One thing we didn’t need on the opening day of the season was indecision, lapses in judgement and a scrappy, barely deserved win but that’s exactly what we got and we’ll take it all day long. The Reds succeeded where in the past they’d have succumbed to nerves and managed to grind out a 2-1 win over a deceptively strong looking Southampton side but the 3 points will fare Liverpool well going up against Manchester City next week.
Check out our player ratings below:
Simon Mignolet – Still a huge question-mark hanging over his ability to command his area and, perhaps more importantly, the players in front of him but there’s no denying he’s a top-rate shot stopper. Saved Liverpool on several occasions with superb reaction saves but needs to work on other areas of his game too. Rating – 7
Javier Manquillo – Impressive display again for the youngster. He had a few nervy moments but for a player that has played less than ten first team games in his career he was largely untroubled and acquitted himself superbly. May find himself playing second fiddle to Jon Flanagan going forward but you can only give your best when your chance arrives and that’s exactly what he did today. Rating – 7
Glen Johnson – The enigma that is Glen Johnson once again flattered to deceive. Technically gifted and yet tactically woeful, at times. Wasn’t helped by being shoved across to left-back and while he’s played there before, having to adapt again to that role won’t make his confidence or form improve when he’s currently at rock bottom. Should sit out most games from here on in once Moreno or Enrique are back and available. Rating – 4
Dejan Lovren – Superb debut from the former Southampton man and looks every bit a £20 million centre back. Looks very comfortable alongside Skrtel and any blame for the goal or the trouble Southampton caused must be laid firmly at the feet of the those players in front of the pair. Will go on to become a firm fan-favourite. Rating – 8
Martin Skrtel – Rarely gets the credit he deserves and is likely to fall further now that Lovren has arrived. Constantly covering for team-mates and making crucial tackles and interceptions. Will take time for his partnership with Lovren to be completely cemented but the two looked solid together and withstood the periods of Southampton pressure well. Rating – 8
Steven Gerrard – A relatively average game for the skipper. Looked anonymous at times and, a few good cross-field passes aside, did little of note. Along with his midfield partners, did nothing to help the defence, allowing Southampton to waltz through almost at will, at times. There will be debates about who should partner Gerrard as the season wears on but other players shouldn’t be used purely to be the legs for the captain – the likes of Henderson and Can are too good for that. Still has a crucial part to play this season – and beyond – but will need to influence the game much more as the weeks go on. Rating – 6
Lucas Leiva – Plenty of energy and confidence from Lucas but too often in the wrong place at the wrong time. Looks to have lost that something special that made him such a force a couple of a years ago and would perhaps now best moving on but had a decent 60 minutes. However, like Gerrard and Henderson, was all too often out of position when Southampton came forward. Likely to be the main casualty against City next week. Rating – 6
Jordan Henderson – Started today as he left off last season with boundless energy and a ‘box-to-box’ mentality that has seen him grow into one of the best midfielders in England. Shooting from range is still an issue though, and with claims that he should be aiming for 10+ goals this season, may need to work on that aspect of his game to become a more ‘complete’ player. Otherwise, little to criticize in his performance other than what has already been said about Gerrard and Lucas. Rating – 7
Philippe Coutinho – After his performance against Dortmund, we could’ve perhaps been forgiven for expecting to see more of the same against Southampton today but it just wasn’t to be. Looked off the pace and couldn’t seem to find the space he needed to make an impact. Will find himself tightly marked against many opponents this year and will need to find a way to influence the game. If he can, then there are no limits to how good he can become. Rating – 6
Raheem Sterling – Another lively performance from the little man as he proved to be a constant thorn in Southampton’s side, even when Liverpool were far from their best. Superb finishing for his goal and showed great strength and maturity throughout. Had the intelligence to retain possession late on when the result was not yet in the bag and will be hoping to hit 12-15 goals this season and a fair few assists besides. Rating – 8
Daniel Sturridge – Not his most electric performance, by any means, but the importance of having a player like Sturridge on the field was shown in his winner. There isn’t a single other player in the squad that combines his ability to play across the front with that striker’s eye for goal. Sturridge is now just 16 goals from hitting 100 in his career and 36 of those have come in his 50 games for Liverpool. At present, that £12 million fee is looking absurd as he’s easily worth 3 times that at present and, in the absence of Luis Suarez (or a suitable replacement), he’s worth 10 times that to Liverpool. Rating – 7
Joe Allen – A strange substitution that seemed to work out, as Liverpool needed more threat going forward at the time. His ability to keep it simple and slow the frenetic pace down was key though and he will come into his element in Europe this season, where the pace of the game is much more considered and tactical. A solid cameo from the Welshman. Rating – 7
Rickie Lambert – Not given enough time to fully influence proceedings but his presence alongside Sturridge up front allowed Liverpool to retain possession in Southampton’s half more often – something which was ultimately key in the winning goal, as Lambert provided the body in the box to occupy Southampton, allowing Sterling to head on for Sturridge to score the winner. Will have many 10-20 minute cameos like this throughout the season where his importance to the team will really come to the fore. Rating – 6 (But only because he wasn’t on long enough)
So that’s that then – the first game of the season is over and, if were honest, that’s not how we’d have liked it to go, result aside. Onwards and upwards though, as it’s the first ‘big one’ next week and the players that didn’t completely turn up today will need to be at their best to lay down an early marker for City, Chelsea and perhaps also Arsenal, that last season wasn’t a fluke, and the Reds are back and here to stay this time.
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pino pino says:
August 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm
August 17, 2014 at 9:02 pm
August 17, 2014 at 8:59 pm
Ross Bauer says:
August 18, 2014 at 6:41 am
August 18, 2014 at 9:58 pm
Am sure u don’t assume the man of the match to cum from saints otherwise u shud hav given Sterling 8.5 or 9 as man of the game.Not convinced with ur ratings.
Man of the match for me today was Mignolet.
We have to agree to disagree with your rating for Stevie G.He was defensively active ; a lot of times effectively slotting back in defense when the full backs were pushing up.He completed 89% of his passes and 10 out of 13 of his long passes few of which were absolutely game altering but Studge and in one occasion Glen Johnson could not take advantage of.The only one glaring mistake which I could notice was that he and a couple of others were caught ball watching when Clyne took that run which resulted in the Saints goal.
This was the first game of the season.It can only get better!YNWA. And the saints made a strong case for themselves too to be in the top 10.
Personally I felt that once again we lacked that stopper of play in midfield, too often we’ve looked worryingly vulnerable when a speedy, passing opposition runs at us, but at least now Lovren gives us some organisation. Personally I’d like to know who Johnson was marking in the leading to their goal, oh yes is was Southampton’s new signing Thin Air! If he’d done his job and covered the left stick perhaps he might have been able to intercept Clyne, or at least block him.
A performance to forget. Thanks for the 3 points though .
Sturridge did nothing for 70 min, no tracking back, no tackles , zero contribution but scored . Must step up v city
Lucas, Gerrard both poor. The mf collapsed second half.
Johnson? Please let’s find a club that pays 120k for a defender who simply doesn’t care to put a single tackle! I THOUGHT NOT.
Striker ASAP or top 4 is gone. Looking at the bench, there was Lambert. What happens is an injury to sturridge or loss of form?
Happy wig the points but we must improve.
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