Player ratings: Which Liverpool players stood out against Stoke?

Anfield Night

Liverpool were 6-5 winners on penalties against Stoke City as they booked their place in the League Cup final.

Liverpool made it through to the League Cup final in the hardest way possible after losing 1-0 on the night to Stoke City after extra time, but managed to scrape through on penalty kicks.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet ended up being the hero in the Liverpool goal after saving two from the spot while Joe Allen's penalty sent the Reds to Wembley where they will face either Everton or Manchester City.

Marko Arnautovic's goal gave the Potters the lead on the stroke of half time after a poor first half, but it was another case of Liverpool conceding a goal from the first shot on target from their opponents - though it did look as if Stoke's number 10 was indeed offside.

It was a nervy Anfield and the Reds survived in extra time when Marco Van Ginkel's effort hit the outside of the post as the Reds offered little in the final third, with Roberto Firmino coming closest to scoring as he forced Jack Butland into action straight after the first half in normal time. 

The nerves subsided and there were jubilant scenes at Anfield as the Reds squeaked through, here is how they rated on just the one look: 

Simon Mignolet - Something tells me he could do better with the goal but it should never have got to that stage in the first place, and my judgement may be weighted by his performances recently. Started to command his area in extra time which was refreshing to see and couldn't fault him with the penalties. He's got some much needed credit in the bank - 6 

Jon Flanagan - Defensively he looked sound and didn't hold anything back in the challenges. Did very well to last beyond normal time, but looks a little rusty on the ball, still. Couldn't really fault his defending - 7

Kolo Toure - Looked so off the pace for most of it. All the games catching up with him but it is hardly surprising. The fella needs a rest now - 4

Mamadou Sakho - Much improved on recent performances and did well against the physical threat of Peter Crouch for most of the night and tried to drive on the team late on - 7

Alberto Moreno - Goal comes from his side of the field, can't fault his commitment but there are times where does switch off and it can prove costly - 5.

Lucas Leiva - An odd performance from Lucas. Couldn't really say it was a bad one, or a good one. Can take a penalty, though - 6

Jordan Henderson - Looks as though that heel is affecting him again, hence his early withdrawal and looked as if he was trying to make a chance off everything that came his way, even when it wasn't on. - 5

Emre Can - Not sure what to make of Can. His decision making consistently lets him down and he has this irritating knack of not changing direction when the play needs him to. The penalty, no excuse in my book, he should hit the target - not the post  - 4

James Milner - He certainly looked like the player that looked most used to the occasion of trying to get a team through a big game. He put himself about but there was a lack of end product, though he gave the Potters some problems - 6

Adam Lallana - Bright, a nuisance for Stoke but nothing really cut through - much like a lot of what Liverpool produced - 6.

Roberto Firmino - Got Liverpool's best efforts away, demanded the ball and really tried to force the issue when the Reds were chasing the game at times. Not a bad game - 6

Subs:

Christian Benteke - Frustrating because there's clearly a footballer there who isn't daft. The team around him needs as much work as him if the Belgian is going to be a success, but there were times when he looked like one of the more intelligent footballers in a red shirt - 6

Joe Allen - That booking at the end of normal time got Liverpool out of a spot of bother. Quite frankly, I've never heard prolonged applause from a crowd for a midfielder giving away a foul quite like it. The bottle and coolness for that penalty to send the Reds through is just great. Give him a new contract - 7

Jordon Ibe - Indecisive, though quick. Can see why he came on but didn't have an effect - 5

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