A mentally exhausting game ended with honours even, with both teams spurning big chances to settle the result. What looked to be a slow burner, exploded into life in a very watchable second half.
This is how the Reds fared
Simon Mignolet (6) – In spite of the attacking play from City, Mignolet had pretty little to do in terms of big saves. Got his leg to a ball cut in from the right. Could do nothing for the goal and was very lucky not to catch Sterling when he was one-on-one.
Nathaniel Clyne (6) – Clyne had his task cut out marking Sane, and the duel was compelling to watch with Sane repeatedly skinning Clyne. Clyne grew in to the game in the latter part of the first half and settled down as the game wore on. Attacking contribution was minimal as usual.
Joel Matip (6) – Battled with Aguero right through the evening and managed to keep him quiet for most of the game. Made a couple of vital interceptions to keep City at bay.
Ragnar Klavan (5) – Caught out of position for the goal. Was risky on the ball on a couple of occasions. Was good defending in the early part of first half when City were all over Liverpool.
James Milner (6.5) – An improved performance from Milner after a string of stinkers. Did all he could legally to keep Sterling at bay as City’s tactical setup meant he was constantly overloaded. Ice-cool in dispatching his penalty. His effort was outstanding as always.
P.S : You gotta be an idiot to boo James Milner as a City fan.
Adam Lallana (6) – Struggled to get involved initially, but was ever-present in the second half. Put in the dirty work to win balls in midfield and looked to release it quickly to set up the counter attack. Missed the easiest chance of the game, a goal he scored every other day.
Emre Can (7.5) – A rare game where he was solid from start to finish. Made a lot of interceptions and sliding tackles in an excellent first half performance. Grew into attack with his ball-carrying capabilities and absolutely bull-dozed past a tiring Yaya Toure multiple times. He was constantly involved in most of the aerial battles. His great chip to Firmino led to the penalty. Though he was caught out of position a couple of times, he managed to finish the game strongly.
Giorginio Wijnaldum (7.5) – A dominant performance in midfield away from home, something not associated with Wijnaldum. His insane upper-body strength allowed him to repeatedly win balls when he had no right to do so. His clever one-touch passing created space when there was none. Grew into the game like most other Liverpool players. A definite starter in midfield now, if there was any lingering doubt.
Sadio Mane (6.5) – His pace repeatedly exposed City’s frail defence, but his end product was lacking as he missed two big chances to score. Often moved in centrally to offer passing options from central midfield. Hopefully he has reserved his goals yet again for the derby.
Roberto Firmino (6.5) – Firmino recovered from his minor injury and was involved in all the major attacking moments. Won the penalty and had a couple of other big chances and presented the ball on a plate for Lallana’s miss. Needs to have his shooting boots on for the derby.
Philippe Coutinho (5) – Had a disastrous first half as he was invisible right from the off. Improved marginally in the second half, the highlight being the reverse pass to Firmino. Was taken off for Origi midway through the second half.
Divock Origi (5) – Came on for Coutinho in the second half and played on the left-hand side. Was a willing runner to chase down lost causes in the wide areas, but had no impact on the attack.