Pepe Reina – 6
Reina had relatively little to do throughout the course of the match. The Reds were dominated throughout large spells of the game, turning to their goalkeeper only to build their attacks from the back with Rodgers possession game. Reina could do little to stop Rafael’s equalizer, yet will be disappointed that he didn’t stop van Persie’s penalty having got a hand to it.
Martin Kelly – 7
An impressive performance by the young right back. Kelly rendered Nani ineffective on United’s left hand side, limiting the Portuguese midfielder’s involvement in the Red Devils attack. At the opposite end Kelly was also a frequent presence aiding the Liverpool attack in the wing back role. Injured at the end after giving his all for the club this afternoon.
Martin Skrtel – 7
Invisible throughout the course of the game, which is often a good thing for a centre back. Liverpool’s domination throughout the match meant Skrtel and Agger had little to do other than build from the back which they did comfortably amidst pressure from United. Perhaps could have got tighter to Rafael for the Brazilian’s equalizer but other than that did relatively little wrong whilst dominating in the air.
Daniel Agger – 7
Same as his fellow centre back. The Great Dane was hardly involved in the game as Liverpool controlled large periods of play, simply building from the back with defensive partner Martin Skrtel. Agger picked up a nasty injury at the end of the game, believed to have damaged his medial ligaments, which will certainly hamper Brendan Rodgers’ aspirations for the recent future.
Glen Johnson – 6
Great game for Johnson again on the left hand side, not his favoured right back role. The England defender was a threat going forward yet also dealt with United’s right hand side for the majority of the game. Would have got a higher rating, however Rafael’s goal came after a break down the right which Johnson should have dealt with, whilst he was also to blame United’s penalty (which after review I think is the right decision despite being adamant it wasn’t earlier). Cut out the poor mistakes and Johnson had a great game.
Joe Allen – 6
On the ball a lot for Liverpool today yet didn’t really seem to do anything with it. Allen seems to be playing deeper then he did at Swansea which seems to be affecting his play. Comfortable on possession and willing to build from the back but lacking the incisive passing or forward movement that would desperately help the Liverpool attack. Relatively anonymous today for the Reds.
Steven Gerrard – 9
Man of the match without a doubt. Gerrard silenced those critics that had been questioning this week whether the Liverpool skipper had ‘lost his touch’. Played every pass in the book, defended well against the United attack and was involved in every single movement that Liverpool made going forward. Deserved his goal and individually deserved more than a loss from the game.
Jonjo Shelvey – 3
Demonstrated a degree of immaturity after an impressive display in Switzerland midweek. Red card was the correct decision although going by Mark Halsey’s judgement Jonny Evans might have also been sent off and arguably Robin van Persie too in the second half. Relatively ineffective whilst he was on the pitch and his red card didn’t help his team who looked tired in the last 15 minutes having been playing with 10 men.
Fabio Borini – 5
Another poor performance from Borini this afternoon in my view. Arguably Rodgers should be playing the forward in his preferred central role yet that doesn’t excuse Borini’s complete absence from all aspects of the game. The Italian had a couple of chances at the beginning of the match yet apart from that his performance was largely forgettable
Luis Suarez – 7
Liverpool’s only real attacking outlet this afternoon. Suarez made runs throughout the game and looked dangerous attacking the United back four. Annoyed some of his teammates no doubt when he ran himself into a corner yet looked like the only player other than Gerrard that might be a threat in the Reds penalty area.
Raheem Sterling – 7
Not one of his most outstanding performances in a Liverpool shirt yet a composed effort from the English youngster. Sterling caused some disturbance down the left flank and held the ball up well whilst waiting for support in attack. Able to get to the by line and make a few crosses for the Reds but Sterling’s influence was minimal down the flank compared to the previous few games.
Jordan Henderson (Sub for Sterling) – 4
Anonymous. No other word can describe Henderson’s influence at Anfield on Sunday. The midfielder was brought in as a promising English talent by Kenny Dalglish and was even tagged as Steven Gerrard’s replacement by some. Comparing the performances of the two players today, there is no doubt in my mind that Henderson will never achieve the heights that Steven Gerrard has achieved (or anything near them). Not the type of player Liverpool need in their midfield if they want to make progress in the future.
Suso (Sub for Borini) – 7
Impressive performance coming off the bench for the Spanish youngster. Suso was involved in Steven Gerrard’s opening goal and continued to threaten the United defence throughout the course of the second half. Wasn’t fazed by the occasion despite it only being his second senior performance for the club this season. Certainly looks like a promising attacking player for the future.
Jamie Carragher (Sub for Daniel Agger) – 6
Came on and received words of encouragement and acknowledgement from Sir Alex Ferguson. Filled in for Daniel Agger well after the Danish international was stretchered offer with ligament injuries – by the time he came on the damage had been done. Nice for him to get a run out today in a match with some much local significance.
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