An absolute shambles from start to finish, it couldn’t really have gone much worse today. After a solid but unremarkable start to the season with 3 clean sheets and 7 points from 9, all the early optimism came crashing down to earth with a major reality check as West Ham took us apart, winning 3-0 at Anfield. It was a major set back as old problems resurfaced- Lovren and Skrtel were calamitous at the back, whilst we only managed 1 single shot on target over the entire 97 minutes. That leaves us with just 2 goals scored in 4 games. To cap it all off, Coutinho was sent off and we’re now without our best player for the trip to Old Trafford in a couple of weeks time. Here’s how I rated our players today.
Simon Mignolet- 5/10
Not really at fault for West Ham’s goals but nonetheless he was unable to prevent the damaging scoreline and was largely a spectator for most of the game as Liverpool dominated possession.
Nathaniel Clyne- 5/10
Didn’t do too much wrong and at times he got forward well in support of the attack. If I’m being harsh he could perhaps have been quicker to close down Cresswell in the build up to the opening goal but on the whole Clyne didn’t have a bad game.
Martin Skrtel- 3/10
Absolutely terrible performance by the Slovakian today. He was excellent on Monday night against Arsenal, but as I’ve always said, the problem with Skrtel is his inconsistency and he had a real shocker today. His poor header towards Cresswell on the edge of the area eventually resulted in the opening goal, whilst his tendency to keep back-tracking and letting players run un-challenged is a major flaw in his game. In stoppage time he backed off Sakho, allowing the West Ham striker space to slot in the 3rd goal to cap off a humiliating scoreline.
Dejan Lovren- 3/10
Just as bad as his defensive partner, Lovren was back to his very worst. In the first 3 games this season he has managed to stay out of the headlines, but there’s always a sense that Lovren is an accident waiting to happen. His attempt at step overs was bad enough for a start, needlessly losing the ball half way up the pitch. He also gave away possession near the corner flag instead of clearing the ball upfield, allowing West Ham to score the second goal. He was lucky to get another chance this season and after today’s showing Mamadou Sakho will be wondering what he has to do to get a look in. Rodgers is certainly taking a big risk by putting his faith in the Croatian.
Joe Gomez- 4/10
It’s been a terrific start for Joe Gomez’ Liverpool career, earning his place in the starting lineup when many initially expected him to be sent out on loan. However, after a superb display against Arsenal he struggled today, giving the ball away and losing possession too easily, whilst he didn’t look as solid and comfortable in his defensive positioning. He was caught napping as he allowed Lanzini to poke home the first goal. Going forwards he offered little due to his natural inclination to cut inside on his right foot. He was less troubled when playing at centre back in the second half.
Lucas Leiva- 5/10
Once again, another player who impressed against Arsenal but struggled today. Lucas’ passing was neat enough, but he was easily overrun at times and the back four were easily exposed, whilst he gave away several fouls with unnecessary challenges. I can’t help but feel a more physically imposing defensive midfielder should have been a priority this summer.
Emre Can- 5/10
Certainly not one of Can’s finest displays in a Liverpool shirt. After earning a first call up to the German national team this week, Can was sloppy in possession and failed to offer a calm, assured presence in the absence of Jordan Henderson. His attacking influence was also limited and he will need to contribute more going forwards if he is to fully establish himself in midfield. Replaced at half time.
James Milner- 6/10
Marginally better than his midfield team mates, you can never fault Milner’s work rate and attitude, as he didn’t stop running and was always looking to push the team forward. However, he lacks that piece of individual flair to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and although steady and reliable, he was unable to make a real difference today. In the second half he had a presentable opportunity on the edge of the area but failed to hit the target.
Roberto Firmino- 5/10
Making his Anfield debut, Firmino still looks somewhat short of full match sharpness. There were flashes of quality but he wasn’t a consistent threat throughout and whilst his willingness to press is clear to see, he was guilty of over complicating things and running into trouble when an easier pass was available. Having said that, he did almost score a spectacular goal as his 30 yard strike cannoned off the woodwork early on. Replaced after 61 minutes.
Philippe Coutinho- 4/10
An immensely frustrating game for the little Brazilian. He is undoubtedly our best player at the moment but really struggled to get into the game today and was unable to influence proceedings in the first half. He was then sent off shortly after half time for a second yellow card and will be a huge miss for the trip to Old Trafford in 2 weeks time.
Christian Benteke- 5/10
I felt sorry for Benteke today. Whenever he did get a touch of the ball, he looked good but generally he was feeding off scraps and the service into him was extremely poor. He isn’t the kind of striker who will create something out of nothing, like Suarez or Sturridge, so if Liverpool are to utilise his ability properly then Benteke will need better quality delivery and more players around him to prevent him being isolated.
Alberto Moreno- 6/10
Moreno replaced Emre Can at half time and played at left wing back. He was one of Liverpool’s better performers, which isn’t saying too much, as he made several superbly timed recovery tackles when tracking back to prevent danger as West Ham broke forward.
Danny Ings- 5/10
Finally making his first Liverpool appearance, Ings replaced Firmino for the last half hour and made a decent impression, notably picking up the ball and driving through the West Ham defence on an excellent solo run, although he was unable to help Liverpool find the back of the net.
Jordon Ibe- N/A
A final throw of the dice as Ibe replaced Gomez for the final 15 minutes but despite having several opportunities to cross the ball from the right, his decision making was slow and his end product lacking.