Liverpool 4 Leicester City 1: Player Ratings
Liverpool put on a great show worthy of the occasion, marking the return to Anfield after four months with four goals. There were excellent performances across the field. Let us see how the Reds fared.
Simon Mignolet (6.5) – A mixed first half from Mignolet who made a hash of an attempt to get to the ball but was left in no man’s land, but luckily was spared his blushes. The second half started in a similar manner, with his attempt to punch the ball leaving him with a bloodied nose. Made a great save off Vardy with the score at 2-1. Took a second blow above his right eye which needed the visit of the physio again. Victory might be his best medicine tonight.
Nathaniel Clyne (6.5) – Was a solid attacking presence throughout the game, providing some good combination play with Sadio Mane. His defensive work was solid too, the reliable Clyne we have grown accustomed to.
Joel Matip (8) – Was a solid presence in the first half, snuffing out any potential aerial threats. It was also pleasing to see his ability on the ball for the second game in a row. He was excellent in the second half too, being proactive to clear out any danger and providing a towering presence at the back. The free transfer looks a bargain at this stage.
Lucas Leiva (5) – Words would not do any justice to the error from Lucas for their first goal. Lucas, being right-footed and playing out of position meant he brought the ball into the danger area rather than go to the wide areas. Made a vital interception in the dying moments of the first half to prevent Mahrez from attacking the goal. His second half performance was far better, often stepping up to intercept the ball in midfield.
James Milner (7) – A solid performance from the make-shift left-back as he maintained the tempo of the game with his quick passing and energetic running. His pass to Firmino for the first goal was excellent. Interlinked with the attacking players pretty well and was generally safe with his defensive duties.
Jordan Henderson (8) – Henderson continued playing as the deepest midfielder against the Champions, and it is quite clear to see his awareness and adaptability to the role is continuously getting better. He was very aware of potential threats and broke up play impressively and more often than not made the pass at the right moment. His cross-field and long range passing was excellent, with the lob for Liverpool’s second being the icing on the cake, though his pass for the 4th goal isn’t to be sniffed at. Would have loved to bury his chance though.
Adam Lallana (7) – Lallana was not very involved in the first half in terms of final output, but was his usual energetic self, moving between the attacking lines of play. He corrected that in the second half with a thumping finish to the top corner, a well deserved goal for a tireless performance.
Giorginio Wijnaldum (6.5) – Wijnaldum was more prominent in his defensive contributions in the early part of the first half as Leicester started very brightly. As Liverpool began to take control, his contribution in the game plateau-ed out. Had a couple of decent attempts on goal in the first half, but was dangerously caught on the ball too. He was taken off in the second half for Stewart.
Sadio Mane (8.5) – A goal on his Liverpool debut and a goal on his Anfield debut; Mane could not have hoped for a better start to his Liverpool career. Was an attacking threat through-out the game with his electric pace. Helped to create the fourth goal too, as he selflessly put the ball on a plate for Firmino to finish.
Roberto Firmino (9) – Man of the Match. His constant movement to drop deep caused havoc with the Leicester defensive line throughout the game. His first touch for his goal made the finish look ridiculously easy when in reality it was not. He was a constant menace in the second half too, and was rewarded with his second goal late in the game. As usual, put in a huge defensive shift too. Maybe needs to continue playing in this position?
Daniel Sturridge (7.5) – Sturridge played a part in both the Liverpool goals in the first half. He worked hard to win the ball in Liverpool’s half and his diagonal run outward dragged two defenders, thus creating space for Firmino’s run. Held his position superbly to latch on to Henderson’s pass and laid on the assist for Mane. He should be disappointed though to not see his name on the score sheet with the great chances he had.
Philippe Coutinho (N/A) – Glorious touches immediately after coming on to the pitch was excellent to see.
Kevin Stewart (N/A) – What a pressure filled first touch, but did well to get out of it.
Alberto Moreno (N/A)