A STRANGE day. A lot of lads turned up in “I’ve been to Dortmund” caps and a lot of lads turned up with “I’ve been the National” hangovers. A few lads didn’t turn up at all.
Those still feeling the effects of Germany and Aintree probably weren’t livened up too much at the sight of so many changes for The Reds. Yet the thrown together side scored more goals than we have managed in any home league game this season. Up the makeshift Reds.
Simon Mignolet: 7
Makes a really good save early in the second half, although I’m not sure about his starting position — he seemed to get rooted to the spot before leaping impressively into action. Kicking was a little dodgy, but punching and catching good.
Nathaniel Clyne: 6
In my obituary it will say something along the lines of: “Wrote about football for a while, but packed in when he ran out of things to say about Nathaniel Clyne.”
Alberto Moreno: 8
Say what you want about Albie, but he gives you things to talk about. Walloped one in to settle everyone down, then put in an absolute peach of a cross towards the end of the first half that was well defended. Looked a bit unlucky to be called offside when through on goal, too. A couple of strange moments when defending, at one point he seemed to tackle one of their lads and then suddenly give it him back, but I nearly went to town when he blocked that cross flying through the air from the corner.
Martin Skrtel: 5
Struggled with Crouch, although he is a nuisance being 6ft 7ins and that. That’s why we bought him that time. Can’t just blame him for the mess we were at set pieces, but you do wish that he might fancy taking control of the situations. Rather that than do that thing where he puts his arms up like it’s everyone else’s fault .
Kolo Toure: 6
I suppose I should want more from him from set pieces, too. But he did bring out the ball well. Wasn’t given as many massive fella problems as Skrtel.
Kevin Stewart: 7
Looked a bit rusty early on, but a neat turn in midfield settled him down. He probably lacks the mobility and range of passing to succeed in a Klopp team, but he’ll do well somewhere.
Joe Allen: 8
Yes, lad. Classy and gritty. Great to see him get a standing ovation from all sides of the ground.
James Milner: 7
We actually scored from two of his set pieces! Admittedly the first one is a gentle roll across, but the second is a great ball for Divock Origi. Aside from that he was at his battling best, although his lack of pace is telling in the position he is being asked to play.
Sheyi Ojo: 7
At first he seemed to get caught out by the step up. Like it had been a bit easy for him at Under 21 level, and these lads wouldn’t just let you run across the pitch with the ball. So he shows everyone he’s got a trick as well. The stand up ball is actually even better. Sturridge couldn’t miss. Admits himself he has a way to go, but loads of promise.
Roberto Firmino: 5
Not a great day for the Brazilian, a couple of times his final ball was lacking when Sturridge was in space. Finding his way back though, so nothing to be concerned about. Not sure he’s a 10.
Daniel Sturridge: 7
Great to see him scoring and great to hear the full Kop chanting his name. Was dropping and linking well. Him and Origi looks a genuine partnership.
Divock Origi: 9
A hugely exciting second half. The way he turns and runs at the Stoke defence for his second goal was like a superhero getting to grips with his powers.
Adam Lallana: 7
Looked very bright. Loads of turns and tackles.
Lucas Leiva: 7
Wound up the few Stoke City fans who were left.
Mark Clattenburg: 10
Bit of class is Clatsy. Great to see him.