The highs of the Klopp era were well and truly halted as Newcastle parked their bus, hit us when they got an opportunity, and got a much needed victory for themselves. For us, it’s back to the drawing board, as we proved that old habits die hard with some poor performances across the field. In spite of having a goal ruled out for offside, I don’t think Liverpool can complain about this result. Here’s my take on how each player fared.
Simon Mignolet – 6
Mignolet didn’t have much to do except pick the ball out of his own net twice. Was helpless with both the goals that we conceded. At least he didn’t dwell on the ball for too long. His distribution was still very very average.
Nathaniel Clyne – 5.5
Down the right side, especially in the first half, both Clyne and Ibe were getting some joy, as Wijnaldum got caught in field regularly. But, as was the case with every Liverpool player on the pitch, that little bit of spark and quality was missing. Clyne could have tracked Wijnaldum better for their first goal.
Martin Skrtel – 5.5
Skrtel registered his seventh own goal in the Premier League and is now level with former Red, Jamie Carragher. He didn’t have too much to do with Newcastle not venturing forward too much, but when he did intervene, it was fatal. In Skrtel’s defence, I would rather have a centre-back go in and try to deal with a cross like that, than stand and do nothing. Carra sums it up for us.
The only positive of the day! https://t.co/OtvvWP7Yor
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 6, 2015
Dejan Lovren – 6.5
The Croatian was probably our best player on the day. Spotless performance, as he dealt superbly with the aerial threat posed by Cisse, and ensured that Sissoko didn’t do much damage despite Moreno being bang average.
Alberto Moreno – 5
He was there for the taking, and fortunately for us, Newcastle didn’t show too much intent. Sissoko constantly out-muscled him in the second-half, only to be caught by Lovren. Offensively too, his crossing was poor and his set-pieces are getting worse by the game. Having said that, the Spaniard should have had a goal but it was ruled offside.
Lucas Leiva – 6
Lucas put in a good, solid shift but he continues his habit of picking up bookings for absolutely ridiculous tackles. We have been lucky that none of his cheap fouls have led to goals so far, but that is one area where he has to improve.
Joe Allen – 6
He did show some endeavour, to move the ball quickly and make something happen, but Newcastle were stubborn and resilient. As the game wore on, we needed someone with little more creativity than Allen.
James Milner – 5.5
The time has come for Milner to do more in a Liverpool shirt than just run 12-13 km a game. We had three corners within the first minute, all of which came to nothing because of awful balls into the box. His work rate and desire can never be questioned, but it’s time to show some finesse on the ball.
Jordon Ibe – 6.5
Brightest attacker on the day. But, in many ways, this performance from Ibe was reminiscent of his early season games. He was too much of a one-trick pony, but in his defence, he got precious little in terms of support.
Roberto Firmino – 5.5
Playing as the chief creative outlet of the team, much more was expected of Firmino. Unfortunately, he just couldn’t link well enough with either Ibe or Benteke and that meant Rob Elliot didn’t have to make a single save on the night.
Christian Benteke – 3
When you are leading the line for Liverpool, the least that is expected from you is desire; Benteke didn’t show that today. There were many occasions when both Firmino and Ibe had to stop pressing because Benteke just stood there. We have scored six goal in nine matches that Benteke has started. Surely, something for Jurgen Klopp to ponder.
Adam Lallana – 6
Typical Lallana performance. Almost there, but not quite. He did create our best chance of the day though, only for Sturridge to shoot wide.
Daniel Sturridge – 5
Let’s face it, Sturridge is not going to come in and settle in straight away. He’s been out for a long time and with more minutes the rustiness will go away. He should, however, have scored from Lallana’s pass.
Divock Origi – 5
After the high of the hat-trick at St. Mary’s in midweek, he was brought back down to earth. In the fifteen minutes that he was on the pitch, he was more a nuisance to his own team than the opposition as he committed a few unnecessary fouls that allowed Newcastle to regroup.
A bad day at the office for Jurgen’s men with no standout performer. It was one of those days when nothing went right.