Liverpool FC 1 Norwich City 1 - Player Ratings
Liverpool were held to a frustrating draw at home as Norwich never stopped trying and took away their share of spoils. Irrespective of that, there were a few encouraging performances for the home side, as Liverpool exhibited some bit of attacking nous which has been missing since the beginning of the season.
Simon Mignolet – 6 Simon Mignolet had a good game with whatever little he had to do. He was quick to get off the line to either close down the angles or to sweep up loose balls. Made a great point blank save too. Was partially to blame for the goal conceded with his weak punch.
Emre Can – 6 Started as the right-sided centre-back in a back three, but drove into the midfield whenever possible with his trademark surging runs. Shifted into the midfield in the second half as Liverpool moved forward in numbers in search of a winner.
Martin Skrtel – 6 It was not a coincidence that Martin Skrtel looks a far more assured defender in the company of Mamadou Sakho. Won his headers against Cameron Jerome and was instrumental in moving the ball quickly into the midfield.
Mamadou Sakho – 7 Imperious first start in the league, as the centre-back won almost everything there was to win, including a game of ‘statue’. Made a mistake in terms of positioning which resulted in a chance for Norwich, was was eventually saved by Mignolet. Sakho also looked to initiate attacks whenever possible with quick balls by-passing the midfield or by using the long diagonal ball to Clyne.
Nathaniel Clyne – 5.5 A relatively quiet game for Clyne. Was decent offensively while sticking to his task in the defence. Made couple of vital interceptions late on in the game as Norwich looked to counter attack.
Alberto Moreno – 8 Man of the Match. It was refreshing to see Liverpool actually having an attacking option down the left hand side. Provided pace and purpose on that wing as almost every attack went via Moreno. Was prepared to stick to the wing, or cut into the midfield as the situation demanded. A great assist for Ings’ first goal for Liverpool. He would do well to retain such a high performance level in the future games.
Lucas Leiva (72′) – 6.5 A good game for the defensive midfielder as he nipped in few interceptions in the midfield. A rare game where Lucas could be seen to be contributing offensively. Lucas has played a few games now under a manager who apparently does not believe in the importance of a defensive midfielder.
James Milner – 5 Consecutive poor games for the captain as he was constantly over run in the midfield. His passing was patchy, his finishing was awry. He would like to forget this game in a hurry .
Philippe Coutinho – 5.5 Philippe Coutinho returned to the team after a red card against West Ham. He looked off color though and missed a vital one-on-one vs Rudy which could have been the eventual winner. We have seen such fluctuating performance levels from Phil before and hopefully the magician returns to his best form soon.
Christian Benteke (45′) – 5.5 The big money striker showed fleeting moments of understanding with the returning Sturridge as he was often seen dropping deeper to win the aerial balls and knock it onto the advancing Sturridge. A tight hamstring meant Benteke lasted just the first half. Hopefully for Liverpool’s sake one hopes that it was just a precautionary change.
Daniel Sturridge (66′) – 6 A long awaited return for the ‘Studge’ . One could immediately see what the team was missing with his ability to drop deeper and play between the lines of the opposition midfield and defense. Norwich were scared of his pace and hence stayed deep which allowed Benteke to occupy the deeper positions and win the aerial duels. There were some rusty touches, especially when it came to finishing, but it is to be expected after such a long absence from the football field. Things can only get better….
Danny Ings – 6.5 Talking of getting better, Ings can only get better. Made an immediate impact with a beautifully taken goal. Was a constant menace, with his ability to drive the channels and also being available in the box. Definitely deserves more minutes.
Adam Lallana – 5 A mixed performance from the former Southampton man. A couple of neat touches, intricate ball movements in the box, but also showed his usual weakness of holding on to the ball far more than what was needed.
Roberto Firmino – 6 An encouraging performance from Bob, as he provided the incisive movement late on. Made couple of really good passes and also provided couple of good decoys , creating spaces for his team mates. Hopefully he can build on from this.