Melwood Today: Stoke 1 – 2 Liverpool Player Ratings

In Thursday’s ‘Melwood Today’ feature we are joined by ThisIsAnfield forum Member Zoran (Zoky) who analyses each players performance and in our live interactive poll we ask who Liverpool fans would prefer to see us drawn against in the Carling Cup Quarter Final….

Stoke 1 – 2 Liverpool

Liverpool fans are waking up with smiles on their faces after our 2-1 win over Stoke last night at the Brittania Stadium which incredibly was only Stoke’s second defeat in 22 home games…. With Kenny making eight changes to his side that drew 1-1 with Norwich last weekend, it was Suarez who kept our Wembley dreams alive scoring a sensational second-half brace, while in the words of Paul Wilson of the Guardian Newspaper “dispelling in the process the myth that he does not convert enough chances to be regarded a clinical finisher. He missed a few chances here too but there was nothing wrong with the two goals that he claimed.”

Zoran’s Match Player Ratings 

This morning we invited forum member Zoran (Zoky) to analyse our players performances following last night’s game and to rate their performances on a scale from 1-10…

Pepe Reina ( 5.5 ) : Wasn’t too busy, was calm and reliable in possession and distribution, as so often our back four were put under pressure at times and overall played a good part in (organizing) our defence coping pretty well with Stoke’s throw-in’s.

Martin Kelly ( 7.5 ) : Very good performance both defensively and offensively. After being left out against Norwich, he came back in that right back position and looked very sharp and hungry, especially going forward and providing us width at full pace before Stoke were able to really organize themselves defensively. Physically strong and dominant in the challenges.

Jamie Carragher ( 5.5 ) : Played the first half and did okay when he had to. Very vocal out there while skipping our side, organized our positioning at set-pieces and missed a challenge on Etherington for which he got a yellow card.

Sebastian Coates ( 6 ) : Obviously will be remembered for the mistake that led to the goal, but apart from that and a few hick-ups when in possession, one would have to admit that he coped well and didn’t lose his head after the conceded goal. Made some good tackles after throughout the game, especially near the end of the game.


Daniel Agger ( 7 ) : Considering he wasn’t playing in his position, he was good, especially in the first half when we put them under pressure and attacked quite a bit. Made himself available many times, showed a bit of his throw-ins as well, not to mention his passing and solutions on the ball. Won some challenges by such simplicity.

Lucas Leiva ( 6 ) : Pretty good first half, went a bit quiet in the second. Showed a bit more in the attacking sense in the opening parts of the game with his passing and that good run forward which created a great chance for Suarez. As the game went on and became more open in both ways, he was maybe not ‘close’ enough to his opponents, while still covering the pitch of course, but didn’t make a lot of tackles as you would expect.

Jay Spearing ( 6.5 ) : Not bad at all, fought very hard for the team, was often in the right places and won us the ball back a fair share of times on his own. Shielded the ball well considering his size and who we were playing against, really didn’t look out of place in that sense. Won the ball, passed it to the next man, tried to keep it simple and he did his job.

Jordan Henderson ( 5.5 ) : Started the game well full of energy, quick interchange of passing and picking out some good ones into space for Suarez when we had the period of trying to get in behind their back line. Worked hard over the whole game, but wasn’t so dangerous as the game went on though, playing again on the right after a few very good cameos more centrally. Kelly really dominated that right hand side for us so he had a very good performer behind/alongside him. Good ball in the box in the end for Suarez’s goal, I don’t believe it was only a ‘hit and hope’ one, it was also a bit of intuition as well.

Maxi Rodriguez ( 6 ) :  Was disciplined, came back deep, did well in tight spaces to win a few challenges and pass the ball forward. In the final third though, that’s where he was a bit inconsistent, especially in his decision making. A few good actions, but a few ones where he should have done better.


Luis Suarez ( 8 ) : The difference. Big job for the team, linked up well with his team mates and always looked able to sneak in behind and outpace their defenders. Should have reacted better when he had that chance in the opening part, but he just kept going and the rewards came. Fantastic goal to bring us back in the game and then was at the right place to get us the winner when practically everything was set for extra times and possibly penalties. You could really see how hungry he is for scoring goals, after not scoring for a while, but also winning games and qualifying to the next stage, even if it’s Stoke on a cold night and the Carling Cup – he simply wants to win.

Andy Carroll ( 5.5 ) : Bright opening part and good part of the first half. Looked hungry to prove himself, closed people down and made some great tackles to win the ball back, as well as linking up well with Luis up front, or simply receiving possession and keeping the ball a bit. Was there or thereabouts in our corners, a good shot as well. Later, as the game went on, started to fade out a bit and looked heavy, lost his breath a bit. Some misplaced passes, not winning the challenges anymore.


Martin Skrtel ( 6 ) : Came on for Jamie, did okay. Strong, won a couple of good headers and didn’t look shaky in possession. Once again proving that he’s much more comfortable when playing as the right sided center back than when he’s the left sided one.

Craig Bellamy ( 6.5 ) : Credit to Kenny, he saw that Maxi was losing it a bit and Craig came on exactly in the right time for us to bring us some sharpness and pace going forward. Worked hard for the team with his energy, but also cut inside on his right a couple of times with quality, linking up well with players and having a good shot on goal himself.

Many thanks to Zoran (Zoky) for taking the time to talk us through how he analysed and rated each players performance….

The Carling Cup Quarter-Finalists

Pennant The draw for the Carling Cup Quarter Finals will be made at noon on Saturday 29th October. Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Manchester City and Manchester United all join Liverpool in the draw on Saturday… Who would you prefer Liverpool to be drawn against in the Carling Cup Quarter Final, vote in our online poll here and we’ll announce the result in Friday’s ‘Melwood Today’ article!

[poll id=”109″]

More from This Is Anfield

Fan Comments