Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool: LFC Player Ratings


Simon Mignolet Yellow

Simon Mignolet:


A remarkably comfortable Friday evening for Migs who in all truth could have nipped out to catch a flick at the nearest cinema, he had so little to do. And yet…

I’ve concluded that Simon Mignolet is controlled by the moon. In the same way as our nearest asteroidal (I don’t care if that’s not really a word, I like it) neighbour controls the ebb and flow of the tides, so does it control the ability of Migs to come off his line. In essence, he comes for crosses as regularly as the tide comes in, and if the tide happens to be out, Migs will stay on his line, unable to do anything about it. He also seems to be affected by gravity more than most – when he does come out, he’s either got lead in his boots or additional gravitational pull to keep him from soaring through the air to pluck the ball away.

All eyes will now be on the fit-again Karius when he does make his debut, which is likely to be in midweek in the League Cup. Mind you, I’ve got reservations about him too. I just can’t trust a goalkeeper that is THAT good looking. If he hasn’t got his faced smashed up by the time he’s ‘made’ it, he’s either the greatest of all time, or not brave enough to go in where it hurts.


Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:


Late on Friday night as Patsy stepped inside his front door and emptied his pockets on the hall table, out spilled the following items: Chewing Gum, House Keys, Car Keys, £500 cash and Eden Hazard.

Patsy didn’t give the waffle-guzzling, beer-brewing, chocolate-eating Roberto Martinez managed *snigger* winger a sniff all game, while he continuosly raided forward down the right wing in support of the attack, particularly in the first half as Liverpool battered Chelsea with their own unique blend of ‘shock and awe’ football.

A smashing performance from the quiet man of the team, yet one of the first names on the teamsheet (probably because Liverpool don’t have any other fullbacks….). Oh, and he really, really, really looks like this fella from Hey Arnold, and should grow his barnet accordingly.




Dejan Lovren:


Sporting a black eye straight from Rocky III, or IV, or possibly II, I dunno, Dejan Lovren looked mean and moody and played like it too. He wasn’t taking sh*t from anyone last night, hence a meek and frankly effete Diego Costa forgetting he was meant to be the most bastarding bastard in the history of bastards, and behaving like a choir boy threatened with a visit from ‘that’ priest.

Along with holding the fort supremely well, his movement and subsequent finish for the first goal was awesome, checking his run and volleying home with aplomb. I love the word aplomb. I’ve never seen it used outside of football reporting, and that’s fine by me.



Joel Matip: 


The illegitimate son of Billy Joel is living the lyrics of one of his Da’s finest tunes:

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Indeed, Joel didn’t start the burning dumpster fire that has been the Liverpool FC defence over the past five or so years, but he’s damn well fighting it with gusto, and whisper it, but he may well be getting it under control.

When Chelsea pulled a goal back with 30 minutes remaining, I can’t have been the only Liverpool fan who’s head dropped expecting the Alamo to be chucked at our back four, and an inevitable capitulation leading to at best a point or at worst another soul-crushing defeat. Yet Matip and friends stood firm and saw the game out in relative comfort.

On a side note, I’ve ranted a bit on Twitter about the quality of ‘commentary’ by Tyler and Neville last night, and I stand by the fact that their obvious bias towards ‘other’ teams (make your own mind up which team that is) was prominent. The nail in that particular coffin came in the first half as Joel Matip strode forward from the back, ball at his feet, to launch and join in with another attack. Martin Tyler called it ‘Ferdinand-esque’….

REALLY? I MEAN F*CKING REALLY? How about ‘Maldini-esque’? ‘Beckenbauer-esque’? ‘Bobby F*cking Moore-esque’? No though, it had to be ‘Ferdinand-esque’….Maybe it was Anton he was referring to, but I doubt it.



James Milner: 


At the end of last season I said that James Milner will be the best damn squad player Liverpool could have as his ability to cover numerous positions would prove invaluable.

I’ll admit I didn’t think he’d become first choice left-back, but then again it is the biggest problem area in the squad, so in a sense I called it. Yes, I did call it. YES I BLOODY DID. Ah shurrup.

The biggest compliment I can make about Milner is that he rarely looked troubled in defence last night, even when under the cosh in the second half. His ability to contribute effectively when he gets forward is also a real bonus, and I’d wager a full € 2 that he’ll have more assists/goals than any other left-back in the Premier League next May.



Geordie Wine Gum: 


How did this lad get relegated last season? Christ alive, Newcastle must have been utter dog spunk if they went down with this fella in the ranks and Rafa on the sidelines. Maybe all the players were on zero-hour contracts? That might explain it…

Anyway, I digress. His work rate, his composure, his eye for a pass, his engine…I could go on and on and on. I don’t see how Emre Can will get back into this team, and last season Emre was Klopp’s leader on the pitch. What a start by Georgie…


Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson:


Some players can return from injury and immediately hit their straps and be at their very best instantly. Daniel Sturridge is a prime example. Some players need to work, and work hard, to get back up to their usual level. Considering Jordan Henderson falls into the latter category, it’s very unfortunate that he’s had such a bad run of injuries, as it inevitably takes him a very long time to get back to the level he can reach.

We’re seeing that level now. As he led Liverpool into a very tough away match as Captain, he was immense in the middle of the park in his new ‘holding’ role. There is no other player in the Liverpool squad with more doubters than Hendo (Moreno doesn’t count…I said ‘players’, not ‘clowns’), but Jordan must have silenced them all last night. Mind you, we live in a world where Twitter flutes roam freely, so I’m sure it won’t be hard to find someone with an IQ lower than the number of women who like Donald Trump who’s still bashing Hendo last night. C’est la vie.

Oh, and that goal was ‘Gerrard-esque’. It’s an unfair comparison, but it was a hell of an impression.


Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana: 


Russian government officials involved in their ‘fight against doping’ (stop giggling) may well be noticing Adam Lallana right now and his boundless energy, his ability to cover more ground than everyone else in the league, his eye for goal and his general all-round improvement this season….

No, he’s not juiced or doped or whatever it is the kids call it these days (asthmatic is probably the buzzword, right Serena?), but he does have a secret that gives him the edge. Are you ready to find out what it is?


Adam Lallana can brutalise opponents while feeling as smooth as a baby’s bottom. What a combination. His new role, more withdrawn but with licence to burst forward late will draw comparisons with a certain Frank Lampard. Mind you, Adam’s not going to get the ‘Fat’ moniker attached to him, considering he runs 3,000 miles every 90 minutes.



Philippe Coutinho: 

Dearest Philippe,


Goals. Lots of them. That’s the only thing that will keep you in this side, and in my heart.

That may sound mercenary, but it’s the truth. If you want me, like really want me, you need to fight for me, and bang those goals in like you did at the Emirates. Mane, Firmino and Sturridge are all showing quite a lot of leg to try and attract my affections, but for now you still have my heart.

That cross for Dejan was FILTHY by the way. You still know how to do it for me.

Love you.



Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge


Well I’ll be damned…

Daniel Sturridge leading an attacking line away from home at a major rival, working his boll*x off, switching positions from central to wide, and generally adapting to the Klopp way of working. There’s hope for him yet…

Of course he could only last 50 minutes before he resembled a jelly run over by an articulated truck, but hey, that’s progress. Klopp himself admitted that he could have risked Bobby Firmino, but he put his faith in Sturridge, and was rewarded.

The fact that the side is no longer ‘dependent’ or ‘desperate’ for the mythical Daniel Sturridge is fantastic. He’s no longer the panacea to cure all ills. He’s a bloody talented striker who gives us yet another weapon going forward. If he refrains from acting like a weapon, he could be part of something very special indeed.


Sadio Mane.jpg

Sadio Mané:


As is the theme for the performance last night, Sadio is yet another attacker who worked as part of the ‘system’ to deliver the result, without ever exploding with individual brilliance, and without ever needing to.

You can see the problem that faces sides taking on this Liverpool team – they just can’t predict where the threat will come from…Sturridge, Coutinho, Firmino, Mane, Lallana, Henderson, Geordie Wine Gum….They’ll all scare you to death, and somewhere along the line, one of them will step forward and hurt you. Fantastic.





Fresh from his first assist in professional football since 1997, Lucas was introduced to help stem the blue tide as Chelsea sought an equaliser. Apart from conceding a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box (after Hazard kicked Lucas and then fell over, the cheating tw*t), he did his job well. With Milner in the first team, Lucas can now wear the ‘handiest squad player’ crown. He’s been with the club for 10 years. I’d have given you long odds on that being the case when the floppy haired young Brazilian first burst* onto the scene in the red of Liverpool

*more of a stutter, truth be told


Kevin Stewart

Kevin Stewart:


Football fans of a certain vintage will understand why I can’t stop saying ‘Bobby’ between the names Kevin and Stewart. I just can’t help it. I think I’m sick.

A late introduction to see the game out, and mission accomplished. Even got a huge bear hug from Herr Klopp who also whispered something in his ear after the final whistle. Maybe it was ‘Who the hell was Graham ‘Bobby’ Stuart?’


Divock Origi

Divock Origi: 


Needs a goal. Just one goal. Off his shin, or his arse or even his b*llox. Anything! I thought he had it when he rose at the far post and in fairness to him he did everything right, heading it down into the ground, and was only denied by a fine Courtois save.

Should have scored, mind…


Jurgen Klopp Unhappy

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 


Had the balls to trust his players and not risk Firmino.

Dished out 14 bear hugs at full-time.

10 points away to Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and home to the Champions.

That’ll do Jurgen, that’ll do.


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