi: Thrown on as a desperate last throw of the dice. He was desperate. End. 6/10.

Manager: Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp Dare I criticise Jurgen Klopp? Yeah, I will. The change to bring off Emre Can and introduce Roberto Firmino made no sense to me at the time, and made even less sense when Palace scored. I’ve already discussed how Emre wasn’t having a great game, so that’s not the reason why it was a bad move. It was a bad move as it exposed us to the Palace counter-attack, and at set-pieces. It’s a blot in the copybook for the new man, but he was hardly going to throw Joe Allen into that match, now was he? So his ‘error’ is mitigated by the lack of choice at his disposal. Two weeks off to try and get some injury worries back into the squad, and a simple enough away day to Manchester City when we all meet again. Splendid. 7/10

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