Liverpool 0-0 Blackburn: Player Ratings


Liverpool could only draw 0-0 with Blackburn in the FA Cup quarter-final at Anfield on Sunday. We rate each of Brendan Rodgers‘ players on a frustrating afternoon on Merseyside.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: Liverpool's Kolo Toure sees his goal disallowed for offside against Blackburn Rovers during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool 0-0 Blackburn
FA Cup quarter-final, Anfield
Sunday, 8th March 2015


The Belgian was one of Liverpool’s better players, and his wonderful save to deny Alex Baptiste arguably kept his side in the cup.

The 27-year-old was confident with his handling all game, barring one clumsy attempt at a punch early on, although his kicking was a little erratic at times.


It’s very easy to get on Johnson’s back, given how woeful he has been over the last couple of years, but he actually had a fairly solid game.

He used the ball well on the whole, barring the odd trademark lapse, and he produced a couple of decent bursts going forward. He will be criticised by some because of who he is, but that is unfair.

He was though, very ponderous in possession on occasion.


Skrtel only lasted a couple of minutes, having fallen nastily after an aerial challenge with Rudy Gestede. Replaced by Kolo Toure after an eight-minute stoppage.

Rodgers said post-match that the Slovakian was walking and talking fine but will go to hospital purely as procedure.


The former Southampton man has improved in recent weeks, but he was back to his very worst against Gary Bowyer’s side, especially in the first half.

He was wasteful in possession, suspect positionally and an all-round weak-link. Some players eventually come good, but you have to wonder whether Lovren ever will.


LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: Liverpool's Emre Can is fouled by Blackburn Rovers' Adam Henley during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Can has been such a superb signing so far, but he had an off day in a rare midfield role.

Too often he tried too much on the ball, and his general influence wasn’t as great as it has been of late. The young German definitely looks more comfortable at centre-back for now, although his future may well lie in midfield.


Liverpool’s soon-to-be permanent captain was once again an impressive figure, as he desperately tried to inspire his team to victory.

He showed a good array of passing, worked his socks off throughout and looks more and more like a leader by the week. The 24-year-old has had better games, but he was still arguably the Reds’ best outfield player.

Not up the standards of Man City and Burnley but that can only be expected with this the third game in eight days.


Markovic blew hot and cold all game, and it’s getting to the stage where we need to see a bit more consistency from him.

The 21-year-old showed some good bursts of pace down the right flank, but his final ball was often more hopeful than incisive. Arguably wasted out wide.

Replaced by Mario Balotelli after 59 minutes.


The England star was deployed at left wing-back, and although he did a pretty decent job there, he was still wasted in the role.

His pace and trickery made him one of Liverpool’s more dangerous attacking outlets. He did some good defensive work too, in fairness.


Like Markovic, Lallana just cannot seem to find any consistency at the moment. He often looks more dangerous than he is, and was frustrating to watch throughout.

The usual nimble footwork was out in force but nothing really came of it, and time and time again he held onto the ball for too long. He was switched to the right-hand side in the second-half, but was ineffective there.


LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia in action against Blackburn Rovers during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After such a wonderful run of form, Coutinho had a very poor game by his high standards.

The 22-year-old Brazilian was nullified expertly by the Blackburn midfield, and he was very guilty of trying the impossible when an easier option was called for. He was due a bad game to be fair to him.

Blackburn defended deep which forced Coutinho to drop deeper and deeper to receive the ball but lacked any movement ahead of him.


Sturridge still looks well short of his sharpest, and he was disappointing again.

He produced the odd nice touch here and there, and tested Simon Eastwood in the first-half, but his all-round game was sloppy and he was kept very quiet in general.


KOLO TOURE (on for Skrtel ’11)- 6.5

The likeable veteran was introduced early following the injury to Skrtel, and he did a solid job. He made one vital tackle in the first-half, and rarely put a foot wrong. Ironically our biggest attacking threat having hit the post and had one disallowed.

MARIO BALOTELLI (on for Markovic ’59)- 6

The Italian looked relatively dangerous when he came on, holding the ball up and running into the channels, but one typically erratic shot from distance summed up his unpredictability.


LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 29, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers before the Premier League match against Swansea City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds manager didn’t have his finest hour. His decision to play Sterling at wing-back didn’t really pay off, and switching Lallana to the right in the second-half made little sense.

A frustrating match in isolation but in the bigger picture, a replay isn’t so bad.


Marriner was horribly whistle-happy all afternoon, and there were several strong penalty claims that he waved away. He was a big reason for the game having so little flow to it.


[statsfc-player-rater key=2dCG2IPndnJBm4GL141AFJQnx7Wsl6gT3JGGW02u team=Liverpool date=2015-03-08 default_css=false]


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  1. Kolo toure was my best player even if he maybe a few extra unnecessary touches when the ball would have landed firmly in Mignolet’s hands

    • Sturridge was a bit a disadvantage . Whenever he got the ball in a comfortable position he was DEEP in defense and when he wasn’t defense he was HEAVILY marked by a minimum of 3 player

  2. Bit harsh on Sturridge I feel. Sprayed some good balls to the wings and really got into the game 2nd half. Held the ball up well. I know this won’t be a popular opinion just because its Glen Johnson but I thought he was one of our best players. Supported the attack well. Made vital interceptions, moved the ball well and positionally was much much better than he has been. A 6.5 or even 7 for me!

  3. I thought that Emre was better than Hendo in the game and deserved a better rating than a 5.5…hendo was almost invisible in second half…marko, dejan and adam were not good enough to even get a 4 in my opinion.

    • Hendo certainly didnt deserve anything higher that a 5. I thought Johnson did well and so did Lovren for the most part. Lallana was the worst player for me and I thought he should have been replaced by Ballotelli and not Markovic. Kolo and Migs joint MoTM!!

    • I thought emre looked like a CD playing CM today – don’t get me wrong, the guy is a star in the waiting, but for us at the moment, CD is where he is best for the team – and possibly for the future.

    • I had a problem with Can today for me he was very bad. He didn’t play for the system, he didn’t drop back to receive the ball enough making GJ,Kolo and Lovren attempt to create our tempo.

    • He just takes too long to do anything and when he does decide it’s the simplist ball he could have played four touches earlier. It’s frustrating. Add to that how he will just switch off at times and it winds people up.

    • The fact that Toure was our best player and yet BR chose to start with Johnson ahead of him shows that BR makes weird decisions..
      Toure is a CB while GJ is not,yet GJ is selected over Toure.
      Johnson/Toure/lovren combination have together have never played together,yet when Skrtel was injured BR didnt think twice about putting Can back in as RCB and to get some stability at the back…
      BR makes too many changes in formation,setup and players in the name of innovation…

      • no he doesn’t. he has one system a season, players his favourites til they get injured, and then tries to force players who haven’t player for ages into positions not suited for them.

        sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

        • Haha so true mate. That’s how Henderson was ‘given a chance’, same as Lucas. We always have to wait for the favorites to get injured like Allen, to see the Lucas’ of the world get a crack

          • Funnily enough we missed Allen yesterday. For all his flaws he’s been good the last couple of games.

      • Kolo offers nothing when it comes to playing the ball. Can as a RCB offers forward motion. Johnson is the only one from the available CB’s, if you don’t want to risk Sakho, who offers that. Solid and understandable decision.

        Funny thing is that people flame GJ when he goes forward and love Can for it. Bias is big in people.

    • Hendo was pretty anonymous for me today but I’m not singling him out in any sense. I don’t get the GJ criticism either.

    • don’t get the gj negativity, possibly our best player today. system didn’t work and manager failed to adapt in second half.

      the famous ” plan b is to make plan a work better” (BR c 2014) reminds me of einstein – “to keep repeating the same actions and expecting a different result is the the definition of insanity”

      (ref richard nixon, bombing vietnam)

      • Nicely put.

        Though the results from the recent games have been very positive, so should he not, if he is sane, expect the same result?

        – Ole

      • Balo…telli…? Anyone? That could legitimately be his nickname. Maybe more directness and a 2 striker setup, moving Coutinho to sole #10 might have freed Sturridge a bit more.

        But then again, that’s why I’m not managing a team

      • Plan A is to secure 4th. Plan A/B is to win the FA Cup. Delayed tiredness one could argue..

        Usually (this season) plan B has been a considerable change from the otherwise less effective 1st half (namely plan A). The Brodge, has often made changes at half time this season, offering at least 45 minutes for his, reactive, game plan to come into effect. As of Dec one could argue this has been used/utilised to great success. Coupled with player positional manipulation.

        If we go through a season defining players/managers by words they uttered at the beginning of each season, where does that leave the fans opinion?

        There is no arguing that he said what he did, however, he obviously has altered his mantra somewhat. As a fan of a progressive manager I’m glad he is not stuck in the past. Unlike some who may wish he was living in the past, in order to use past comments to illustrate some very questionable point.

        (I jest only)

      • glen Johnson has shown himself to be inconsistent, sloppy, lacks creativity and over all a waste of space and time. I wish he would had left 10 years ago. I wish he would had stayed wherever he came from. he is the dullest tool in our box. he has nothing to offer.

        • he’s had a poor couple of years, before that he was a good player, and today he was one of our best IMO. I don’t get all the johnson/allen/lucas hate here.

  4. Tough game, no one stood out for me, Blackburn defended well. The break between this game and next will do us a world of good.

  5. I know we should have done better going forwards, but how Blackburn played in the second half was just plain boring. Fair play to them in the first half as they came out and tried to play football, even though it was just lumping balls forward to Gestede. I feel sorry for their fans who had to pay to see their team park the bus in the second half. I know for many teams their game plan is to park the bus and play with a big piece of meat upfront in order to earn a replay, but its hardly entertaining or for the good of football. Sure its nice to see the non prem teams go far in the competition, but not if they play like that.
    As for us, we should have had at least two penalties, the ones on Sturridge and Lallana, but I still get the feeling that Sterling is wasted at wingback. I’m still not sure on Lallana so would rather see the front three of Studge, Coutinho and Sterling. We just can’t seem to find a way to score against teams that park the bus. Hopeful for the replay as we play better away from home anyway!

  6. Lallana’s a ridiculously poor misfit at Liverpool. He can only make things happen when he was players in close proximity to pass the ball to. If there’s even a hint of isolation, he ends up losing the ball. That performance of his was actually scapegoat worthy since every time we had the ball in an attacking position he lost it and the momentum shifted again. Liverpool could never have any rhythm as a result. I hate saying this, but thus far, both Lovren and Lallana look like misfits.

    I actually feel a little bad for Markovic and Sterling today. They’re not natural wingers and Lazar deserves to have some game time in a more central position. You can tell because he ends up looking dangerous only when he cuts inside to the center of play. Never understood how/why Rodgers played Henderson in that RWB role as well.

    • Lallana was a great asset to the Blackburn defense. Not sure why Rodgers subed Markovic, I thought Lallana was dreadful and should have been the one to leave. Lovren had some dodgy moments but also put in some good work. I really hope both he and Lallana get things sorted out.

  7. It seems worryingly easy to nullify Coutinho. As soon as things get more physical than you’d expect from a (decent) premier league team, he just gets bullied off the ball. Isn’t he supposed to be Brazilian? And I’m worried Sturridge is going the way of Torres. We know what impact all those injuries had on him… Still, that may be a bit premature. Let’s hope he recovers. It’d be nice to have a world class striker who wasn’t injury prone, though…

  8. Moreno was missed today,I thought BR would have brought him on for Lallana and free’d up Sterling in the 2nd half. Credit to Blackburn,They played not to lose and got the result.

  9. That score for Lovren was a joke, he had a relatively good game. He made a few bad passes, but made just as many if not more good passes. He hit a few 50 yarders to Lazar in the first half.

    • Yeah jokes aren’t usually in short supply on these ratings.

      He even describes it as Lovren’s “very worst”. What’s the point of the numbers 1 – 4 if 5 is the very worst?

      But Sterling “did a pretty decent job…” and gets 6.5.

      So the difference between “very worst” and “a pretty decent job” on a scale of 1 to 10 is only 1.5?

    • I am sorry mate but you seem to have some some red tinted glasses

      Lovren is lucky with the 5. This is the norm we can expect from him, his positioning was shocking(although not helped much by Sterling).The writer mentiones the tackle Toure made, that happened when a simple ball over the top bypassed Lovren. His pass to Lazar you mention only stayed on the pitch because of Lazar’s chest control and it was a waste of a pass because by the time it reached MArkovic and was brought down the defence shifted already. If you gonna praise something praise something that was advantageous, for example Sakho or Can when they make that ball its to the feet of their target so that we gain nadvantage until defence shifts.

  10. Think the ratings are harsh. We controlldd the game with possesion and blackburn used defensive rugby tactics as you would expect from achampionship team. had no help from the ref who knew he was giving blackburn a free run. That tackle on lallana was a stone cold penalty . how can you not give it if he goes through the player from behind to get the ball. You need to win it cleeanly

  11. I gave everybody a 6 apart from Migs and Kolo, gave them a 7. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, just couldn’t break the deadlock.

  12. Ratings seem pretty fair all around. Not as much fluency as in recent weeks without Allen and Sterling in their usual positions

  13. Marriner was whistle-happy? There were dozens of niggly fouls and sometimes over-the-top fouls meant to break up our play and disrupt our rhythm that were never called. On Skrtel’s play, Gestede led with an elbow to his jaw, knocking him off balance…in most countries, that’s at least a yellow if not a straight red, but in England it doesn’t even get a second look.

    • There is the trip on Lallana, handball by Gestede before Toure’s disallowed goal and the shirt tug on Balotelli. All 3 happened inside the penalty box. Oh, and not forgetting the studs up challenge on Coutinho outside the box. As the game went on, I was just hoping that none of the players get seriously injured for the run in for top 4 in the league.

      • And Sturridge being pulled back on a through ball and Kolo got a two-handed shove when he headed it on the post. All fouls, all possible penalties.

      • Yeah, thought the ref was desperately poor and with a different one who curtailed some of those challenges, we might’ve won comfortably. Looked more like a rugby match than football.

      • Seems a bit like an excuse, but the ref truly was shocking and I do think it affected the game/our play.

  14. Don’t understand why Rodgers subs off Markovic instead of Lallana in the last two or three games Markovic has played. Did Markovic play well? No. Did he play better than Lallana and contribute more to the team? Yes, including that great pass to Lallana today, which Lallana squandered by giving the defender time to tackle. Although Markovic hasn’t been in the greatest of form recently, he still played better, and doesn’t hold on to the ball for half an hour trying to dribble everyone and end up losing the ball.

    • Lallana has been really good last couple of games, even when forced out wide. Only logical to go for that again.

    • Wait, what? That’s all Markovic does… He sprints down the pitch with the ball until he’s run it into nowhere, then he gives it away by either a bad final ball or he just runs straight into the defender. And then he tries plan A again and again and again.

      • Although I agree Markovic hasn’t been at his best, but he still comes up with several good passes in a game. Like I said, the one he gave to Lallana through the legs of one of the Blackburn players, and Lallana was one on one with the goalie but took too long and let the defender tackle him. Besides that, all Lallana has done is his little twirls and tried to dribble everyone like he’s Diego Maradona, which he most certainly isn’t and ends up losing the ball practically every single time.

  15. I guess we’re targeting league above everything else and Sturridge will probably be dropped for Swansea. These cup games appear to be to give him a run out and try different tactics hence the stuttering performance. I expect the replay to be similarly boring but think we shouls still win.

  16. Feel like we’ll do much better with Sakho, Allen, and Moreno playing. Lovren, Johnson, and Lallana can all step aside with few tears shed. And a decent pitch wouldn’t hurt.

  17. Choosing a man of the match, is much the same as trying to decide which one of my turds was the least stinky last week.

  18. glen Johnson has shown himself to be inconsistent, sloppy, lacks creativity and over all a waste of space and time. I wish he would had left 10 years ago. I wish he would had stayed wherever he came from. he is the dullest tool in our box. he has nothing to offer. please send him away.

  19. Lovren indeed shaky…again. And we missed Moreno because Sterling had to fall back too much to have impact on the attack. And Sturridge really really need to improve. Rustiness aint an excuse anymore. I would have brought on Moreno and Balotelli at half time for Lalana and Markovic.

  20. Gj made crucial interception at one stage.
    Can to centre back. He is always a 7.5 or more in defence. At centre mid he is poor. He tried to do to much, sat too far forward,got caught out of position and lost ball.
    He did make good interceptions thou but he’s a defender for me. Even thou defence didn’t struggle.
    I thought big Rickie would have caused physical bb central defenders problems.

  21. IMO Johnson did not perform bad, but there were some moment where I was really afraid of what is gonna happen, he did not really click in the 3-5-2, i would rather see him as a wingback, he let couple of players run behind his back, did not mark them really well and kept the ball on his feet rather more than he should at moments … Since his mind always drags him forward the wingback should be ideal position for him … Also Emre doesnt have the understanding in midfield that Allen has with Hendo at this time, thats why we missed the flow … we desperately need our midfielders back to full fitness … but to be honest, even though we did not score, I am happy for clean sheet against a team who parked a bus. With Skrtel back, Allen back, Gerrard back, Sakho back, Sturridge getting to full fitness, we have great chance of beating them on replay .. Also big thumbs up to Kolo who did his job at Martins place ..

  22. A little surprised at some comments I thought Glenda had a good game for a change, Lovren for me was the shakiest at the back, his positional play was bad and he over committed at times, definitely the signing that has not paid off as yet. Lallan did not have the best of games either and i am surprised he was not subbed instead of Markovic who though looked far more dangerous down the right. The marked Coutinho out of the game and Rogers need to look at a counter to that as i am sure others will look at it and do the same. Moving Sterling inside and taking Lallana off, bringing Moreno on could have helped free up Coutinho. Did not create enough. Against these types of team starting 2 up front might be the way to go, as we looked better and had more of a threat when Balotelli came on, but the service form the wings was slow and not quick enough. Toure had a good game as well.

  23. Kolo was by far the Man of the Match. He never gets the credit he deserves, simply because he is seen as a squad player or too old. For me, him and Sakho should be our first CBs on the team sheet for any match.

    And again, Johnson did well, but people only tend to look for his mistakes so they can make jokes about him. they actually ignore the good stuff he does.

    We desperately need sturridge to be fully fit again, and to buy a consistent goal scorer in the summer (Jackson Martinez!)

  24. I don’t think its right to judge Coutinho ‘by his own standards’ and everyone else for the match day itself. It defeats the purpose of player ratings as you are not using the same baseline to compare to… Of course he was a bit lackluster, but as a stand alone performance he still did a lot of successful dribbles and passes, had a lofted free kick that Kolo struck the post and overall deserved a 7, at least a 6.5, not a 5…certainly not a 5, the same as Mr. Lovren

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