The first-half was a stroll in the park for Liverpool this afternoon against Newcastle, but the second was nowhere near good enough.
At 2-0, we were coasting, but threw the lead away with the help of a Simon Mignolet blunder that got the Toon back into the game.
Here’s how we rated the players.
GK) Simon Mignolet – 4/10
Had very little to do, but didn’t do it very well. The Belgian came for a cross and missed it, which allowed Cisse an open goal to nod into, while it could be argued a firmer hand would have stopped Newcastle’s second as well.
DR) Connor Randall – 5/10
Jon Flanagan isn’t injured, and it seems very strange that Randall is being selected over him as Clyne’s rotation option. The youngster was poor, and for us, has shown few signs that he has a long-term Anfield future.
DL) Alberto Moreno – 7/10
Very good in the first-half, Moreno combined clever defending with outright creativity, assisting Sturridge’s opener and Lallana’s effort as well – both with his left foot. However, he came for a ball and missed it in the lead up to Newcastle’s goal, foreshadowing Mignolet’s mistake.
DC) Dejan Lovren – 6/10
Took an elbow to the throat off Cisse early on, but battled through and played some sharp, incisive passes to the forwards. Missed his regular centre-back partner.
DC) Kolo Toure – 6/10
Nowhere near as good on the ball as Mamadou Sakho, which slows transition from defence to midfield, but we’re going to need the Ivorian to step up with the former banned. Toure did relatively well today, but wasn’t imperious.
MC) Kevin Stewart – 5/10
One of his poorest performances of the season. Only passed backwards, and lacked both quality and composure in the middle. Blazed a shot high and wide late on.
MC) Joe Allen – 6/10
A very good start from Allen, who was linking play and ticking us over, but he was bullied off the ball on occasion, especially in the second. Turned the ball over regularly, but couldn’t reach the heights he’s set recently.
AMR) James Milner – 6/10
Toiled and worked, but couldn’t contribute a customary assist today. His corners were weak, but he did well when converted to right-back on Randall’s exit. Likely to start in central midfield on Thursday at Villarreal.
AML) Adam Lallana – 7/10
In the first-half, Lallana purred, making countless beautiful touches and scoring a sweet, curled left-footer. In the second he went off the boil, but so did the rest of his team-mates.
AMC) Roberto Firmino – 5/10
Firmino’s touch was off colour today, and in truth, he’s struggled badly since returning from injury. The Brazilian’s movement was decent, but he was giving the defenders too much of a look in, which is strange for someone with his technical ability.
FC) Daniel Sturridge – 6.5/10
Took his goal beautifully, controlling Moreno’s long ball and firing in with his left-foot after 65 seconds of the game. That was Sturridge’s peak though, and despite showing tasty feet and link-up play at times, was a little selfish. Should have been given a penalty, and is having no problem completing 90 minutes anymore.
Coutinho – 6/10 – Toiled, but couldn’t finish customary killer edge.
Sheyi Ojo – 6/10 – Picked up a lot of ball on the right, and put in a few good crosses after heading to the byline.
Lucas – 5/10 – Few tackles, few hollers of encouragement.