Liverpool, like last season, cruised to victory at White Hart Lane against Tottenham. It was just the 3-0 for the Reds this time around. Raheem Sterling’s early goal put Liverpool ahead, Steven Gerrard’s penalty doubled his side’s lead, and Alberto Moreno’s fabulous solo run completed the rout.
Simon Mignolet – B
The Belgian ‘keeper had barely anything to do, other than catch a few easy crosses. However, once Mignolet was called upon, from a Nacer Chadli effort, he was alive, aware and on his toes. It was a really good save which was parried away from danger from Liverpool’s keeper, who had taken some criticism after Monday’s defeat to Manchester City. Overall, Mignolet didn’t have anything to do, but he was solid at the same time.
Javier Manquillo – B+
The young Spaniard was solid at the right hand side of Liverpool’s defence. Rarely did you see Chadli get the better of him on that side, or Eriksen when he roamed over to the left hand side. He didn’t offer too much going forward, but he didn’t need to, as Liverpool had great options when attacking. Manquillo did get into some good positions high up the pitch whenever Steven Gerrard did his trademark across-the-pitch, diagonal pass.
Dejan Lovren – B
The Croatian didn’t have his usual defensive partner in Martin Skrtel (who is out injured). His new partner was Mamadou Sakho. This meant he had to move over to right centre back, and move from his usual left centre back position. In the early moments of the game, most of the first-half, perhaps you could see Lovren getting used to this. A couple of mistimed challenges and clearances made him look a bit vulnerable. In the second-half, I thought he was really solid, and he seemed to find his passing range again. As the game went on, the more accustomed he became to the right centre back role. Over time, I definitely think he could have a future there.
Mamadou Sakho – B
Like Lovren, I’ve gave Sakho a B. The reasons are pretty much the same as Lovren. A shaky first half from the French international. Perhaps this was because he was playing in his first game of this Premier League season. He had a solid second-half, though. Sakho made some vital headers away from his goal. His composure seemed to have returned, and I thought he dealt with Adebayor very well. Albeit a half arsed Adebayor.
Alberto Moreno – A*
Alberto Moreno was a tiny bit of a doubt for the trip to North London, he played though, and he was fantastic. The Spaniard scored his first goal for the club, in only his second game. Some tight and intense pressing gave him the chance to pick the ball up at around the half-way line, get away from any potential danger, with his frightening speed. No challenge came in, and he smashed it in past Hugo Lloris, who stood no chance. His goal was a bonus to his already brilliant performance. Nothing came down his side, and as always, he offered so much going forward. A goal very similar to one you might have seen from John Arne Riise in his Liverpool days.
Steven Gerrard – B+
Gerrard’s passing in the first-half was extremely poor, with a success rate of only 77%. This was very unlike the Liverpool skipper, whose passing is usually so reliable, the best part of his game. In the second-half, his passing game was back though, and he helped slow the tempo down to Liverpool’s own pace. The captain was his ever reliable self from 12 yards out, too. This was arguably the turning point in the game, just after half-time. A solid performance from Liverpool’s longest serving player.
Jordan Henderson – A
Henderson, like he usually is, was fantastic. I noticed this especially in the first-half. His intensity allowed him to run through to collect Daniel Sturridge’s pass and then play a perfectly weighted and directed ball for Sterling to tap in. His passing is getting better and better every single game and it’s really noticeable. His pressing, as always, was on point and causing Spurs all sorts of problems. There was a stage of the game when he went over to take a corner in front of the Liverpool fans and it looked like they gave him a standing ovation shortly before singing his song. The traveling Reds showing their appreciation for Henderson.
Joe Allen – B+
Allen kept his place after a really impressive performance on Monday night. He played well today, too. He won the penalty for the second goal, albeit a soft one. I still think it was a penalty though. Recently, I’ve noticed he gets in a lot better positions offensively than perhaps he would’ve done in his Swansea days, or his early Liverpool career. A solid performance in the diamond formation today. I think that’s definitely his best position, either side of the anchoring midfielder, in this case, Steven Gerrard.
Raheem Sterling – A*
Sterling came second in my man of the match rankings. He was terrific. Nowadays, with Suarez gone, I think he could be our most important player. And he’s just 19. His pace was absolutely destroying Spurs. He was playing at the tip of the diamond, a position he showed he could play often last season. An early goal definitely raised his confidence. He got himself in a brilliant position at the far post, and finished well at a tight angle and with his weaker, left foot. Amazing from the 19 year old.
Daniel Sturridge – B+
Sturridge was good, and instrumental to Liverpool attacking. Our first goal was made by his terrific through ball. He didn’t have many chances in front of goals, but linked up with his fellow attackers very well, and pressed brilliantly. There were a few signs of him linking up with his new strike partner, Mario Balotelli, too.
Mario Balotelli – B
It was the most talked about thing prior to the game. Mario Balotelli’s return to England, and to Liverpool. He had a terrific chance early on which was saved by Lloris. His finishing boots weren’t quite on today, but his work-rate and effort was very pleasing. His first touch and his strength were both very good, which was to be expected, really. It was obvious he wasn’t 100% match fit, but that will come. A pleasing 60 minutes from Liverpool’s new striker.