The John Smith’s Stadium was the host to the final leg of Liverpool’s domestic pre-season tour as the Reds defeated Huddersfield Town 2-0 in a stale but testing affair.
Here’s some player ratings for the lads, decided on by my rather poor view of the game from the away end…
Loris Karius – 7/10
First time he’s been properly tested. Made a very good save in the first half to tip a goal bound shot around the post. Was calm and composed when claiming crosses, plucking the ball out of the air a few times. The German was clearly confident on the ball, showing some good distribution and intelligent passing. Seems to be building up a good relationship with Lovren as well.
Connor Randall – 5/10
Has added a willingness to attack to his game. Offers an overlap on the right hand side and an admirable work rate. However, Randall’s defensive side has regressed. Too often we were exposed down his flank for me to award him any higher score.
Dejan Lovren – 6/10
Always impresses me with how much he’s come on in the last year. Was towering and commanding in the air last night, and excels with being the captain and the organiser. A few stray passes though, particularly early in the game. Will be more solid upon the return of Matip or Sakho.
Lucas Leiva – 5/10
An up and down performance from Lucas. At times composed and in control of things at the back, but then at others he’s giving the ball away regularly. Always reliable when needed though and marshalled Huddersfield’s impressive attackers well. Klopp will be hoping his injury isn’t serious.
Alberto Moreno – 7/10
Still a bit suspect defensively, but his attacking play has certainly improved. Worked well on the overlap in both halves, and ran tirelessly. Made a few mistakes in his own half though, some rash tackles. Very good penalty to win the game.
Marko Grujic – 8/10 (MOTM)
Terrific opening goal, showing composure, skill and experience beyond his years. Had another chance later on, and was also commanding in the air, winning headers left, right and centre. Was a little quiet as the first half petered out but it seems like we have a very talented player on our hands here.
Kevin Stewart – 7/10
It’s these sorts of games where Liverpool have a lot of possession when you start to realise how technically capable Kevin Stewart is. An excellent range of passing and ability to win the ball back in the middle of the park. One of our better players on the night. So hard to see how he can work his way into the first team, which is a shame because he clearly has promise and ability.
Ovie Ejaria – 6/10
Has struggled to hit the heights of his Tranmere performance in the three subsequent games, but that’s not to say he’s not having an impact. Working hard in the midfield and loves to take his man on, but more often than not he didn’t succeed. Certainly needs to work on end product. Can’t fault his effort and creativity though.
Sadio Mane – 7/10
Lightning pace and was very involved in the game during the first half. Seemed to operate more in the central areas than the wing tonight, and seemed to suit the number 10 role quite well. Showed a lot of skill and willingness to get into the box. Was unlucky to have the goal chalked off after a defensive howler from the Town centre half, and also won the first penalty.
Philippe Coutinho – 6/10
Some glorious skill and invention to open opportunities for other players. Found it hard to get into scoring positions himself though, but his ability to kick off a counter attack is second to none, and goes past players in a heartbeat. Poor penalty though, following up penalty misses against Man City and Carlisle.
Roberto Firmino – 6/10
Gradually seems to be getting back to the standard of performances we saw last season. Was forced to work in wide areas more than you’d expect from the man playing as a false number nine, but did fine with it anyway. Drops deeper to link up with fellow attacking players up.
Andre Wisdom – 7/10
Showed lots of versatility by playing at both right back and centre back. Seemed to be pretty solid, rarely gave the ball away and won tackles and aerial duels more often than not. A few more good performances could help his case as he bids to be an option to solve the centre back injury crisis.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8/10
Broke up play effectively in the CDM role and was also able to have some creative influence. Was particularly impressive when Lucas went off and he was shifted to right back. Worked well down the flank with Markovic and also produced an excellent header at the back post to keep Huddersfield to nil. Very confident on the ball, has a nice touch and awareness of the game around him.
Ryan Kent – 7/10
Such skilful feet and can go past a man with relative ease. What’s so impressive about Kent is his ability to drift into the number ten area but almost instantly get himself back to the flanks and provide options for team mates. Won the second penalty with a trademark entrance into the box.
Ben Woodburn – 7/10
Was disappointing to see him lumbered in centre midfield after such impressive performances playing out wide or up front in recent games. Having said that, he adapted well and was still able to produce some creative play. So impressive for a 16 year old to already have developed such knowledge of the game.
Lazar Markovic – 7/10
Found it difficult at first to get in the game but once he got his first successful dribble, that set him off for a relatively impressive display. Provided excellent link up with Alexander-Arnold in an attacking sense but also tracked back and did his bit defensively as well. Purposeful performance, just wish he had a more consistent end product.
Danny Ings – 5/10
Great touch and work rate as always, as well as one or two displays of his electric pace, but as an overall performance this was a bit of a let down. Struggled to get on the ball and into the attacking areas. Good movement was offered, but looked a little tired, which is to be expected – we have to remember that he’s still recovering from a long term injury.
Shamal George – 6/10
I’ve heard of outfield players having to go in goal, but goalkeepers playing outfield? This was one of those ‘you have to see it to believe it’ moments. In fairness to him, he did well, had a decent touch and was through in goal once, but for the offside flag. Has probably cemented his cult hero status already, but let’s hope that his second appearance for Liverpool is in his actual position.
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