Following Liverpool’s embarrassing League Cup performance against League Two Carlisle, Ben Twelves rates the Reds performers on an appalling night at Anfield.
Liverpool 1–1 Carlisle, 3-2 on penalties.
League Cup Third Round – Anfield – Wednesday 23rd September
Adam Bogdan (out of 10) – 6
Had very little to do on a night he was called on to make two saves in normal and extra-time, but failed to make one for Carlisle’s equaliser, getting beaten far too easily at his near post which he will be disappointed with.
Certainly redeemed himself in the shoot-out though with three penalty saves.
Nathaniel Clyne – 4.5
It was a disappointingly poor game for the 24-year-old in his right wing-back role where he was sloppy in possession and offered next to no attacking threat.
Solid enough defensively though was rarely tested but clearly struggling with the change of role.
Martin Skrtel – 4
The Slovakian was largely untroubled as part of the back three, but when needed to do his job, he failed to do so, backing off way too far for Carlisle’s goal, failing to make a challenge and letting his runner peel off far too easily.
A dreadful 30-yard strike that landed in the Kop summed up his night.
Dejan Lovren – 4
The Croatian had little defending to do but didn’t cover himself in glory for the visitors’ equaliser, coming out of the backline, completely missing the challenge, and allowing his marker to step round him with ease and slot the ball into the space he vacated for Asamoah to score.
Suffered what looked a nasty injury which will hopefully not be too serious.
Alberto Moreno – 5
Moreno has been in good form recently, but turned in a disappointing overall display against the League Two side after an encouraging first half.
The natural left back supported play well from his wing-back role, but left Lovren exposed down the left side on occasion including for Asamoah’s leveller as he was caught too far wide.
His distribution, in particular his final pass and crossing, was wasteful throughout.
Joe Allen – 5.5
Playing just over an hour on his return to the side from injury, the Welshman was typically tidy in possession and orchestrated play well for the duration he was on, as he tried to provide a link between midfield and attack. A plus that he is back and available again.
Emre Can – 4.5
Like Skrtel and Lovren, the German had little to deal with in the back three but dealt with what came his way effortlessly. Tried his best to instigate some kind of attacking play, driving with the ball from the back, but lacked quality with his passing before resorting to long shots which failed to trouble.
Scored a great panenka penalty in the shoot-out.
James Milner – 3.5
It was another really poor display from the vice-captain in his central midfield role, where he got through plenty of work and supported well, but severely lacked quality with his touch and passing, as he gave the ball away constantly and cheaply.
Question marks continue to rise over his suitability to a central position.
Roberto Firmino – 5.5
The Brazilian started very brightly, looking sharp and firing a couple of powerful, early strikes at goal, before picking up an injury from which he never recovered, resulting in his withdrawal deep into the first 45.
Will hopefully be fit for the weekend.
Adam Lallana – 5
Lallana was one of Liverpool’s brighter performers on the night, claiming an excellent assist for Danny Ings’ opener with some excellent movement and a great cross which the striker headed home.
The 27-year-old didn’t produce anywhere near enough thereafter though and ended up going missing, as all too often, lacking any real attacking threat and quality for the remainder of the match.
Danny Ings – 7
Ings was the Reds’ stand out performer by far, notching his second in as many games.
He was a constant threat, looked sharp, creative and intelligent in his movement and all round game, though will be disappointed he didn’t score more than once. The only positive on an embarrassing evening.
Divock Origi (on for Firmino 38th) – 4
Replacing the injured Firmino, Origi struggled to impose himself on the game with his touch deserting him more often than not and though he fired a number of shots at goal, he never looked convincing in his play. Lots of work to do for the young striker.
Philippe Coutinho (on for Allen 64th) – 4
The Brazilian was Rodgers’ go-to man, but it was a really poor night for Coutinho after coming off the bench.
Frustratingly shot from everywhere he possibly could and failed to trouble the Carlisle stopper, apart from forcing him into a save once. His weak spot-kick that was easily saved summed up his night. Becoming a very predictable player, which is frustrating to see – perhaps feeling the weight of pressure on him?
Jordon Ibe (on for Clyne 85th) – 4.5
The youngster tried to be the man to create the match-winning moment, but ultimately failed in an uninspiring half hour display.
Ran up blind alleys too often and was wasteful in possession, continuing his struggling start to the new campaign.
Brendan Rodgers – 3
It was a strong team selection from the Liverpool boss, one that provided a real indication of the pressure he is feeling currently, but it was one that he completely failed to inspire with a dreadful display ensuing.
Those picked from the start were sluggish as were those tasked with rescuing the game from the bench, and after watching such an awful performance – which resulted in Rodgers being unable to withdraw first choice starters for an early night ahead of Saturday – and being taken all the way to penalties by a League Two side, he looks like a dead man walking.
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