Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool: Player Ratings

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The Reds were knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsene Wenger’s side on Sunday, but came away with their heads held high after a good performance. Henry Jackson (@OnFootballTweet) rates each Liverpool player on the day.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 16, 2014: Liverpool's Joe Allen in action against Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini during the FA Cup 5th Round match at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Joe Allen in action against Arsenal‘s Mathieu Flamini. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

BRAD JONES – 6/10

There is something about Jones that doesn’t inspire confidence, but in fairness to the Australian he was solid throughout. At times his decision-making from crosses looked slightly shaky, but he made an excellent save from Mesut Ozil in the second-half.

JON FLANAGAN – 7

The 21-year-old impressed yet again, and really is becoming a reliable member of the first-team.

He was good defensively as always, but also showed an attacking side to his game not always associated with the academy graduate. There is absolutely no reason why Glen Johnson should replace him when he returns from injury.

MARTIN SKRTEL – 6

Skrtel has had a terrific season, but this was not his finest game. His distribution wasn’t as good as it has been, and his unconvincing clearance was lucky not to be punished by Santi Cazorla after the break.

DANIEL AGGER- 6

Although it was great to see the Dane back in the side in place of the erratic Kolo Toure, he wasn’t at his best. The 29-year-old was given a tough afternoon by youngster Yaya Sanogo, and appeared ruffled at times. Was predictably cultured on the ball, however.

ALY CISSOKHO – 6

The 26-year-old has done reasonably well in recent weeks, but is still far from the solution at left-back.

Defensively he was good, but he lacked quality going forward and was replaced by Jordan Henderson after 62 minutes. The return of Jose Enrique will be a big step up from the Frenchman.

STEVEN GERRARD – 8

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 16, 2014: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard scores the first goal against Arsenal from the penalty spot during the FA Cup 5th Round match at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The skipper seems to be growing into his new deep-lying playmaker’s role by the game, and he led by example with another terrific performance.

His range of passing was a joy to watch, he did plenty of good defensive work and scored the penalty that got the Reds back in the game. The 33-year-old was fortunate not to be sent-off for a second yellow card, however.

JOE ALLEN – 6

Allen was given the chance to impress after being chosen ahead of Henderson in the starting XI, but never really stamped his authority on the game.

The Welshman was always neat and tidy, and showed some nice touches, but in key areas he was often guilty of playing the easy ball rather than taking on the responsibility himself.

PHILIPPE COUTINHO – 6

The Brazilian maestro had a frustrating game. He produced some superb passes, particularly one for Sturridge with the score at 2-1, but was guilty of losing the ball and being caught in possession a few times.

The 21-year-old always looked a threat, but failed to hit the heights of his display in the 5-1 humiliation of Arsenal a week earlier.

RAHEEM STERLING – 9

Sterling was absolutely brilliant yet again, and was Liverpool’s best player without a shadow of a doubt.

The 19-year-old was a constant threat from start to finish, bamboozling the likes of Nacho Monreal and Carl Jenkinson with his pace and trickery throughout.

Rodgers deserves huge praise for instilling confidence in the youngster, who really does have a huge future ahead of him if he keeps this kind of form going.

LUIS SUAREZ – 6

Like a few of Liverpool’s attacking stars Suarez was not at his best, and cut a frustrated figure at times.

The tricks and flicks didn’t always come off, and he was denied a number of times by Lukasz Fabianski in the Arsenal goal. The Uruguayan only has one goal in six games which, for a player as special as him, represents a barren spell.

DANIEL STURRIDGE – 6

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 16, 2014: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge in action against Arsenal during the FA Cup 5th Round match at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 24-year-old has to take a fair chunk of the blame for the Reds not progressing to the quarter-finals, after an unusually sloppy day in front of goal.

He had several excellent chances to find the back of the net, but twice chose the wrong option in trying to go round Fabianski. He was clearly devastated by his performance at the final whistle, but will come back stronger than ever.

SUB: JORDAN HENDERSON – 6

Perhaps most telling was how Liverpool performed without Henderson, showing his importance to the Liverpool midfield.

Where do you agree/disagree? Who has been marked too high/too low?

 

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