Liverpool were eliminated from the Europa League on Thursday, succumbing to Besiktas in a nail-biting penalty shootout. We assess each Reds player on the night.
Besiktas 1-0 Liverpool
(Besiktas win 5-4 on penalties)
Europa League, Last 32, Second Leg
Ataturk Stadium, Istanbul, Thursday 26th February 2015
SIMON MIGNOLET (out of 10)- 7
While other Liverpool players were well below their best on the night, Mignolet once again produced a good performance.
The 26-year-old made several decent saves, and his confidence when it came to collecting crosses in a cauldron of noise was very impressive. His unlikely resurrection continues.
KOLO TOURE- 6.5
Toure was solid from start to finish, reading the game well in general and making some vital clearances as Besiktas got on top.
His experience was key as the Reds came more and more under the cosh, but in the end his efforts proved to be in vain. A pleasing return to the side for the likeable 33-year-old.
MARTIN SKRTEL- 7
The Slovakian has come on leaps and bounds in the last few months, having been so out of form before the turn of the year, and he was one of Liverpool’s better players again at the Ataturk Stadium.
Aerially the 30-year-old was dominant, and he made a vital interception to deny Demba Ba in the first-half. Like Mignolet, his form remains a plus point right now.
DEJAN LOVREN- 5
Just when Lovren thought his Liverpool career couldn’t get any worse, he ends up being the villain on the night.
The former Southampton man missed the decisive penalty in the shootout, and his overall performance was disappointing in general. Twice he produced poor cross-field passes that put his teammates in trouble, and his all-round game looked shaky.
JOE ALLEN- 6.5
Allen was terrific in the first-half, reading the game well, using the ball intelligently and pressing the Besiktas midfield.
His game dipped from the second-half onwards, however, with loose passing and weariness creeping into his game. His effort could not be questioned though, and he scored his penalty.
EMRE CAN- 6.5
Like Allen, Can’s performance got worse as the match went on. His box-to-box style was there for all to see at times, but he tired hugely late in proceedings and his passing became erratic.
Although he and Allen started to get overrun, the 20-year-old was still impressive on the whole, scoring a nerveless spot-kick too.
ALBERTO MORENO- 7
The young Spaniard has been much-improved in recent weeks, and he was one of the few Reds players who could feel happy with their display.
Defensively he was good, making a few vital interceptions and showing blistering pace, and he got forward well numerous times in the first-half. He is becoming a very solid player for Liverpool.
JORDON IBE- 5.5
The 19-year-old didn’t have his most memorable game since returning from his loan spell at Derby, and was mainly playing as a right-back most of the time.
He struggled to get forward and display his blistering pace and power, which was a real disappointment.
RAHEEM STERLING- 4
Sterling produced an absolutely terrible performance from start to finish; arguably one of his worst ever in a Liverpool shirt.
The 20-year-old’s touch and movement was woeful throughout, but the most alarming part of his game was his sulky, almost disinterested attitude. Is all this speculation over his future affecting him? And why did he opt out of taking a penalty?
MARIO BALOTELLI- 6
As usual, there were those in the media willing to criticise Balotelli whatever he did, but his performance was actually fairly impressive.
His touch evaded him a few times, but his hold-up play was excellent and he worked far harder than Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. He looked livid to be substituted in the second-half, and rightly so to be fair.
DANIEL STURRIDGE- 4
Along with Sterling, Sturridge was pitiful against Slaven Bilic’s side. The 25-year-old offered little in terms of movement and work-rate, and he was far too greedy in possession a number of times.
In fairness, it’s understandable that he is still very rusty, having missed five months through injury, but he was still desperately disappointing.
JAVIER MANQUILLO (on for Ibe ’77)- 6
Manquillo was his typical self; solid but unspectacular. He offered extra legs and defensive cover, but rarely got forward.
ADAM LALLANA (on for Balotelli ’82)- 6.5
The Englishman offered a little bit extra when he came on, but every little dribble or flick he attempted didn’t quite come off. Scored his penalty.
RICKIE LAMBERT (on for Sturridge ‘105)- 5.5
The 32-year-old looked a bit cumbersome, but thundered home his side’s first penalty.
Rodgers' Euro record (excluding qualifiers): W6 D3 L7 F20 A22
I'm a Rodgers fan, but that's a ropey record.
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 26, 2015
BRENDAN RODGERS- 4.5
Rodgers doesn’t have a great record in Europe, and he was shown up tactically again in Turkey. Lallana was introduced far too late in the game, with legs tiring and the midfield in desperate need of reinformcents, and substituting Balotelli instead of Sturridge was the wrong decision too.
Quite why he decided to choose Lovren as his fifth penalty taker is baffling as well. A bad night for the Reds boss.
Referee- DAMIR SKOMINA- 6
The Slovenian was very whistle-happy at times, which failed to let the game flow, but in truth he didn’t make any terrible decisions. Correctly booked Can for diving in extra-time.
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