Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Liverpool player ratings


Hart After a comfortable first half he had to produce his very best goalkeeping later on. The best moment was a double save equal to everything he produced in his coming of age performance at White Hart Lane: going low down to save from David N'Gog before scrambling across goal and out to charge down Fernando Torres' shot. If I have one quibble it's that his kicking suggests he's under the impression we've got John Carew up front, but he can learn that. 8

Richards A surprise pick at right-back but he had an accomplished game. I can't remember Milan Jovanović getting past him once, which was a nice change after Gareth Bale. With Adam Johnson playing in front of him he didn't need to get forward to provide width but he did a bit. Scored a header from a corner, which ought to be his but we're still waiting on. 7

Kolo Touré
A fairly quiet game. With our dominance of possession we did not see as much of N'Gog and Torres in attacking positions as we might have done. But he held off N'Gog well when he needed to. 7

Kompany Faultless, again. I know I've said this before but I am convinced he has the natural gifts required to be one of the league's finest centre-backs. Sometimes I wish I could spot a weakness in his game if only to give me something to write about. The highlight was when he slipped over but still got up in time to rob N'Gog and spin past him. 8

Lescott His second consecutive game at left back, and another solid performance. Matched Dirk Kuyt's running effectively, and never let anyone past. With Aleksandar Kolarov rumoured to be out until November, he can make the spot his own. 7

de Jong As the deepest of our midfield three he was generally spare, and while he got to make two important tackles he was more important in maintaining possession, completing 41 of 43 attempted passes, all in the middle third. 7

Johnson I'd previously been critical of AJ that he had never really done it in a big game, and so this felt like a watershed. He gave us the width and dynamism we had been missing in the last two games, running Daniel Agger ragged inside and out. He played a perfect pass through to James Milner who set up Gareth Barry's goal, showing a precision of final ball that had not always been obvious. For our third goal he drew a lunge from Škrtel and won the penalty. Of course Johnson looked for it - that's the third penalty he's won for us like that at CoMS - but I have no sympathy whatsoever for Škrtel. I'd still like to see him scar Patrice Evra or Ashley Cole like this, but I'm confident that will come in time. 8

Yaya Touré The main creative force in central midfield. People that thought he was merely a lumberer have underestimated his ability to move the ball quickly and brightly to either side. He completed 36 of 37 attempted passes, most of them out wide to Johnson, while also covering a fair amount of ground. I don't think he's quite up to speed yet - he hasn't unleashed any of his gallops through the middle yet - but it was another good performance. 7

Barry Playing just to the left of our midfield triangle, in front of de Jong but behind Yaya, he was another player to bring out his best performance in months. He looked fitter and sharper than he often does, winning an uncharacteristic number of 50/50 challenges - at times we barely needed the safety net of de Jong. On the ball he passed quickly and with success (48/53), and even broke into the box to score his first league goal at Eastlands. 8

Milner Well worth the wait. He gave us everything down the left, winning five tackles in roughly our left-back position, but always breaking forward, keeping Glen Johnson under pressure. The first goal came when he appeared in the inside-right channel to set up Barry, and our second came when Micah Richards headed in his corner. A very good start. 8

Tévez A lesson that Tévez can play up on his own very effectively, if only the team play to his strengths. Give him the ball to feet, don't leave him isolated, have runners beyond him and it becomes a very effective system. In open play he was not too much of a goal threat, dropping towards the half way line to link and turn, but still came out accredited with two goals. He didn't touch Micah Richards' header, but did distract Pepe Reina well enough, and his penalty was one of his best yet for City. Winning the mental battle, he sent Reina the wrong way, making it seven out of seven from the spot for him. 7

Subs:

Zabaleta Always nice to see him. n/a

The ultimate insult to Liverpool. I was embarrassed when we brought Jô on in pre-season friendlies, and even more so in the Europa League play-off round. But to have him on the pitch for five minutes of a Premier League game is to bring the whole competition into disrepute. This was his first league appearance for City since Boxing Day 2008. n/a

5 comments:

1979gooner said...

http://anotherarsenalblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/fergies-red-herring-and-truth-behind.html

thought you may enjoy this

trinder said...

Milner and Johnson aside, I was most pleased with Yaya Toure. His positional sense, his intelligent use of the ball and his workrate were hugely promising. We had a very dynamic midfield at work last night.

Rios Dos Santos said...

Yes Yaya could be the next Viera for us..

Jeff said...

I was wrong about Yaya. He's more a complete midfielder than a holding midfielder.

joseph burrell said...

I would give Tevez 40, but it is just my humble opinion and I respect yours, I have learned a lot form you and I have applied it to my job as a pay per head agent