What a performance.
We’re tempted to give everyone 10/10, but realise that would be silly. But wow, did Liverpool arrive tonight – beating Villarreal 3-0.
GK) Simon Mignolet – 7/10
Made a crucial early save, and was solid as a rock here on after.
DR) Nathaniel Clyne – 7/10
Boundless energy up the right, consistently providing Adam Lallana and James Milner an outlet. Defensively strong.
DL) Alberto Moreno – 7/10
Almost gave away a stupid penalty at the death, but it wasn’t given by a referee who was lenient all evening! Bar that (almost) mistake, he mirrored Clyne on the other side.
DC) Dejan Lovren – 9/10
Heroic at the back. Perfect with the ball at his feet, Lovren made last ditch tackles and provided a cool, commanding head at the back. The transformation he’s made under Klopp is amazing.
DC) Kolo Toure – 8/10
35-years-old, with no pace whatsoever, but reads the game better than anybody. Give Toure another contract. He’s earned it.
MC) Emre Can – 9/10
Straight back from injury, Can put in the kind of all-action performance which makes us think he’ll captain Liverpool one day. So dominant in 50/50s, Can provided class and panache as well as unrivalled power.
MC) James Milner – 8.5/10
Another captain’s performance from Milner, who’s well and truly won over all early doubters. Covered every blade of grass and played a number of classy passes. To think, he was actually paired in a midfield two tonight – and played like this.
AMR) Adam Lallana – 7/10
The guy simply never, ever stops pressing. It’s relentless! Lallana got a goal for his troubles too, flicking in cleverly off a mishit Sturridge shot. Deserved.
AML) Coutinho – 8/10
A classy show from our best player. Coutinho cut in from the left and spread play at will, and slipped clever balls into the channels as well. When he lined up a Villarreal player, they couldn’t get near him.
AMC) Roberto Firmino – 9/10
Oozed class, and produced so many moments of genuine quality we lost count. The Brazilian’s been off colour recently, but reminded us of his sheer unadulterated class.
FC) Daniel Sturridge – 7/10
Klopp chose to start Sturridge, and despite some dodgy moments, the striker scored our decisive goal and had a hand in the first – a Bruno own-goal. Could have had a couple more at the end as well. We’re a better side when he’s on-song.
Joe Allen – 7/10 – Tidy as ever!
Christian Benteke – n/a
Lucas – n/a