Liverpool 1, Crystal Palace 3 – LFC Player Ratings & Tactics

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Liverpool 1, Crystal Palace 3
Anfield, Liverpool (44,673)
Liverpool scorer: Lallana 26′
Crystal Palace scorers: Puncheon 43′, Zaha 60′, Murray 90′

Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet – 6
Repeatedly let down by those in front of him, not least after saving a penalty at the end and none of his team-mates followed up for the rebound. Should have done better for the free-kick goal scored by Puncheon, which went in easily on the side the Belgian should have had covered.

Emre Can – 6
Tried, looked bothered, and perhaps should have had a more central role. Gave away the free kick which led to the first Palace goal.

Martin Skrtel – 4.5
His poor performance was only overshadowed by that of his centre back partner. Makes some bad decisions under high balls, and doesn’t display the nous a 30-year-old defender should.

Dejan Lovren – 4
Repeatedly embarrassed by the Crystal Palace attack. His decision making was off, and the mistakes were reminiscent of his lack of form early in the season.

Alberto Moreno – 5.5

Steven Gerrard – 6
Bowed out at Anfield in a game not befitting the desire and class he’s shown during his time here. A desire he showed again today to no avail. After 17 years you’d have thought a manager would know not to play him in a double pivot. Moved forward later in the game and looked lively, but couldn’t quite link up with his attacking team-mates to get his farewell goal.

Jordan Henderson – 5
Lots of the play went through him, but the passes weren’t incisive or quick enough to break Crystal Palace down. Could be pioneering a new midfield role called no-mans land.

Jordon Ibe – 6.5
One of Liverpool’s bright sparks on the day. Lacked some end product, but at least he had a beginning. Unlucky to be brought off in the second half.

Philippe Coutinho – 6
Still one of the better players on an off day. Was the only one of today’s team, other than Gerrard, to get an ovation during the lap of, erm, honour.

Adam Lallana – 6
Scored a nice goal after a Palace mistake at the back, with his finish getting a deflection to take it over Wayne Hennessey.

Raheem Sterling – 5
Struggles to beat the last man, and has no power whatsoever in his shots. Gets in good positions but needs to do more once there. Some sloppy play affected his confidence at key moments.

Substitutes

Rickie Lambért – N/A
(Ibe 65′)

Lucas Leiva – N/A
(Lallana 65′) Gave away a penalty in the dying minutes of the game, but the foul was outside the box.

Jerome Sinclair – N/A
(Moreno 87′)

Tactics

Liverpool started the game in a formation which was a hybrid of some of those used this season. It was more a case of giving players individual roles than saying to the team – this is the formation.

Emre Can played as a right centre back / right-back / midfielder, with Skrtel a central sweeper and Lovren apparently not knowing what he was doing slightly to the left of him.

Alberto Moreno bombed forward down the left, but would occasionally become a traditional left-back, giving Liverpool a back four.

When Moreno went forward, Henderson would cover his  position whilst the play was being built up from the back, before venturing further forward himself once the ball was in the final third.

Coutinho played ahead of Henderson, and behind Sterling on the left, and much of the play went down this side.

This left Jordon Ibe in space on the right wing, but he was also asked to cover back when the opposition were in the final third, forming a back five.

Sterling and Lallana played as a front two from the right and left respectively. It was almost like the team had two false nines.

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The second half saw the team switch to a standard 4-3-3, with Gerrard deepest, and Henderson and Coutinho ahead of him. Lallana played from the left with Ibe on the right and Sterling through the middle.

Emre Can shifted to right-back with Moreno becoming a more orthodox left-back.

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Lucas and Lambert entered the fray on 65 minutes, which saw Gerrard move forward behind the striker, and Henderson drop deeper with Lucas.

Coutinho played out on the right but drifted inside, and Sterling performed a similar role from the left.

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