What a bitterly disappointing result this was. The pressure to get a result was massive, but we never really got going and suffered a damaging defeat and major dent in our bid to squeeze into the top 4. Here’s how I rated our players.
Simon Mignolet – 8/10
He couldn’t do much about either goal, and was one of very few Liverpool players who came out of this game with any credit. His kicking was slightly suspect, but he pulled off a magnificent last minute penalty save to deny Rooney, although the game was already over by then.
Emre Can – 5/10
Can looked nervous and jittery- unlike his usual, composed self. He took some unnecessary risks in dangerous areas and looked unsure at the back. He hasn’t been quite up to it in the past few games, but hopefully the international break will do him some good.
Martin Skrtel – 5/10
It was Skrtel who played Mata onside for the opening goal, although it would be harsh to blame him entirely for it. He really let himself down by taking out his frustration with a stamp on De Gea, and could face a ban in due course.
Mamadou Sakho – 7/10
Along with Mignolet, Sakho was the only other genuinely positive performer for Liverpool here. He defended well, and his passing was crisp and accurate, if a little risky at times. Unlike his team mates who panicked under pressure, Sakho was an island of calm in a sea of uncertainty.
Raheem Sterling – 4/10
Although wing back is clearly not his best position, and he would be far better used further forward, Sterling was really poor on this occasion. He gave away needless free kicks, and his use of the ball was wasteful and inaccurate. He also pulled out of several tackles which he could have tried harder for. Not the kind of performance which merits a £150,000 per week contract.
Joe Allen – 5/10
Allen was excellent against Swansea but struggled on this occasion. He was outnumbered in the middle of the park and couldn’t get a grip on the game, getting outmuscled and dispossessed too many times in key areas.
Jordan Henderson – 5/10
Like Allen, Henderson was unable to dominate the midfield as he has done so well recently and was too hurried in possession. He picked out Sturridge with a wonderful pass in the first half, which nearly resulted in an equaliser as Lallana narrowly missed. Lallana was then through on goal soon after, but Henderson over hit what looked like a simple ball, and the chance was gone.
Alberto Moreno – 3/10
Moreno was poor against Swansea and even worse here. He lost possession far too easily and regularly, whilst offering very little going forward. He was also out of position for both United goals. He needs to turn this dip in form round very fast if he’s to keep his place in the team, with Markovic and Ibe likely to be available and provide competition for the Arsenal game.
Adam Lallana – 3/10
Some fans are starting to grow rather frustrated about Lallana’s lack of consistent contribution. He’s performed well in flashes this season, but this was another anonymous display as he hardly had any influence whatsoever. He had the one perfect chance to level the score with a free shot from just inside the area with the whole goal to aim at, but wastefully drilled just wide, before being taken off at half time.
Philippe Coutinho – 6/10
Coutinho, along with every other Liverpool player, was not at their best. He struggled to find space and couldn’t really affect the game, but was still probably Liverpool’s brightest attacking spark. He did very well to steal the ball on the half way line before dribbling through to assist Sturridge’s goal in the second half.
Daniel Sturridge – 6/10
Sturridge looks far too isolated in this system, often finding himself 20 or 30 yards away from the nearest Liverpool player. His chances were limited, but he set up the Lallana chance in the first half before finishing strongly with his weaker foot to pull one back in the second half. He needs to keep scoring to get his confidence back.
Steven Gerrard – N/A
Gerrard replaced Lallana at the break, with the aim of changing the game. He lasted just 25 seconds before a petulant stamp on Ander Herrera earned him a deserved red card and 3 match ban. It was a pathetic act by the skipper who should know much better given his experience, and he let his side and the supporters down badly.
Mario Balotelli – 5/10
Replacing Moreno midway through the second half, Balotelli did put in a shift but his efforts were in vain and it didn’t happen for him once more. He had a decent chance with a free kick which he hit straight into the wall and was also booked for a foolish kick-out, and could’ve been dismissed following a feisty reaction to a challenge from Smalling, only to be restrained by the fans in the front row.