L’pool v Man C ratings: Unlikely Reds hero; Sterling frustrates

Date published: Saturday 31st December 2016 7:22

Raheem Sterling: Disappointed on Anfield return

The last Premier League game of 2016 saw Liverpool edge out Man City with a 1-0 victory, and there was an unlikely name that impressed most.

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet:No glaring errors and was largely untested by an unusually quiet Man City attack 6

Nathaniel Clyne: Became more of an attacking threat in the second half. However, his radar was a little off 6

Dejan Lovren: Certainly the quieter of the two Liverpool centre-backs and was overshadowed by his partner as a result 6

Ragnar Klavan: Had to be very careful having been shown an early yellow, but was absolutely rock-solid at the back in the absence of Joel Matip. The perfect stand-in 8.5

James Milner: Arguably the best left-back in the Premier League on current form. Had Raheem Sterling exactly where he wanted him all game and played a stunning pass to Roberto Firmino 7.5

Jordan Henderson: Quietly went about his business and protected his back four well before picking up an injury just after the hour mark 6

Georginio Wijnaldum: Arrived in the box at precisely the right time to power home an unstoppable header and then made a valauble contribution in defending the lead 7

Emre Can: Came into the side to give Liverpool more balance in midfield and it worked a treat 7

Adam Lallana: Asked to play wide left in a minor tweak by Klopp but was still a real handful. Stunning cross for Wijnaldum’s opener 8

Sadio Mane: Energetic performance and worked hard for the team, yet he was not much of an attacking threat 6

Roberto Firmino: Plenty of intelligent movement between central defenders but really should have done better with Milner’s stunning pass 6

Substitutes

Divock Origi (for Henderson, 63′): Could have made an instant impact if he wasn’t cruelly ignored for a one-on-one opportunity shortly after coming on 5

Lucas(for Mane, 89′): Given a few minutes on what could be his last appearance for Liverpool 5

MANCHESTER CITY

Claudio Bravo: Could do absolutely nothing about Wijnaldum’s header but still question marks remain over whether he should be Man City’s long-term No.1 5

Pablo Zabaleta: Simply not the full-back he once was and it showed this evening 5

John Stones: Still looks like an accident waiting to happen and is not commanding the defence in Vincent Kompany’s absence 5

Nicolas Otamendi: Struggling to form a strong partnership with Stones and there was a worrying gaps between the two throughout 5

Aleksandar Kolarov: The usual erratic display for the Serb. His sloppy pass led to Liverpool slicing open Man City with a brutal counter-attacking goal 4

Yaya Toure: The game completely passed him by with his slow, ponderous play. It is simply asking too much of him to play in a midfield two 4

Fernandinho: Had to take on a lot of the responsibility playing alongside Yaya Toure but was prone to the odd mistake himself 5

Raheem Sterling: Given a, erm, warm welcome by the Liverpool fans. Failed to use his pace effectively against Milner on a very frustrating return for the winger 5

David Silva: Became slightly more dangerous when he switched to the number 10 role after half time, but was still way below his best 5

Kevin de Bruyne: Even swapping places with Silva did little to help the Belgian make a decent contribution to the game 5

Sergio Aguero: Back after a four-match ban but it was very difficult to actually spot him. Very quiet and largely isolated 4

Substitutes:

Jesus Navas (replaced Zabaleta 85′) Came on too late to make an impact 5

Kelechi Iheanacho (replaced Toure 87′) The same can also be said of the promising striker 5

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