With five Liverpool players involved in England’s 1-2 loss to Italy last night, Jack Lusby rates the performances of the Three Lions’ Reds.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 15, 2014
An encouraging, yet ultimately disappointing performance by Roy Hodgson’s England side in last night’s 1-2 loss to Italy in the World Cup will at least leave Three Lions fans feeling optimistic before their final two games of the group stages.
Goals from Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli sandwiched a Daniel Sturridge strike to consign England to defeat.
Roy Hodgson’s squad selection was in places bold, but in others decidedly conservative, with a jaded Wayne Rooney standing out as a poor choice.
Overall, in defeat, how did Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool players fare for England last night?
Glen Johnson – 6 (out of 10)
The right-back has been in poor form for both club and country of late, but this performance will go some way to restoring Glen Johnson’s reputation; solid but unspectacular.
The 29-year-old was determined to support England’s attacking sector, with some fine runs down the right flank, but was unable to create anything of true merit.
As Hodgson’s only established right-back option at the World Cup, Johnson will need to continue to perform capably if England are to advance.
Steven Gerrard – 6
— LFC Photo (@LFCphoto) June 15, 2014
Captaining the side in the regista role, Steven Gerrard—like Johnson—kept things simple, performing without setting the world on fire.
Lining up against his positional cornerstone, Andrea Pirlo, Gerrard’s contribution was always likely to be overshadowed by the enviably-bearded Italian, but performed admirably throughout.
Particularly encouraging is the 34-year-old’s understanding with central defensive partnership Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka, which is vital in the Liverpool man’s new role.
Jordan Henderson – 7
Henderson & Sturridge celebrating. pic.twitter.com/SnG99NhLGd
— Steven Gerrard (@Gerrard8FanPage) June 15, 2014
Alongside his club captain, Gerrard, the 23-year-old gave the Italians a difficult time in the midfield, with his harrying and pressing going to some length to stemming the playmaking abilities of Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi.
Replace by a completely ineffective Jack Wilshere on 73 minutes, this performance should confirm to Hodgson that the Liverpool man is now miles ahead of his competition at the heart of the midfield.
Raheem Sterling – 8 (Man of the Match)
The single most encouraging aspect of this defeat was the performance of Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling in the No. 10 role.
Following much speculation prior to kick-off, regarding the perceived importance of Rooney and the training performances of Sterling, it was confirmed that the 19-year-old would start in the focal midfield role, and the midfielder impressed hugely.
Every attack seemed to go through the diminutive youngster, and Sterling even almost gave the Three Lions the perfect start with a long-range strike just missing the target.
With Rooney’s contribution slight, Sterling should continue filling this role throughout the tournament.
Daniel Sturridge – 7
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 15, 2014
Leading the line in his first World Cup, Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge continued his red hot club form for the Three Lions in Manaus.
Scoring the equalising goal on 37 minutes, Sturridge looked every bit the part in an England shirt, and will surely continue this clinical form throughout the World Cup.
The England striker was one of the most dangerous players on the night, winning two out of two attempted take ons, as per Squawka.
Subbed late on for the ineffective Adam Lallana, Sturridge has proved himself an adept performer at the vital moments.
Do you agree with our ratings? Who was your man of the match? Let us know in the comments below.