Melwood Today: Liverpool 1 – 1 Manchester City Player Ratings

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In Monday’s Melwood Today feature we are joined by ThisIsAnfield forum Member, Michael Vöchting, who analyses each players performance against Manchester City and in our live interactive poll we ask who your Man of the Match was….


Liverpool 1 – 1 Manchester City

Last Friday in our ‘Match Preview Panel’, Michael Sweeting picked City goalkeeper Joe Hart as the opposition player to keep an eye on and it was the City goalkeeper who followed in David de Gea, John Ruddy and Michel Vorm’s footsteps as his series of heroic saves ensured Liverpool were held to a fourth successive home stalemate for the first time since 1971.


Michael Vöchting‘s Match Player Ratings 

This morning we invited ThisIsAnfeld’s Michael Vöchting to analyse our players performances following yesterday’s game and to rate their performances on a scale from 1-10…

Pepe Reina – 7.5 : Pepe had a great game for us. During periods of pressure from City in the first half, he kept us in the game with some great saves.

Glen Johnson – 7.5 : Had a good, tidy game. Was solid enough at the back and got forward several times with one or two very good crosses.

Daniel Agger – 8 : Excellent game from Danny. Alongside Skrtel, he kept the City forwards at bay most of the time, and that’s saying something. Displayed genuine leadership qualities. This is a potential Liverpool captain for the future in my eyes.

AggerMartin Skrtel – 8 : Same comments than for Agger. Was absolutely imperial on all aerial balls. Both Danny and Martin are developing a really good partnership now, the one we had hoped for since a long time already. They complement each other really well, and I can see them forming our central backline for the rest of the season now, fitness permitting. Carragher might have to bide his time on the bench, as those two are in top form. It’s a nice problem to have for Kenny, and he surely won’t complain about that!

José Enrique – 6.5 : José gave his all in that game, but he was guilty of several bad errors which could have turned the game against us, especially a horrible pass, aimed directly in Aguero forward’s path, just in a period when we were under the cosh during the first half. We were lucky to escape there. Misplaced several other passes and was at times out of position, but all this was made up by an incredible energy and iron will to fight for every ball.

Lucas Leiva – 8.5 : Man of the Match. He proved a real stumbling block for any action Manchester City tried to start. Didn’t give any possession away as far as I can remember, and made some brillant forward passes as well. Proved once again that against dominant opposition, he’s undroppable in that central midfield. Will still have to prove that he can be equally useful against sides we are supposed to dominate ourselves.

Charlie Adam – 8 : Once again a very good display from Adam. His shot for the goal wasn’t on target, but that was the luck of the brave. He tried, that is the important thing to remember. Without trying, he wouldn’t have got that goal. Otherwise, he contributed alongside Lucas to keep City mostly away from our goal, which was their main defensive task, and to launch some quick counters.

Jordan Henderson – 7 : Good tidy game from Jordan. His enthousiastic energy and pace helped us to disturb City’s building play, and to launch quick counters. Could have done better on a couple of clear-cut chances in front of goal, but he was convincing in a more central midfield role.

Stewart Downing – 7 : Much energy, many runs, many dribbles, kept Richards on his toes during the whole game. Had some excellent crosses, was unlucky on a shot saved by a miraculous intervention from Hart, but was also wasteful with his shots on a couple of occasions.

AggerDirk Kuyt – 6 : Looked a bit off-pace, especially during the first half. While he worked hard for his team-mates as usual, he was wasteful in possession, misplaced several passes and was found guilty of some bad controls. Towards the end of the second half however, he found himself back in the game. He could have won it for us on two occasions, the first one being a header going narrowly wide, and the second, nearly scoring after a goal-mouth scramble which Hart was lucky to escape from without a goal.

Luis Suarez – 6.5 : Was on the bad end of many, many fouls from the city defenders, who got too much leeway from the ref in my opinion. However, it must be noticed that Luis’ form has dipped a bit since his four-goals heroics for Uruguay, and the recent Evra-controversy. Hopefully, he can recover his form shortly, as he’s a cracking player, but on this occasion, he looked a bit off the pace, also counting in the bad treatment he was receiving from the city players. On the other hand, he had to play on his own during long spells in that game, and that might have cost him a bit too much energy, which he perhaps hadn’t enough of towards the end, when he should have been more lethal on one or two occasions.

SUBS

Andy Carroll – 7 : (on 84′ for Kuyt) : I hope that Andy can find a bit more playing time in the next games, because he seems to be in really good form right now. He gave a very good account of himself in those nine minutes he was on the pitch. Had that glorious chance to score the winner, with a header from short range.


Michael Vöchting’s View From the Kop

Manchester City are a deadly machine as soon as they are allowed to play their game, and especially when being allowed to enter with the ball in the last thirty yards. Kenny put into place a tactical line-up to hinder them as much as possible to do this. It was mostly a 4-5-1, with Suarez being left alone upfront, and Downing and Kuyt having to put much defensive effort in to stop Manchester City‘s actions.

The key was to switch rapidly to counter-attack mode as soon as we got the ball. In the first twenty minutes, we had many difficulties to do so. It’s not our natural game, as we have mostly enjoyed possession in recent games and are trying to find back the dominating pass-and-move habits.

But obviously, Kenny and Clarke decided that against that type of opposition, an aggressive counter-attacking system would reap more benefits, and after this difficult initial spell, things went off quite well. We were lucky to equalise rapidly after they had went up one-nil from a set-piece, but afterwards, we managed to annihilate almost everything they tried to launch at us, while being able to carve out chances for ourselves. So, tactically, Kenny and Clarke have to get a 10 out of 10 for their decisions on the day.

Finally, a last word about Bellamy’s absence from that game, which could well have made the difference between a draw and a win for us: after the game, Kenny went on record, telling the media that Craig was understandably upset after the news had come in that his mentor Gary Speed had taken his own life, and Kenny said to him to take that day off, as there are more important things in life than playing a football match.

That’s the kind of things which makes me proud to have Kenny back as LFC manager, and what I call genuine leadership and man-handling qualities. True, Bellamy was missed on the day, but I’m also convinced that Craig will be very grateful for Kenny’s gesture, and will want to repay him with good performances in the near future. The club will benefit from this generous decision in the medium and long run.”


Your Man of the Match

Who was your Man of the Match against Manchester City, vote in our live interactive poll below…

[poll id=”116″]


Melwood Today – Your quick round up of some of Liverpool’s essential and not-so-essential news every morning on ThisIsAnfield.com …


To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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