THE players and manager deserve great credit to go from Sunday to that. Perhaps the Manchester City players, just like their supporters, failed to turn up. But they are still big and good and need beating — and how they were beaten.
The tone was actually set by three lads who didn’t start on Sunday. Adam Lallana, Divock Origi and Jon Flanagan were full of energy and bite and the rest followed. Just when it looked like they might dominate the game but lack a bit around the box we scored and never looked back.
It’s a shame we didn’t push on and get even more, but maybe that’s greedy. A morale boosting 3-0 should be a great platform for the next few weeks. Bring on your Cockneys by the score.
Simon Mignolet 6
Just had a nice watch didn’t he. Best seat in the house.
Jon Flanagan 8
A couple of moments that pointed to a lack of fitness, but loads that showed his defensive quality. The sliding covering interception when Sergio Aguero looked to slip in Raheem Sterling first half was the highlight. Kicking the latter off the park by half time was nice, too. Just look better with him in the team. Might walk out on 38 minutes until he’s given a new contract.
Nathaniel Clyne 7
Less eye catching than Flanagan, but kept Jesus Navas very quiet indeed. Tougher for him going forward on that side but looked to cut inside to decent effect.
Kolo Toure 8
The recovery on Aguero second half was exceptional. Was generally no nonsense all night until then. A true leader at the back. Might walk out on four minutes until he’s given a new contract.
Dejan Lovren 7
A couple of shaky moments, but a decent 7 out of 10 and a clean sheet against that front four is miles from where he was a year ago.
Emre Can 8
If you’d watched him for the first time tonight you wouldn’t believe he was just 22. He’s at his best when he’s mean. He’ll barge you out the way one minute, Maradona turn round you the next. Loads more of that please, Emre.
Jordan Henderson 6
Couldn’t get his passing going at all first half, but much better second. His team-mates almost seem to be willing form out of him.
James Milner 8
Brilliant movement and finish for the second. Will never have the pace as a right winger to trouble a team like City, but can’t fault his industry and will. Adds an extra body in the right areas at the right time.
Adam Lallana 10
Sensational. Like a terrier when they had it and was gliding across the pitch by the end. It’s a decent hit for the first, but he’s even better for the third. Not bad for the second either. Is always so intelligent with his movement and so sure with his touch, but tonight he added fire and finesse.
Roberto Firmino 8
Nice pass into Milner for the second and cool finish for his own. Aside from that he was a key part of the pressing unit that helped us get on top.
Divock Origi 7
Started really well, holding it up and stretching play. Was a bit unsure about his movement when we tried to break, but sure that will come.
Christian Benteke 6
Felt a bit sorry for him. Would have been licking his lips at a run at their defence, and then we bring Joe Allen on to play off him. They linked up well for Allen’s chance though. Also felt we should have given him the free kick he won on the edge of the area. Jordan Henderson can’t be THAT confident on dead balls.
Joe Allen 6
Typing this in bed. If that shot dipped in I’d be typing it from La’go.
Jordon Ibe n/a