How did Liverpool's players rate in their 2-1 victory over Swansea?
Travelling to Swansea on Saturday lunch-time, Liverpool would have been looking forward to a fairly straightforward three points. As it was, the game itself did not reflect this at all, with the hosts in fact taking the lead early on through Leroy Fer. The Reds’ issues from defending set pieces were apparent once more, and they did not recover from this setback at all in the first half.
An entirely different team emerged from Liverpool’s dressing room after the interval, with faster passing, more intelligent interplay and increasingly incisive attacks had Swansea on the back foot from the off. Roberto Firmino was the man to capitalise on this period of dominance which continued until the end of the game, nodding a header past Fabianski from close range.
As the match entered the final ten minutes, it appeared as though Liverpool’s endeavours would go unrewarded, with the game heading for a draw. However, a calamitous piece of Swansea defending led to Firmino being clumsily bundled over in the penalty area. Up stepped James Milner from 12 yards out, and the inevitable came to fruition. Despite being lucky to see Mike van der Hoorn miss a chance that seemed easier to score in injury time, it cannot be denied that Liverpool were the deserved victors.
We have come up with ratings for each Liverpool player, so have a read and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below or on Twitter @TBRFootball.
Loris Karius – 6
Needed two attempts to gather a first-half Sigurdsson free kick and did his best Superman impression at a late Swansea corner, but other than that, the summer acquisition was solid. Klopp seems to have decided that the German is his No 1. Could have done with distributing the ball a bit quicker during a sticky first for the visitors but overall, a competent enough display.
Nathaniel Clyne – 7
Beaten in the air at the near post for Fer’s opening goal, but enjoyed some threatening bursts down the right flank in the second half as Liverpool improved, in addition to always being in a position to surge back at an equally rapid rate. One of Klopp’s most consistent performers and looks to have a great understanding with Sadio Mane.
Dejan Lovren – 6
Guilty of losing Borja Baston in the area early on, the Croatian didn’t have one of his finer games in the context of his recent improvement. Klopp’s men spent most of the second half in Swansea’s half so wasn’t really tested.
Joel Matip – 7
The Cameroon international looks a good find for Liverpool, and a potential solution to what has been a problem position. Had another solid game today, and brings some height and physical presence to a Reds team that doesn’t have much of, either.
James Milner – 7
Wayne Routledge had a few bursts down the right in the first half, but Milner enjoyed a fairly comfortable afternoon. Klopp will have no regrets about picking him instead of Alberto Moreno, but this is still a position Liverpool will look to strengthen. Did well to set up Mane for a second-half chance. Dispatched the winner from the spot with ease, as everyone has come to expect from Liverpool’s Mr. Reliable.
Jordan Henderson – 6
Henderson put in a typical display full of graft and endeavour, though some Reds supporters would like a player with more defensive nous and serenity with the ball in this position. A well weighted lob to set up Firmino did add some gloss to his personal performance though. It will be interesting to see how Henderson’s game is affected by the return of Emre Can to full fitness.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 7
He may still be waiting for his first Liverpool goal, but he is bringing enough to the team to full justify his continued selection. Produced a lovely spin on the halfway line to set Liverpool on the attack early in the second half, with this just one of several key moments during the transition phases of the game.
Adam Lallana – N/A
The England man went off injured in the 20th minute, so doesn’t qualify for a mark. He has been in fine fettle for Liverpool this term and has started scoring goals, which has been a weakness in his game. Klopp will want him back promptly.
Philippe Coutinho – 6
These are the types of performances that happen all too often with Coutinho, though he has been more consistent of late. Produces some fantastic moments every season that look great on YouTube compilations, but doesn’t influence the game as much as he should. That said, he did see a fine second-half effort fly just wide that epitomised a far better display after the interval. However, it would have been difficult to be as ineffectual as he had been in the game’s opening period.
Sadio Mane – 8
Has been Liverpool’s brightest attacking player in the opening weeks, and continued that fine form today. Everybody was well aware of his abundant pace, but his touch and control in tight spaces has been a pleasant surprise. Simply indispensable at the moment.
Roberto Firmino – 7
His final ball in the first half was dreadful, despite some sharp movement to receive the ball between Swansea’s back four and midfield. However, the Brazilian was alert to nod home the all-important equaliser and won the match-winning penalty and his work without the ball continues to impress.
Daniel Sturridge – 6
Came on for Lallana and spun Naughton something rotten with a lovely turn close to half time, but on the fringes of the game for too long. His quality doesn’t need emphasising, but not an integral component in the Liverpool machine at the moment.
Emre Can & Divock Origi – N/A
Not on long enough to get a rating.
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