An emotional night at Anfield ended with United’s first victory at the ground for over 5 years, with Liverpool the better team for most parts despite being down to 10 men. Here are the player ratings for the game:
Reina – 6: Couldn’t do much about the two goals, though got a hand to RVP’s spot kick. Didnt have much to do otherwise.
Kelly – 7: Got forward well and missed a good chance late in the match. Kept Nani at bay in the 1st half.
Agger – 7 (subbed at 80′): Never really troubled by any of United’s front men and was typically in control of the game. Unfortunate injury late in the game, had to be stretchered off.
Skrtel – 7: Won the aerial battles and was never really troubled by RVP or Kagawa.
Johnson – 5: To be blamed for Man Utd’s second goal, first losing the ball to Valencia and putting in a poor tackle to give away the penalty. Had a solid game in attack, not allowing Valencia to venture too far forward.
Allen – 7: Lively throughout the game, with his crisp movement causing United trouble.
Gerrard – 9: Man of the match. Typical Gerrard performance you’d expect in a game against Manchester United. Great energy, and a wonderful volley to score a well deserved goal with only 10 men on the pitch.
Shelvey -3: Flop of the match. Unnecessary poor tackle when Liverpool had United by the scruff of the neck. Self-destruction that brought United back into the game.
Borini – 5 (subbed at 45′): Bemusing Rodgers chose to let Carroll go for Borini. Unconvincing against top teams and he is definitely not the answer for Liverpool’s goal drought.
Suarez – 7: Typical Suarez game. Lots of tricky runs but not great as a goal threat. Gave Ferdinand and Evans a torrid time with his attacks.
Sterling – 8 (subbed at 66′): A sterling performance once again that defies his age. Great with the ball, with a much better end product than Walcott or Oxlade-Chamberlain. Must get an England call-up.
Suso – 6 (on at 45′): Lively throughout, if only he could add an end-product to his good runs.
Henderson – 5 (on at 66′): Anonymous again. Doesn’t seem good enough to play for a top club yet.
Carragher – 5 (on at 80′): A pat on the back from Sir Alex says a lot about the respect he is held at by rival clubs. Came on for Agger and gave a decent display.
Lindegaard – 6: Made some decent saves but had no chance with Gerrard’s goal. Distribution was better.
Rafael – 7 (subbed at 89′): Great going forward and took the goal really well. Defensively still looks suspect.
Ferdinand – 6: Difficult game, especially with Suarez doing his mazy runs. Won most of the headers and gave a solid display.
Evans – 5: Could easily have been sent off instead of Shelvey. Continued to make poor challenges throughout the game. Smalling and Jones may eventually pip Evans for the starting birth.
Evra – 5: Still unconvincing defensively. Made a few decent runs but nothing much came of it. Buttner on first XI for me.
Valencia – 5: As poor as Nani in the last two games, but seems to get away with it. Wears the No 7 jersey but way too short in class in comparison with his much celebrated predecessors Ronaldo and Beckham. Must add more variety to his game.
Carrick – 6: Not too sparkling but a decent outing. Over run in midfield by Allen and Gerrard but didnt get much support from his other midfield partners.
Giggs – 6: Better when he turned to the wings. Comfortably out done at midfield by Shelvey, Gerrard and Allen. Grew into the game in the 2nd half.
Nani – 5 (subbed at 45′): Disappointing night again. Would fear if SAF is losing patience in him. Should try him on the right wing to see how he does in the future games.
Kagawa – 5 (subbed at 81′): Gets a lot of appreciation but still unconvincing for me. Cazorla, Hazard and Michu all look to have adapted faster than the Japanese. Needs to gel with RVP soon.
Robin Van Persie – 5: Hardly ever in the game. First touch still eluding. Took the penalty so well to break the jinx.
Scholes – 6 (on at 45′): Was brought on to control possession. Struggled early in the 2nd half, but grew into the game. Worrying for United fans that they still need to turn to him for every big game.
Hernandez – 6 (on at 45′): Stretched Liverpool’s defence when he came on for the last 15 minutes. Nice touches.
Welbeck – 5 (on at 89′): Not enough time to have an impact.