A Christian Benteke goal gave Liverpool a crucial and deserved win today against Leicester City.
1-0 flattered our opposition and there were a few performances from the men in red that especially stood out.
GK) Simon Mignolet – 7/10
His key moment in the first-half came when saving from a Mahrez blast, after the excellent Algerian slalomed through our defence. In the second, Mignolet made two key saves but again lacked confidence at the longer balls pumped or thrown into the box.
DR) Nathaniel Clyne – 7.5/10
Excellent. A great tackle on Mahrez set the tone early on, and Clyne’s pace and enthusiasm saw him bombarding all over the pitch throughout. Tackles, bursts and blocks aplenty.
DL) Aberto Moreno – 6.5/10
Mahrez skinned him twice, and characteristically, our Spanish left-back looked far better in the opposition’s half than our own. Whipped in some nice crosses but the attackers couldn’t get on the end of them.
DC) Dejan Lovren – 8/10
Assured following his injury, unlike his defensive partner. Lovren stepped out of defence well and sprayed some uncharacteristically superb long passes – finding the decent form from just before his injury.
DC) Mamadou Sakho – 6/10
Sakho started badly, misplacing a dodgy early pass and overcomplicating things on more than one occasion. His headers often went vertically up rather than forward and he was lucky not to give a penalty away following a tackle on Okazaki. Plenty of tackles and headers but seriously lacking in composure.
MC) Jordan Henderson – 8.5/10
He’s back, the skipper is. Played a beautiful ball to Benteke in the second and made a number of important tackles in central midfield. Visibly grew through the match and showed the kind of leadership we’ve badly missed in his absence. Much more creativity in central midfield with Henderson in the side.
MC) Emre Can – 6/10
Booked for a foul on Vardy, Can was energetic in a midfield two. He was nowhere near as effective on the ball as his midfield partner Henderson but certainly played his role.
AMR) Adam Lallana – 6.5/10 (Joe Allen – 90′)
Picked up plenty of possession on the flank, but didn’t have the pace to beat his man on the outside. This meant Lallana often checked back inside, slowing the pace of our counter. First touch great, all the rest not so much – but as per usual – Lallana’s silkiness is so much more effective when we’re already winning.
AML) Coutinho – 7/10 (Lucas – 90′)
Starting on the left wing, Coutinho curled in a few early shots towards the far post, and played his customary flicks and tricks. Missed a guilt edged chance in the first-half though, shooting over from the edge of the box. Everything good bar the finishing touch today.
FC) Divock Origi – 6.5/10 (Benteke – 37′)
Hustled and bustled up top, working the channels in a manner which you wouldn’t expect Christian Benteke to. Sadly though, he was substituted with an injury before half-time, just as he was starting to look a real menace.
FC) Roberto Firmino – 6.5/10
Firmino’s moment of magic came when he skinned the fullback down the left-hand side of the penalty area and fed Benteke, who finished excellently. Better than he has been recently, but that’s not saying much. Firmino still made sloppy decisions on the ball and wasn’t clinical creatively when he found himself in decent positions. His improvement in the second-half though was really promising.
Christian Benteke – 7.5/10
Looked a little afraid early on, but righted that with the game’s winning goal. Benteke stretched to fire past Schmeichel with his left, which makes it easier for us to forgive him the chances he messed up!
Lucas – n/a
Joe Allen – n/a