Crystal Palace v Liverpool: LFC Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet

Simon Mignolet:

 

Simon now begins his final 10-game stint as 1st choice goalkeeper for Liverpool Football Club. It’s not going to be a ‘farewell tour’ as he’ll be on the bench next season, but it’s certainly going to be a ‘thanks but feck off tour’ for the LFC fans who have endured his tenure in our nets.

Today was a reminder of his early days in the Liverpool shirt, as he seemed to be so fond of his own goal-line, he needed to be coaxed out to come and collect the odd ball or three. At times he seemed to be waiting for written approval from Klopp to come off his line, which had to be written, posted and delivered….

In truth he had no chance with the goal, made one very good/brave save early from Bolasie and kept it neat and tidy. A solid day for Migs.

7/10 

Jon Flanagan

Jon Flanagan:

 

Last Wednesday Flano targetted Raheem Sterling on his return to Anfield, and did it incredibly well. Well enough to secure a new contract with the club, you’d hope.

Today Flano was targetted by Crystal Palace and Alan Pardew who thought he may be vulnerable playing his second game in 4 days for the first time in about two years.

Oh the fools! While the pressure from Bolasie and Adebayor was put on, and some of his passing was a little loose in the 1st half, Flano once more grew into the game, and got the better of his opponents once more. A clearance from Adebayor at the far post (after Bolasie managed to cross despite having FIVE white shirts in front of him) was the highlight.

Give the man a contract. NOW.

7/10. 

Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren:

 

Now rocking what can only be described as a ‘Ming The Merciless’ look, Dejan was indeed merciless against the Palace attack. Rock solid under every cross, including some very dangerous corners whipped in from the boot of Cabaye, Lovren led by example. Don’t believe me? Well, for example….

With about 10 minutes left, down to 10 men and Palace about to launch a counter-attack from deep in their own half, there suddenly appeared a 50/50 ball. Lovren flew into the challenge, won the ball cleanly and whipped in a dangerous cross of his own. Never gave an inch all day long.

THIS is the Lovren we thought we were buying. ACE.

9/10

Mamadou Sakho

Mamadou Sakho: 

 

A Lazarus like recovery from Mamadou allowed him to line out for Liverpool today. Most people who clash heads with Emre Can tend to take two decades to recover….

Another rock in the defence alongside Lovren, and his distribution from the back is going to be a key feature of future LFC/Klopp teams. He can pick a pass this boy. Mind you, that doesn’t stop a ludicrous amount of Liverpool fans from claiming that he’s a liability, unable to control his limbs and he can’t pass the ball.

How can I put this….you’re wrong. You’re possibly quite ill, and you should go for a lie down…for about a year.

8/10.

Alberto Moreno

Alberto Moreno: 

 

When the team was announced, the thought of Zaha/Bolasie running at Moreno made me come over all funny. I got dizzy, had uncontrollable shakes and starting speaking in tongues…

It was as scary in reality as it was in my imagination. I mean, he tried. He really, really tried, but this fella is not a left-back. Or a defender. Of any kind. He’s not really good enough going forward to be a winger either. So he’s…he’s…well, he’s Djimi Traore. But not in a lovable way like Djimi was.

A difficult summer awaits I reckon…

6/10.

Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson:

 

This has been a season of crisis for Liverpool. Managers have changed, injuries have bordered on the ridiculous, form has lurched from the sublime to the ridiculous…but things are starting to settle down now, and that means that other ‘underlying’ issues are suddenly coming to light.

Enter ‘Captain’ Jordan Henderson.

His passing is poor. His shooting is dire. His decision making is bordering on ‘Donald Trump’. When he’s surrounded by leaders he ‘fits in’, and does a job. When he’s asked to be the leader…then we have a problem. Emre Can is outshining him in every department right now. Speaking of which….

6/10.

Emre Can

Emre Can:

 

The last two performances from Emre have shown the potential and class this fella has in spades. He mullered the Manchester City midfield on Wednesday night, and he was superb again today, in very difficult circumstances.

They say that if you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs, the world is your oyster (or you’ve misjudged the situation, or whatever Kipling was banging on about). Well we’ve discussed how Henderson is doing. We’ll get onto James ‘Chopper’ Milner in a second. Yet amidst all the chaos, Emre rose above it, remained calm and led by example.

Thrown back into the heart of the defence during the enforced tactical reshuffle, he didn’t miss a beat. Or a tackle. He’s only just turned 22 years of age for feck sake!

8/10.

Francis Coquelin

James Milner: 

 

Stupid People Alive Today:

  1. Francis Coquelin
  2. James Milner
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Anybody that can’t beat Donald Trump
  5. George W Bush
  6. Edward Woodward
  7. Juan Mata (that just happened as I was typing. LOL)

I don’t need to elaborate. And yes, the picture change is deliberate. It’s an ‘homage’ to stupidity.

5/10.

Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana: 

 

It’s been a good week for Adam. A very good week. A cracking performance to destroy Manchester City followed by an above average performance to lead the Liverpool attack at Selhurst Park. However….

As I said about Philippe Coutinho last week, I don’t think Adam will ever be ‘The Man’. He will thrive in a team when he is surrounded by quality, and he will contribute to that quality, and that’s good enough for me. He’s a ‘B+’ player. All squads need them. I get the impression that Klopp is a little bit in love with him too. Must be the Nivea.

7/10

Divock Origi

Divok Origi:

 

The man who is doing the job that Christian Benteke had been asked to do. Doing it better too. Good for you Divok.

He stretches the opposition’s defence. He runs in behind, at pace. He shows for the ball and holds it up well. He draws fouls. As I said on my coverage of the game for bytheminsport.com (http://bytheminsport.com/events/935), he did a reasonable impression of the Kenny Rogers gambler…

He knew when to hold ’em. He knew when to roll ’em. He knew when to run away. He knew when to dive.

Good work.

7/10.

Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino:

 

A quiet afternoon by his own recent standards, as he was withdrawn from the sharp point of the attack and put into a more ‘supportive’ role.

Considering he has been directly involved in more goals than any other player in the Premier League in 2016, this decision should maybe be revisited…

Of course when you’re in form and presented with a chance such as that which Alex McCarthy presented him with, you’re not going to miss. Nice control, nice composure, nice finish. It didn’t look like much, but those chances are remarkably easy to fluff too.

7/10

Substitutes:

Benteke Vitality

Christian Benteke:

 

Never doubted him for a second. This man is the future of our club. An incredible athlete, a world class footballer and possibly the greatest striker in the history of the game.

Alright, I’m giddy, but when you win and score a penalty in the very last second of the game you deserve some nice things to be said about you, particularly when you’ve had certain people say some not very nice things about you…a lot. *ahem*

Was it a penalty? It was soft. He wasn’t ‘tripped’, but he didn’t ‘dive’. He was touched, running at pace. If we’re going to lambast Benteke for that, then we need to set up a worldwide ‘lambasting committee’ to review the many, many penalties and players in identical situations.

Every team has won a penalty like that. Every single one.

Enough of the mewling and fewming, aye? Good.

7/10.


Kolo Toure

KOLO: 

 

What can you say about KOLO that hasn’t already been said?

Brought on with minutes to go to see out the game and ensure we came away with a point. We leave with three points. I’m not taking any credit away from Benteke, but we all know that KOLO made this happen, just by his sheer presence.

GIVE HIM A NEW CONTRACT IMMEDIATELY.

7/10

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho:

 

For over an hour of this game, Liverpool played well in two-thirds of the pitch…until they got to the final third, when it was all kinds of shite.

Enter Philippe Coutinho.

He brought composure. He brought class. He brought threat.

He had sod all to do with the goals, but he gave us that quality and threat so desperately needed.

7/10


Jurgen Klopp

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 

 

Three wins in a row in the league for the first time in 12 months. I’m also led to believe that this is the first time in the ‘Premier’ League that Liverpool have come from behind to win a game with 10 men. That’s 24 years.

Some people I know are calling Klopp a spoofer who has fooled the world.

I won’t name them. Yet.

 8/10.

Note: If you enjoy the guff on this blog, you can find me on Twitter (@NiallHawthorne). I’m also regularly contributing to ByTheMinSport.com. Finally I’m a co-host for the best weekly Premier League Podcast in the whole world – @ByTheMinEPL Podcast, which can be found on the website. If you’ve read this far, pat yourself on the back.

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