Liverpool took on Swansea City on Monday night and continued their good recent form. The Reds are still unbeaten in the Premier League in 2015, but came close to letting Swansea break their run. The home team dominated proceedings from the start and didn’t let Liverpool come into the game even a little bit. Brendan Rodgers side looked nothing like its recent self and there were plenty of mispasses and poor control of the ball by Liverpool players. But a change in tactics from Brendan Rodgers in the final half an hour meant the visitors got more control and came out on top with a very important, albeit ugly, goal from Jordan Henderson
Here is how the Liverpool players fared.
Simon Mignolet 8/10- The Liverpool goalkeeper was the brightest Liverpool player on the night and has truly come a far way from his October-November days. He kept the visitors in the game by making two outstanding first half saves against Gomis and Sigurdsson. He also looked very confident while defending set-pieces and punched the ball with confidence. Liverpool have six continuous away clean sheets which is a testament to the improvement Mignolet has made recently. A man-of-the-match performance by the Belgian.
Emre Can 5/10- The summer signing has become a fan favorite recently but it wasn’t his night as he looked extremely unconvincing at the back. Struggled a lot in the first half and only improved slightly in the second half.
Martin Skrtel 7.5/10- The Slovakian hasn’t received as much credit recently as he should because of Can’s resurgence and Mignolet’s improved form but he has been a very consistent figure at the back and was very good at the back again. Continuously covered up for all the defensive lapses made by his team in the first half.
Mamadou Sakho 7/10- The former PSG man was jeered throughout the night by Swansea fans because of his apparent weak ball control. He answered them with class by surging forward and getting the attack going. Had a good second half, but like the rest of the team, was shaky in the first half.
Joe Allen 7.5/10- A somewhat mixed afternoon for the Welshman. His attacking passes seem to have improved greatly and he set up his teammates in the attack three or four times tonight. However, he did lose the ball a few times and gave away possession cheaply initially. Came back strongly in the second half and did well to try and win the much needed midfield battle. Allen has really made his case for a regular first team spot recently and needs to continue this way to ensure Rodgers persists with him once Lucas returns.
Jordan Henderson 6/10- The 24 year old has now scored three goals in three continuous Premier League games for Liverpool but unlike the previous two, this one was not as glorious. Nonetheless, the former Sunderland player showed his value to the side and made sure the team went back with full three points.
Alberto Moreno 5.5/10- An okay performance from the Spaniard. Didn’t really contribute to any facet of the game. Was substituted for Steven Gerrard for a change in structure which worked very well for the Reds.
Raheem Sterling 5.5/10- The 20 year old was far from his influential best and was especially poor in the first half. Part of it can be blamed on the fact that he was playing as a wing-back when he clearly has been better centrally recently. The counter argument for this is that Sterling is naturally a winger and really should have been exploiting the width of the pitch. He was hardly a threat initially but grew into the game in the second half and created chances for his teammates. Not a performance that would have Liverpool give him 150k a week, certainly.
Philippe Coutinho 5.5/10- The Brazilian has been such an important figure for Liverpool recently, but like the rest of his teammates, tonight wasn’t particularly his night.
Adam Lallana 5/10- The Englishman needs a performance to prove why Liverpool paid nearly 25m for his services in the summer. It was a disappointing showing for Lallana overall.
Daniel Sturridge 5/10- Sturridge could have been on the scoresheet as his late strike hit the post, but it wouldn’t have affected his ratings. The England international was extremely poor up-front. He struggled to find room up-front and didn’t even make enough runs behind defenders. It didn’t help that Liverpool’s playmakers weren’t having the best day as well and he didn’t have much to feed off, but when he did get chances, he couldn’t capitalize. Hasn’t been in the greatest of touch lately and needs to make sure he is an asset to Liverpool’s top 4 quest.
Steven Gerrard 6/10- His introduction meant a change in structure for the Reds. He gave the visitors control in the midfield and his presence meant Henderson could get more freedom in the attacking sense. The Liverpool legend showed his influence as his side got the unlikely goal just three and a half minutes after his introduction
Glen Johnson NA- Was substituted late on in the game for Adam Lallana.