Liverpool 3, Exeter City 0
Anfield, Liverpool (43,292)
Liverpool scorers: Allen 10′, Ojo 74′, J. Teixeira 82′
Simon Mignolet – 6.5
Didn’t have anything to do but gets a .5 on top of the average 6 for wirking with Tiago Ilori to help organise an inexperienced back line.
Connor Randall – 6
Grew with confidence as the game went on, and made some good forays into the opposition half just before he was brought off early in the second half.
Tiago Ilori – 7
Was in charge of controlling the defensive line, occasionally reminding José Enrique to maintain his position alongside him and not switch off. Looked good on the ball and showed glimpses that he could be useful for the first team.
José Enrique – 6
A left-field choice for captain on a night when he was relatively untested.
Brad Smith – 7
The Australian seems to improve each time he puts on the red shirt. Assisted the opening goal for Joe Allen with a neat cut-back from the byline, and his speed helps him recover from any defensive errors. Not that he makes too many. Should be competing with Alberto Moreno for a first team place if he keeps this up.
Cameron Brannagan – 7
Slotted into the side seamlessly. This would go down as a good midfield performance for any of Liverpool’s senior players, but is all the more impressive given Brannagan’s relative inexperience at first team level.
Kevin Stewart – 6
Gave the ball away a few times but also broke up opposition play at vital times to help protect the defence.
Joe Allen – 7.5
Ran the midfield alongside his midfield partner Branagan, and stepped up as the senior player in an inexperienced side to score a goal and settle the nerves early on. Slotted home from six yards having made a good run into the box to get on the end of Smith’s cross.
Jordon Ibe – 7
A constant threat to Exeter down the right, showing everything which is good about his game in a display which fans would like to see more regularly in the league.
Joao Teixeira – 6.5
Shows fleeting glimpses of his excellent technical ability, and is very similar in style to Coutinho, which could be both good and bad for the 23-year-old as he pushes for a first team place. Scores with a calmly taken finish in the last ten minutes of the game.
Christian Benteke – 5.5
Plays a part in two of the goals: a through ball for Smith in the build up to the first, and an assist for Teixeira towards the end. However, he had numerous chances to score, none of which he took, and everyone in Anfield seemed to know when he should be attacking the six yard box, except himself.
Jon Flanagan – 6.5
(Randall 51′) Showed encouraging signs on his comeback from a long injury lay-off. Offered a more experienced defensive option at right back.
Sheji Ojo – 7.5
(Allen 65′) Scored a memorable left-footed curler at the Kop end to double his side’s lead. Took time to settle himself before looping the ball over and around a stranded Olejnik in the Exeter goal, and into the top left corner of the net.
Pedro Chirivella – N/A