13 ديسمبر 2009 ~ 1 تعليق

Player Ratings: Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

LIVERPOOL

Pepe Reina – 7 – Was relatively untroubled, considering the opposition. Beaten by his own man, Johnson, for Arsenal’s equaliser, and by a rocket from Arshavin, the Spaniard otherwise commanded his box and distributed well.

Glen Johnson – 6 – Unfortunate to steer past his own ‘keeper for Arsenal’s leveller, the former Portsmouth man had otherwise been solid in stifling the threat of Nasri, and had caused problems for Traore going the other way.

Jamie Carragher – 6.5 – One early block on Walcott set the tone, as Mr Reliable turned in another steady shift at the heart of the Reds defence. Was unfortunate that his touches twice fell unkindly in the box for Arsenal’s goals, and struggled at times when Liverpool needed to build from the back.

Daniel Agger – 7 – Covered well, and used the ball intelligently from the back.

Fabio Aurelio – 6.5 – Preferred to Insua, the Brazilian enjoyed a good first half, in which his passing and positioning shone. Will be disappointed that both Arsenal’s goals came down his flank though.

Lucas Leiva – 6.5 – Started the game superbly, winning tackles and keeping the ball. Faded slightly in the second half but more than held his own in a fierce midfield battle with Fabregas and co.

Javier Mascherano – 7 – Overcame a nasty early knock to help the Reds compete with Arsenal’s neat and tidy midfield trio. His tackling had the Anfield crowd in raptures at times. Was sacrificed for Aquilani as Liverpool chased the game.

Dirk Kuyt – 7 – Picked up a typical poacher’s goal to open the scoring, and his tireless work complemented Gerrard’s drive and Torres’ class well.

Steven Gerrard – 6 – Buoyed by the return of his partner-in-crime Torres, Liverpool’s skipper was denied a penalty in the first half after a tumble in the box, but produced a much-improved display.

Yossi Benayoun – 6 – His ability to create space was vital to Liverpool, and he rarely wasted a pass. Did not threaten goal as much as he would have liked.

Fernando Torres – 7 – Missed a great early chance, but his return to the starting eleven is a godsend for Rafa Benitez and Liverpool. Made things happen, and never gave Arsenal’s defence a moment’s rest.

SUBSTITUTES

Alberto Aquilani – 6 – Given around half an hour as Liverpool chased the game, but had little impact.

David Ngog – N/A – On late for Benayoun.

Philipp Degen – N/A – Late introduction for Johnson.

ARSENAL

Manuel Almunia – 5 – Culpable for Liverpool’s goal, the Spaniard flapped at a number of crosses, and looks a weak link in Arsenal’s side.

Bacary Sagna – 7 – Got forward well and coped with Benayoun’s trickery with maturity.

William Gallas – 7 – Hampered by a groin injury, Arsenal’s skipper was lucky not to concede a penalty after diving in on Gerrard in the first half, but was otherwise assured.

Thomas Vermaelen – 8.5 – The cultured Belgian looked a class act. Dominant aerially and composed on the ground, this was a very good display.

Armand Traore – 6.5 – Given a tough time by Johnson and Kuyt in the first half, the youngster reacted superbly to put in a stellar second half display.

Denilson – 7 – Took a while to get going, in which time he picked up a booking for a studs-up tackle on Mascherano, but once he settled down he was instrumental as Arsenal fought back.

Alex Song – 6.5 – Used the ball less effectively than those around him, but offered a vital presence, and picked up plenty of loose balls in midfield.

Samir Nasri – 7 – Looked neat and tidy on the ball, and it was his driving run that created the Gunners’ equaliser.

Cesc Fabregas – 7 – Not at his most spectacular, but effective nonetheless with his simple passing.

Theo Walcott – 6 – A surprise inclusion, he failed to really test his marker enough, and lasted just over an hour.

Andrey Arshavin – 8 – Loves Anfield. Picked up his fifth goal in two visits to Liverpool with a stunning strike, and was the Gunners’ main attacking threat throughout. A booking was the only blot on his copybook.

SUBSTITUTES

Aaron Ramsey – N/A – Last minute sub for Arshavin.

Mikael Silvestre – 6 – Very late introduction as Arsenal looked to see out the game.

Abou Diaby – 6 – Introduced for Walcott, and did his job solidly.

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