Villarreal v Liverpool: Europa League SF 1st Leg: LFC Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet Yellow

Simon Mignolet:


Almost the perfect night for Migs, who made an outstanding stop in the second half to keep the game scoreless, only to be beaten with mere seconds left on the clock.

Top marks for his Tony Adams-esque ‘Hand Up In The Air Confidently, He’s Clearly Offside’ as the ball was swept into an open net for the winner. It had me convinced. Ish.


Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:


In a match that was tactically tighter than a tight thing wearing tights on a tightrope, Patsy seemed to find space on the wide right time and again.

It’s a genuine shame he couldn’t do anything with it. Hang on, no it’s not. It’s a bloody nuisance is what it is. Can you teach someone to deliver a better final ball? He’d better hope so, because if you can’t, he won’t be first choice in the future.


Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren:


Solid. Solid as a rock. Ooooohhhhh….

Sorry, was humming the seminal classic by Ashford & Simpson to myself there. Great tune. Anyway, back to Dejan, and he was as the song says, to be fair.

Some say that he’s gutted about the absence of Sakho. However my insider source tells me he’s chuffed. He’s got WAY more space in the dressing room now, since he’s not getting changed next to the Michelin Man, albeit a Michelin Man who had been substantially (and suspiciously as it turns out) deflated of late.


Kolo Toure



His name is KOLO. He goes by the motto YOLO.

He ate my last ROLO. His favourite hobby is POLO.

I love KOLO.


Alberto Moreno

Alberto Moreno: 


Aaron Cresswell.

Is there any chance that Aaron Cresswell would be 70 yards from his own goal in the 91st minute of a European Semi-Final, away from home, with the score at 0-0?

Ponder that for a while….


James Milner: 


The man is rocking the ‘Gary Mac’ tribute act right now. Experienced midfielder, historical ties to Leeds United, coming to the end of his career, arrives at LFC on a free, and turns in amazing performances as the season draws to a climax.

If he scores a penalty to win the tie next Thursday, I’m going to call him Gary forever.

Superb, once again.





This game was right down Lucas’ street, so it was.

No, that doesn’t mean that his family could open the curtains to watch. It’s a figure of speech. Feck sake.

An impressive performance from the much-maligned stalwart.


Joe Allen

Poor Joe:


That chance….

I don’t care if it was only mere minutes into a 180 minute tie, when you’re away from home, you have to score THAT chance.


Did well apart from that. Splendid.


Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana: 


Adam Lallana will never be dropped by Klopp. He loves him. He’s in love with him. It’s a romantic, endearing, wonderful, creepy kind of man-love.

Who needs Marco Reus anyway.



 Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho: 

Dearest Philippe,


How many times have I told you – NEVER drink the tap water when you’re away with the team. You stupid goose.

Love you



Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino:


That post. That bloody post. If only it was an inch further to the right, eh?

Divock Origi he is not. I know the ‘False 9’ is a modern invention, and therefore I’m not 100% familiar with all the tactics around such a position, but is the ‘False 9’ supposed to come into his own half to get the ball?






Jordan Ibe

Jordan Ibe: 


This is a funny one. From the forgotten man who deletes references to his employer from his social media accounts to a key substitute replacing Coutinho at half-time in the biggest match of the season.

If he really is pissed off, it’s important he gives off the right V-IBE.

I’ll get my coat.


Benteke Vitality

Christian Benteke:


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

Answer me this: When Big Ben was sprang off the bench, which did you do? Did you punch the air in delight? Rub your hands with glee? Swear under your breath?

Aye, me too.


Jurgen Klopp Unhappy

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 



What is it Jurgen? What has Daniel done to you? Is it the dance? The lack of a pain barrier? Does he smell? Whatever it is, throwing on Benteke ahead of Daniel is a bit…how do I say this…you were trolling him, weren’t you?

Work to do next week. Do me a favour. Play the ladies U-14 team against Swansea. You should still win.

All the eggs are in the one basket now Mein Gaffer.


Note: If you enjoy the guff on this blog, you can find me on Twitter (@NiallHawthorne). I’m also regularly contributing to 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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