Liverpool 4, West Ham United 1
Anfield, Liverpool (Att: 44,781)
Liverpool scorers: Demel (42 OG), Sakho (47), Suárez (81), O’Brien (84 OG)
Simon Mignolet – 6.5
Was relatively untroubled in terms of shots other than one excellent reflex save from a Maiga header. Distribution was hit and miss with his feet, but looked dangerous when throwing to start counter attacks.
Glen Johnson – 6.5
Can still be wasteful at times but provided one pinpoint cross for Suarez’s header. Offered lots of width on the right and made some good overlapping runs, spending most of his time in attacking positions.
Martin Skrtel – 6.5
Looked strong and dominant in the air and seemed to strike up a good partnership with Sakho. Was unlucky to concede an own goal, but could have some claim to the goal which has been given to Sakho. It was a goal which defined their joint effort throughout the game.
Mamadou Sakho – 7.5
An excellent performance from the French defender on his much anticipated return to the starting XI. Was as dominant as Skrtel in the air, and also played the ball out from the back expertly. He was even clearing out his own team-mates to win aerial duels! Has always looked a danger from set pieces, and today he netted from one, continuing his goal scoring feats from France’s World Cup play-off.
Jon Flanagan – 5.5
Did a steady job at left back. Showed glimpses of promise with the ball and looked to get forward slightly more than usual. However he was still sloppy with some of his passing in tight areas and lost the ball on a couple of occasions.
Steven Gerrard – 7
Sprayed passes long and short, brought team-mates into play, and gave the younger players a good rollicking when required. Still a creative force in midfield in open play, and also useful at defending – once he gets back into position. A real captains performance, and the side missed him when he departed on 56 mins.
Joe Allen – 7
A composed performance in the heart of midfield. Keeps things ticking over with his short passing and movement, and showed more physicality in both attack and defence which had been previously missing from his game. Even after the “Everton miss”, he had the confidence to go forwards and try things in the final third, completing a couple of through balls and even managing a shot.
Jordan Henderson – 6.5
Improving game on game, and is only a final ball or a few goals away from being a real star player for the side. Showed great energy right the way up until the ninetieth minute, and is technically sound and comfortable in possession.
Raheem Sterling – 5.5
Made some great runs and got on the end of some inviting passes from his team-mates but failed to supply an end product. Was through on goal on a couple of occasions but couldn’t capitalise, and needs to be more decisive when looking for a team-mate in the final third.
Luis Suarez – 7.5
On another day he could have had four… Another all action performance, but this time he couldn’t quite find the touch of magic to finish his chances. Came out on top (just) in his battle with James Collins which was one of the highlights of the game when it came to personal duels.
Philippe Coutinho – 7
A constant outlet for Liverpool during all phases of the play. Will drop very deep when required and will make runs in behind should the opportunity arise, each time keeping possession and creating space for others. Couldn’t quite find the killer ball today, but still one of the most important cogs in the machine.
Lucas Leiva – 5.5
(Gerrard 56) Was dispossessed not long after coming on after carelessly dallying with the ball. West Ham’s Subsequent possession lead to their goal. Didn’t seem to slot in to the system as well as he does when he starts the game, but made a couple of good interceptions.
Victor Moses – 5.5
(Sterling 72) Looks out of place at times in a team full of great passers, but offers a directness which gives the opposition defenders something else to think about. Misplaced some simple passes.
Martin Kelly – N/A