Manchester Utd v Liverpool: Europa League Last 16 2nd Leg: LFC Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet Yellow

Simon Mignolet:

 

Alright, I’ll level with you all right from the off. Yesterday was St Patricks Day, and I watched this game in a local watering hole. I may have imbibed one or two or many glasses of ale, but the following reviews will be an honest assessment of what I saw, or thought I saw as the night progressed. Pass me the Neurofen…

A marvelously quiet night for Migs, which is a remarkable indictment of LVG and his band of assorted joyless spoofers and thugs.

I do recall one excellent save in the 1st half as a deep cross to the far post found the head of Lingard after Migs thought about coming for it, but the bungee cord tying him to his line pulled him back….*TWANG*. That was about it though. In fact it was so quiet that rumour has it, it was Migs who climbed up onto the United fans tier and unfurled the LFC banner. Splendid.

7/10 

Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:

 

One week ago Patsy put in his best ever performance in a Liverpool shirt. He followed that up by putting in one of his worst….

Poor Patsy was terrorised by Martial and Rashford throughout the match. He conceded the penalty that gave United a real lifeline in the tie. He picked up a thoroughly deserved yellow card following what I can only assume was a lobotomy-induced tackle in the second half….

I’ve always said it. If my mind goes later in life, don’t give me a frontal lobotomy, just ensure I have a bottle in front of me.

Patsy, when you’re the second best full-back in the team, and the other full-back is James Milner, then need I say more?

5/10. 

Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren:

Last weeks review for Dejan reads as follows:

Hands up who thought that Dejan Lovren stood out last night? Hang on, I can’t see any of you…that was a stupid idea.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that I didn’t notice Dejan at all last night, in the best way possible. He was imperious, solid, flawless and handsome. Sorry, getting carried away there, but you get my drift.

I prefer it when my CB’s are invisible and awesome. I’d like to be invisible and awesome. The things I could do….

I’ve said too much.

There you go. The exact same applies to last night. I’m cheating now, but I’m hungover and I don’t care.

8/10

Mamadou Sakho

Mamadou Sakho: 

 

Man dear….

I’ve scoured the dictionary and the internet to find the right words to describe the performance by Sakho last night, but there hasn’t been a word invented yet that will capture it sufficiently. So I’m going to try and coin a new word. Collins? Oxford? You reading this? Get ready to update your tomes….

Last night Mamadou Sakho was INCREDIFABUMAZINGPERB.

You watch. In about a week all the cool kids will be using it.

10/10.

James Milner

James Milner: 

 

When I heard that James Milner would be playing left-back at Old Trafford in a game of THIS magnitude, I swallowed harder than Kim Kardashian….

However, THIS game shows just why James Milner is such a valuable squad player for Liverpool for the next couple of years. He can do ANYTHING. Seriously, stick him in the nets and we may not be able to tell the difference between him and Migs.

Of course we were slightly fortunate that LVG is a spoofer of MASSIVE proportions and decided to play Juan Mata wide right to try and ‘exploit’ the obvious weakness in the LFC team. Yes, THAT Juan Mata, a man who has less pace than Stephen Hawking with 10% battery left on his chair.

Milner attacked with gusto when the chance arose, and did a decent job all things considered. His selection definitely caused me to drink a bit more to steady my nerves though. Cheers Jurgen.

7/10.

Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson:

 

Battling through illness and still part of a dominant midfield. You can’t question his heart, his desire and his sheer bloody-mindedness. Without all three he would likely be playing for Fulham in the Championship right now, and you have to admire that level of self-belief in a competitive athlete.

Is he the future Captain of this club? I suspect not.

Is he a future starter for this club next season? He may well not be.

Is he a gutsy battler who spewed at half-time and still made Michael Carrick look like a Thunderbird with the strings cut? You bet your ass he is.

That miss though….

6/10.

Emre Can

Emre Can:

 

Emre is likely muttering dark thoughts into his bran flakes this morning at Melwood.

At just 22 years of age, in a monumental European tie against our greatest foe, he turned in yet another awesome display in central midfield, winding up Fellaini so much that he threw all his elbows out of his pram….

And yet the man of the match award went to Sakho. That’s tough. However throughout my formative years in school I was a regular recipient of those ‘special’ awards…you know, the ones you give to kids who try hard and deserve, well, sympathy. So I’m giving one to Emre Can today. Not because he’s ‘special’ like me (nobody is special like me…I hope), but because he deserves something for that display.

I hereby declare Emre Can as the ‘YMOTM’. (Young Man Of The Match). *applauds*

9/10.

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho: 

Dearest Philippe,

 

Thank you so much for reading my review of you last week.

Your WhatsApp reply, while humorous, is also potentially offensive to Irish people, Men, Redheads, My Parents and My Wife.

I have however decided to forgive you, after THAT goal. And yes, I did like the fact that you dinked De Gea at his near post with your RIGHT foot, you cheeky scamp.

May I suggest also that you enter the next Winter Olympics for Brazil? Seriously, that slaloming run through half the United team was mesmerising. Oh, and while I’m at it, could you kindly STOP playing blind, risky passes in your own half? For me? Pretty please?

Love you

xxx

8/10.

Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana: 

 

A quiet, unspectacular but hard-working display from Adam last night, and that’s fine with me. The hardest working of the front four in implementing the Klopp Pressure System, and neat and tidy on the ball when in possession. Err, that’s about all I can remember of Adam last night. Bloody alcohol.

7/10

Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge:

 

Last night we got a glimpse of the ‘mercurial’ Sturridge.

He was half-arsed in his closing down (sprinting up to someone, stopping 3 yards away from them and waving your leg at them like you’re doing the hokey-cokey is NOT pressing Daniel).

Stopping his run and moaning at his teammates when a pass goes 10 yards beyond him, but still in play, is NOT productive. It can be hard for your buddies to play passes to you the way you like…some of them are still trying to remember your name, you’ve been out for so long (cheap shot, but my head hurts)

Smashing a free-kick off the bar when you had no right to even attempt such a shot. Marvellous. Bloody marvellous.

I’ll be honest, I’ll happily put up with some stroppiness, just so we can glimpse the quality.

7/10.

Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino:

 

Clearly the Copacabana Brothers are taking it in turns to play starring roles in games. This week it was Philippe’s turn.

Feel free to join in Bobby. Don’t mind Philippe, I’ll have a word with him.

6/10

Substitutes:

Joe Allen

Poor Joe:

 

Joe bounded from the bench like a cocker-spaniel happy to see his master returning home from work.

It was all the more impressive considering Jordan Henderson actually spewed ON him at half-time. It’ll take AGES to get that smell out of his beard.

Poor Joe.

7/10.


Divock Origi

Divok Origi: 

 

This kid is fast becoming a real option off the bench for Klopp. He replaced Daniel after an hour, and immediately Liverpool looked like the only winners in this game. His directness, pace and strength is a nightmare for tiring defenders to face. Now if we could just get him to add goals, we’d be laughing.

Well, laughing more. I’m still giggling like a loon after last night. Although I may still be drunk.

7/10

Benteke Vitality

Christian Benteke:

 

He came on. He ran around a bit. He earned obscene amounts of money.

Ah, it’s good to bring out the classic hits every now and then.

Apparently we could be willing to flog him to West Ham AND pay some of his wages. Seriously Brendan…look what you’ve done!

6/10


Jurgen Klopp BOOM

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 

 

BOOM.

Indeed. ‘Nuff said.

Actually, sod it, no it’s not. We have a manager that has inherited a squad that was a shambles. A squad that were often beaten before kick-off. A squad that didn’t know it’s arse from it’s (Fellaini) elbow.

Now look at us. A rock-solid central defensive partnership, featuring players that were previously a laughing stock, or left out of the team. A marauding central-midfielder who was being played at right back or centre-back. A striker who’s fit for the first time in YEARS.

You know what the best bit is? We’re away at Old Trafford, defending a lead, and what does he do? He chucks on a central-midfielder and TWO strikers. I love it. It’s gutsy, it’s ballsy, it’s ROCK AND F*CKING ROLL MAN….

 9/10.

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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