A rollercoaster game against Bournemouth ended in a frustrating draw for the Reds who failed to win ‘ugly’ and allowed the Cherries to leave with a share of the points. Despite the result, however, two players did impress Jack Hallows greatly – here are his ratings.
Simon Mignolet: 6 – Couldn’t do huge amounts about either goals but as Jamie Carragher quite rightly pointed out on my broadcast in commentary – he brings nothing but anxiety to Anfield at times. An early error when trying to evade Benik Afobe caused anguish around the ground and set the tone every time he or one of his defenders had the ball.
Nathaniel Clyne: 7 – Inches away from winning the game for Liverpool with a fantastic, swerving strike from distance that crashed back off the underside of the cross bar. Not the result that the birthday boy would’ve been after but at least he can proud of his own performance as Bournemouth enjoyed little space down his flank.
Dejan Lovren: 7 – Not the worst night from the Croat who in my opinion was the better of the central defenders but he could definitely have been stronger in the clearance for Bournemouth’s second goal.
Ragnar Klavan: 5 – Stepped in to replace Joel Matip and was frustratingly poor throughout. Positionally, the Estonian was all over the shop whenever Bournemouth launched a rare counter attack, while his passing in possession was sloppy. Had to be stronger for the second goal as he lost his bearings and failed to find the ball.
James Milner: 7 – Offered more going forward than he has in recent weeks as he looked to take up a position camped higher up the field to help negate Bournemouth’s deep-lying 4-4-2. Did well to negate the struggling Jordon Ibe, affording the ex-Liverpool player very little space.
Lucas Leiva: 6.5 – After a superb performance from the Brazilian against Everton this was more of a quiet but effective 90 minutes. The veteran was industrious and put in a number of tackles across the pitch but picked up an early yellow card for a silly challenge and at times failed to make his passing count in key areas.
Emre Can: 7 – Another good performance from the German who has improved massively over the last few weeks. His overall game wasn’t quite as polished as it has been in recent game-weeks but his effort levels most certainly can’t be faulted. Looks far more decisive in the final third too.
Gini Wijnaldum: 6 – It was always going to be the ironic case that just a day after winning the March Player of the Month award he’d be the man who made the early mistake. The Dutchman did make up for sending Afobe in on goal to concede the first, however, in the second half by mazing his way past two Bournemouth defenders and sending a delightful chipped cross in thesix-yardd box for Origi to head home. It wasn’t enough though and nor was his overall performance.
Roberto Firmino: 5 – Yikes. An early sighter and a lovely slipped pass assist for Coutinho aside, Firmino was dreadful against Bournemouth. The Brazilian simply looked lost out on the right hand side and struggled horrendously to get involved with the attacking play in an efficient manner, often losing the ball whenever he did receive it. Did his best Mesut Ozil impression in the second half by disappearing out of the game entirely.
Philippe Coutinho: 8 – Not quite at the level he was on Saturday but was still far and away the best player on the pitch. Another goal takes his tally to 8 this season and with 3 in his last 3 for club and country you could certainly argue he’s a man back in form. Could’ve had another if his dipping free kick that smacked onto the cross bar was a fraction lower and always looked the most likely to make something happen. Substituted at the hour mark again in what is becoming a bizarre trend.
Divock Origi: 8 – His best all round game this season in my opinion. The Belgian’s hold up play looked much improved – as did his decision making – and he got a much deserved goal in the second half when he darted into the box and nodded home a Wijnaldum cross. Looked to drop deep a little too often in the second half but that was his only really fault.
Joel Matip: 6 – Didn’t do much wrong in the back three but didn’t provide the desired assuredness he usually does.
Jurgen Klopp: 6 – Opted not to start Matip but make him play 30 minutes anyway which was bizarre from the off and got a lot wrong on the day. Opting to shut up shop entirely is not something Liverpool will ever have success doing with this defence and while it was nice to see a conservative substitution, it was probably made 10-15 minutes too early.
With the Reds in the ascendancy, taking off Coutinho for a central defender allowed the visitors to get back in the game and ultimately, salvage an undeserved draw. The 3-5-2 – if that’s what it was, I really couldn’t tell by the positioning of the front 2/3 – needs a lot more training ground time if it’s going to become a proper option.