Christian Benteke scored the game’s winner yesterday, which almost saw him included, but his overall performance was lacking.
So we’ve gone for these three instead…
Rumbustious outing from the skipper. This was easily Henderson’s best performance since his return from injury. The captain was shoddy last week, but showed why Brendan Rodgers gave him the captaincy back in the summer. The 25-year-old put in a brilliant tackle on the impressive N’golo Kante which set the tone for his afternoon. He regularly fed onrushing attackers or wingers longer balls into the channels, while choosing to play it simply as well when the time presented itself. Overall, Henderson led the team excellently, organising our structure from the centre.
Mamadou Sakho’s not looked the same player since his return from injury, but coming back from his own, Lovren immediately found the excellent form from his successful stint in the side earlier in the season. The previously maligned Croat looks like he’s finally emerging as the £20m centre-back we thought we’d signed in summer 2014. He was vocal, tackled intelligently but not recklessly, and passed well too. He even felt confident enough to spray longer balls out wide, which helped our transition from defence to attack.
Picking the first two players was easy. The third, a little trickier. We’ve gone for Clyne who provided a exuberant presence down the right. Defensively he was perfect, and consistently overlapped Adam Lallana in offence, although the playmaker didn’t feed him perhaps as often as he should have. Clyne made one brilliant tackle on Riyad Mahrez, showing his pace by catching up with the rapid, skilful Algerian. Clyne was poor against Watford, but everyone was, and in truth he’s probably been our most consistent performer of the season. The 4-4-2 suited his robust, disciplined style as well.