Liverpool player ratings against Manchester United

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We rate the Liverpool players following their 1-0 win this afternoon.

Liverpool gave an outstanding team performance earlier today as they defeated Manchester United 1-0 at Anfield.

Vincent Ralph rates the Liverpool display player by player…

Simon Mignolet 7

The Liverpool ‘keeper was a virtual spectator for much of the game, although he did pull off a fine save to deny Nani as the game reached its conclusion. Composed and communicative throughout, Mignolet made it three consecutive clean-sheets and looks set to be one of Rodgers’ most important signings.

Glen Johnson 10

Quite simply, Johnson was outstanding. Before he went off injured late in the second-half the right-back was a man mountain and dealt expertly with whatever and whoever United threw at him. While he may not have shown his buccaneering side, his defensive display was verging on perfection.

Martin Skrtel 8

Returning to the side following injury it looked as if Skrtel had never been away. He played a huge part in a well-deserved clean-sheet, and despite some frantic moments as the final minutes ticked away, overall he looked composed and leaves Rodgers with a possible selection problem once Kolo Toure returns from injury.

Daniel Agger 8

A brilliant performance from the vice-captain as he hardly allowed Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck a sniff of goal in the entire 95 minutes. A couple of awkward moments aside, in which both van Persie and Ashley Young could have taken advantage, Agger was immense.

Jose Enrique 8

In a game when attacking flair was at a minimum, Enrique’s defensive qualities came to the fore and he impressed on the left, rarely allowing United’s wingers to put in effective crosses or beat him along that flank.

Lucas Leiva 9

An unsung hero he may be to some, but the Brazilian was integral to Liverpool’s win and shone in a midfield trio that all played their part. Expertly breaking up opposition play and setting up attacks for his own side, Lucas was only beaten to my man-of-the-match award by a phenomenal Glen Johnson.

Jordan Henderson 8

He had his critics when he first moved to Anfield, But Henderson is beginning to prove what all the fuss was about when he first broke through. For me he outshone his captain this afternoon, constantly tracking back and breaking forward, always full of energy and desire.

Steven Gerrard 7

It may be controversial to say so, but Gerrard was one of the least impressive performers in red this afternoon; which isn’t to say he played poorly, only that his teammates all excelled. This game was won and lost in midfield, and Gerrard was important to that. But he did the quiet work easily and left the plaudits for others to take.

Iago Aspas 7

Aspas started the game brilliantly, hassling and harrying the United defence and constantly proving a menace. As the game wore on he faded but his energy was important in those early stages when the pace was set. Some erratic passes aside, he should be proud of his day’s work.

Philippe Coutinho 6

Usually a star attraction, the pocket dynamo was subdued as for the most part the game passed him by. That isn’t to say there were not moments of brilliance from the Brazilian, as he danced his way through United players more than once. This may not have been his game, but plenty in the future will be.

Daniel Sturridge 8

Another brilliantly taken goal made it three in three for the England striker. He is also solely responsible for Liverpool’s 100% start to the season…at least in a goal-scoring sense. For the rest of the game his teammates proved they are vital to everything the Reds have achieved this season, but he always offered an outlet and is growing into a mighty fine forward.

Substitutes:

Raheem Sterling 7

Destined for a 6 until that late run and shot, Sterling offered little for much of his brief time on the pitch after replacing Aspas. But as a counter-attacking outlet late on, he played his part and meat the United defence couldn’t afford to go cavalier in those final minutes.

Andre Wisdom 7

Where Johnson started, Wisdom finished, and the young defender showed why he is rated so highly at Anfield, stepping into the England defender’s shoes with aplomb.

Luis Alberto 6

The new signing showed little in his brief time on the field. But Liverpool fans won’t mind, they won!

image: © skau

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