Liverpool registered a comfortable 3-0 victory over a sorry Tottenham Hotspur outfit, to breathe life into their season after a poor showing away to Manchester City.
Simon Mignolet – 8/10 The Belgian’s weaknesses were occasionally on display at White Hart Lane, but Mignolet’s presence saved the blushes of the center backs on more than one occasion. Had a few brilliant saves for his highlight reel, namely his strong parry away from Nacer Chadli just before half-time to keep his team in the lead.
Javier Manquillo – 7/10 Still getting his feet wet in the Premier League, the young Spaniard’s speed and strength was a huge asset and a definite upgrade over the injured Glen Johnson. Was beaten in one-on-ones a couple times, but often recovered quickly and covered well for his center backs.
Mamadou Sakho – 5/10 It’s hard to blame one of the central defenders more than the other, but Sakho’s decision making wasn’t at its finest, making some silly passing mistakes. However, he was strong in the air, winning a number of headers and held off Emmanuel Adebayor on a number of occasions.
Dejan Lovren – 6/10 Brendan Rodgers is desperate for his central defenders to gel quickly, but again Lovren had some shaky moments. He was caught out of position on a few occasions, and seemed to forget where his defensive partner was at times. Needs to work on his decision making and positional awareness. A series of expertly timed last-ditch tackles was the major highlight of his play.
Alberto Moreno – 9/10 Scored a phenomenal debut goal for the club since his protracted move from Sevilla. Was defensively tidy, and his link-up play down the left-hand channel was quality. An attacking threat and certainly a player who already looks like he could have a big impact at the club.
Joe Allen – 7/10 Not the most influential of players, but always dependable and reliable in the Liverpool system. Won a contentious penalty for his side’s second goal of the match. Did leave Steven Gerrard exposed at times, but overall his positional awareness and willingness to pressure the opposition bore fruits for the team.
Steven Gerrard – 6/10 In the first half, the skipper struggled to get a handle on the contest and was guilty of gifting Tottenham position in some dangerous areas. Improved in the second half and dispatched the penalty that almost put Liverpool out of sight.
Jordan Henderson – 8/10 The young Englishman’s rise to prominence continued yet again. For those who mocked the former Sunderland man, the energetic midfielder is beginning to look like a bargain. Played very well in his role as usual, and put in yet another stunning run and pass combination for the opening goal. Henderson and Sterling have an exceptional understanding of one another.
Raheem Sterling – 9/10 (Man of the Match) Sterling may have come up through the academy before Rodgers came to Liverpool, but the youngster’s meteoric rise must be attributed to the manager. Rodgers consistently plays Sterling in the best positions, and his skill on the ball and eye for goal may well make him the heir apparent to Luis Suarez. Perfectly timed runs throughout the match, including for his goal. Beat the entire Spurs defense later on in the match, only to fluff the finish straight to Hugo Lloris. With the purchase of Mario Balotelli, it will encourage Rodgers to play his beloved diamond formation that stresses runs from midfield.
Daniel Sturridge – 6/10 Played well for his position, pulling defenders away from the goal and allowing runs and passes from midfield. Had a few sniffs at goal that he probably should have done better with. But his holdup play was essential and one gets the feeling that he will be back in goalscoring form very soon.
Mario Balotelli – 6/10 Similar to his strike partner, drawing defenders out of position as well as holding up the ball. Had a few glorious chances that he truly should have done better with but it was a fine Liverpool debut. Appeared to have a great attitude, and it seems that the Rodgers has every chance of getting the best out of him.
Lazar Markovic – 6/10 As with his introduction at City, the Serbian winger’s pace and skill in one-on-ones was brilliant. When he reaches full fitness and is able to start, I think we’ll get a real sense of what the attacker can do. No Spurs players could keep with him for pace and his eye for space could work wonders in the future.
Emre Can – 6/10 Powered ahead through midfield to create an excellent chance for Sterling, and seemed very tidy in midfield. Still has a young man’s impulsiveness, but he will settle with time. Could be a long-term replacement for Gerrard with his powerful frame, pace and quality passing range.
Jose Enrique 3/10 – Came on in the 86th minute and did not have enough time on the pitch to make an impact.