Swansea 1 Liverpool 2: Player Ratings
Liverpool showed great character and resilience as they came back from a one goal deficit and a poor first-half performance to take all three points from the Liberty Stadium. Such wins show the mental toughness of the whole team, a trait which every champion team possess.
This is how the Reds fared.
Loris Karius (5) – Karius had far more action today than he did against Hull. His passing was not the greatest in the early part of the first-half as he put his team mates into pressure situations more than once. His quick rotation of the ball got better in the later part of the first-half as Liverpool started dominating possession and a couple of attacks were even initiated when Liverpool chose to play it from the back. He struggled with his ability to handle the aerial ball though, making poor decisions through-out the game. Its only been a couple of games though.
Nathaniel Clyne (6) – Clyne had the job of marking and containing Swansea’s best player in Sigurdsson which meant that he was not very much involved in the attacking play as Liverpool struggled to create meaningful chances. This was obviously discussed during the half-time break as Clyne was far more threatening, both in terms of closing the opposition and being available as an option in attack in the second-half. The Clyne we seen in the second-half is what we have come to expect. There were a couple of times where there were dangerous moments when the opposition got in between Matip and Clyne which could have been punished on any other day.
Joel Matip (5) – Vulnerable first-half from the Cameroonian as he surprisingly struggled to deal with the aerial attacks from Swansea. More than once he was put into pressure situations by Karius too. As Liverpool started dominating possession, he started carrying the ball higher up the field as he has done in previous games. Liverpool did not face much of a threat in the second-half but there was a huge chance right at the death and it was concerning to see Matip not at the right place once more.
Dejan Lovren (5) – Lovren had a troubled game as he struggled to deal with the movement from Swansea’s attacker and was caught in no-man’s land more than once. Made a couple of sliding interceptions to cut out potential threats. The second-half was pretty much the same as he was back to his frustrating best. Needs a rapid improvement.
James Milner (7) – A very different approach play compared to the game against Hull as Liverpool preferred to play in a narrow manner which meant that Milner was not as involved as much in the game-play as we would have come to expect. A couple of loose first touches meant he turned the ball over very high up the pitch but we were lucky not to be punished. Liverpool addressed the lack of width in the first-half and we saw the Milner which we have seen in other games as he was brave in taking on his man both on the inside and on the outside. Took an ice-cool penalty for the winner.
Jordan Henderson (6.5) – Liverpool struggled to establish any control and meaningful attacking threat and it could be put down to the lack of tempo and discipline from the midfield which has been taken for granted in the last few games. Henderson was easily dragged through the midfield as Swansea moved the ball swiftly with some good one-touch football. The second-half was a different story altogether as the captain and the team came out as the hungrier side. Henderson swiftly closed down Swansea players and won the ball far more often. A great bit of awareness and skill from Henderson led to Liverpool equalizing with a goal from Firmino. A great second-half overall.
Giorginio Wijnaldum (6.5) – Wijnaldum was anonymous for the first 30 minutes, but that could be said of the entire midfield. He grew into the game in a similar manner to Henderson as he broke the lines of play with his movement and intelligent passing.
Adam Lallana (N/A) – Lallana started brightly as he tried to shake Liverpool from their stupor, but had to be taken off early in the first-half due to an injury. Hopefully it does not keep him out for long with the added benefit of the upcoming weekend being an international break.
Sadio Mane (7) – Mane is always a danger to the opposition with the pace and unpredictability he brings and today was no different. He toiled through-out the game as he tried to create a worthwhile opportunity in the first-half. The second-half was a different story as he got more space to run into as Swansea took the foot off their pressing game. He took on more than one Swansea player almost at every opportunity. His impressive start continues.
Phil Coutinho (7.5) – A quiet start to the game but he grew into it once he dropped into the central midfield position, a change which lots of Liverpool fans have been clamouring for. He could have done far better with his attempted pass to Sturridge when Liverpool were 2 v 2 near the box. His ability to retain the ball and initiate attacking moves with his ball-control shone through. The game opening up in the second-half benefited Coutinho as that allowed him to control the game from midfield.
Roberto Firmino (8) – A very quiet initial period from Firmino as he yet again started as the furthest man in the attack. The unfortunate injury to Lallana indirectly benefited Firmino as he moved into the floating role on the left side of the attack. Showed a poacher’s instinct to hold his line to put Liverpool on level terms and his dogged persistence to get the ball resulted in Liverpool getting the penalty. His work rate continues to be of the highest standard.
Daniel Sturridge (6.5) – Sturridge came on early in the first-half to replace Lallana and was a bright presence from the word go. He was booked for simulation in the first-half though one could argue there was sufficient contact for him to go down. He made a couple of great runs which were not spotted and as he became more frustrated as time went on as the service dried up. He started dropping deeper to get involved and made a couple of great passes from a deeper position.
Emre Can & Divock Origi (N/A)