Liverpool edged a tense clash with Southampton, as Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge fired the Reds to victory. Henry Jackson assesses each Reds star on the day. Where do you agree and disagree?
Liverpool 2-1 Southampton
Premier League, Sunday 17th August 2014
SIMON MIGNOLET- 7 (out of 10)
The 26-year-old looked a little shaky in the first-half- admittedly the wind was tough to deal with- but he improved greatly after the break, and made a fantastic save to deny Morgan Schneiderlin late on.
JAVIER MANQUILLO- 6
The young debutant enjoyed a solid first competitive game for the club, and is sure to grow in stature by the week.
The 20-year-old was reliable defensively, but could have offered more going forward rather than turning back every time.
MARTIN SKRTEL- 7
The Slovakian was dependable all afternoon, and although his centre-back partner Dejan Lovren was slightly better, his reading of the game and leadership were good throughout.
DEJAN LOVREN- 8
Lovren enjoyed a superb Premier League debut for the Reds, oozing class on the ball and bringing an air of calm to the defence that was lacking last season.
The 25-year-old looks a terrific acquisition.
GLEN JOHNSON- 4
It might be a new season, but it was very much a case of same old Johnson.
The 29-year-old was slow on the ball, poor defensively and generally looked a weak link. The appearance of Alberto Moreno in a Reds shirt can’t come soon enough.
Glen Johnson and Lucas Leiva didn't win a single tackle between them for Liverpool against Southampton today. #LFC
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 17, 2014
LUCAS LEIVA- 4
Lucas was extremely poor, on a day when he had the chance to impress Rodgers.
The Brazilian offered nothing in terms of creativity, lost the ball in key areas and was partly at fault for Southampton‘s goal. Not good enough.
STEVEN GERRARD- 6
It was far from the skipper’s most influential performance, but he showed constant endeavour and made a number of good defensive interceptions.
His passing range was a little off, and he looked a little leggy, but the 34-year-old will only improve in the coming weeks.
JORDAN HENDERSON- 7
The 24-year-old grew in stature as the game went on, and while others around him began to tire his energy was key.
His passing was neat and tidy, and although he’s played better over the last year or two, he was still one of Liverpool’s standout players. Superb pass to set up Sterling for the opener too.
PHILIPPE COUTINHO- 5
The diminutive Brazilian has been wonderful in pre-season, but he was well below his brilliant best against the Saints.
The 22-year-old was starved of space throughout, and he appeared to be trying too hard to produce the killer ball at times.
RAHEEM STERLING- 8
Sterling was Liverpool’s best player on the day- Lovren pushed him close- offering a constant threat that others around him didn’t.
The 19-year-old took his goal expertly, before setting up Daniel Sturridge for the winner. He has become a vital player at the club.
DANIEL STURRIDGE- 7
Sturridge wasn’t at his best all afternoon, but like Stoke on the opening weekend last season, he proved to be the match-winner in a tight contest.
The 24-year-old lost the ball too easily at times, but his well-taken winner from close-range proved to be the difference between the two sides.
JOE ALLEN (on for Lucas 62)- 6
Although the Welshman was far from spectacular when he came on, he offered much more movement and creativity than the disappointing Lucas.
RICKIE LAMBERT (on for Coutinho 76)- 6
The 32-year-old’s physical presence offered Liverpool something they’ve lacked for a while, and his arrival on the pitch gave Southampton‘s defenders something different to think about.
Let us know who your Man of the Match was in the comments section below.