AFC Wimbledon 1, Liverpool 2
Cherry Red Records Stadium, Kingston upon Thames, London (4,784)
Liverpool scorer: Gerrard 12′, 62′
Wimbledon scorer: Akinfenwa 36′
Simon Mignolet – 6
Made a great save to deny Wimbledon in the first half, reacting well to a close range shot to tip the ball over the bar. However, he was at fault for the first Wimbledon goal as he came for a corner and got nowhere near it, though he might have been being fouled by Akinfenwa. Made a vital tackle in stoppage time, preventing a late Wimbledon chance.
Emre Can – 5.5
Wasteful in possession at the start, and struggled with a few of his defensive duties. Grew into the game and was steady enough in the second half.
Martin Skrtel – 6
Blocked a cross in the first half that would almost certainly had led to a goal had he not reached it, but missed an interception later in the half which almost led to a goal.
Mamadou Sakho – 6.5
Played an excellent cross-field pass to Manquillo early in the first half, and had to do plenty of defending against a dogged Wimbledon attack.
Javier Manquillo – 6.5
Victim of a bad challenge on his ankle early on, but went on to cross for Steven Gerrard to score the opener shortly after.
Lucas Leiva – 6
Jordan Henderson – 6.5
Tidy in possession, and his touch seemed to have improved on recent games. More comfortable back in central midfield.
Lazar Markovic – 6.5
Direct running from early on, but not very tidy when dribbling. Always an outlet, always going forward, and his passing in tight areas was generally good. Moved across from left to right wing-back when José Enrique came on.
Steven Gerrard – 8
Played a good one-two with Manquillo, getting on the end on his team-mate’s cross to head home the first goal of the game. Was out of the game for long periods after his first goal, but popped up again with a brilliant free kick to give Liverpool the lead for the second time. Set up chances for Lambert and Coutinho in the second half, from which they should have scored, and made some good forward runs.
Philippe Coutinho – 6
Grew into the game after a poor start, and was full of invention and go-forward by the closing stages when Wimbledon tired.
Rickie Lambert – 5.5
His hold up play was inconsistent, and the link up play with runners around him wasn’t as regular as it should be. Should have scored from a chance created for him by Gerrard.
José Enrique – 6
(Manquillo 71′) Came on at left wing-back.
Mario Balotelli – 6
(Lambert 79′) His hold-up play was better than Lambert’s, and looks more dangerous with the ball at his feet.
Kolo Touré – N/A