Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Liverpool 4-1 Swansea: Player ratings

Josh Kilmister gives his take on Liverpool's 4-1 win over the Swans

After back-to-back victories, a match at Anfield live on Sky was surely the perfect chance to show the world what we’re all about this season; apparently not. Taken apart by a disheartened Liverpool side, Garry Monk will be down right fuming and he won’t be the only one. 

Starting XI

Lukasz Fabianski – 6

Fabianski will be criticised for the mistakes he made against Liverpool, but all in all he had a fairly decent game. To say that he should’ve done better with Liverpool’s opener I feel is harsh, as any shot from five yards is going to be tough to save whether you get a touch to it or not. The next goal however was entirely his fault, as his confidence perhaps got the better of him. I’ve often praised him for his distribution, but this time around instead of finding Rangel on the right flank he found Lallana’s back, and the ball floated into the empty net. Not an  overall poor game, but certainly not one of his best.

Jazz Richards – 5

Jazz had an absolutely nightmare of a first half; so much so that he got taken off at half-time. He struggled to cope with the pace of Liverpool’s Moreno and left our right flank exposed. The lack of communication between him and Nathan Dyer was blatantly obvious, but the same can be said about the communication between him and Fede Fernandez. Poor marking led to Liverpool’s opener, and it wall went downhill from there. 

Ashley Williams – 6

It’s not often that we see Ash bullied in set-pieces, but Martin Skrtel was a handful to say the least. Like Fabianski, overall he didn’t have a dreadful game, but to concede four goals it’s obvious he didn’t have a stormer. Liverpool’s front three run riot in and around our back four, and no matter how hard he tried Ash simply couldn’t do anything about it.

Fede Fernandez – 7 (Man of the match)

You might be thinking why I’ve given one of our centre-backs the man of the match award when we conceded four, but anyone who actually watched the game will join me in saying that £8m for this guy is proving to be a shrewd piece of business. His positioning at Anfield was some of the best I’ve seen in a while, and he has seven interceptions to show for that. Given the job of dealing with Raheem Sterling, Fede did a fairly good job of keeping him out of the game; if only he could have done the same with Coutinho and Lallana.

Neil Taylor – 6

Taylor was fairly good against Liverpool, but that was mainly in attack rather than defence. He added width to our game and when on the ball looked confident in his attacking ability, but he didn’t looks as good in defence. It could be said that his marking was a contributing factor to Liverpool’s first goal, but I think that’s just being picky. 

Jonjo Shelvey – 4.5

Yep, four and a half. For anyone who follows me on Twitter this rating won’t come as a surprise. For the full ninety minutes Shelvey didn’t want anything to do with the game and I honestly don’t think he broke into a sweat all game. There were a few incidents however that stood out to me, the first that I expect him to face disciplinary action for. After probably the most promising five seconds of the fist half, Shelvey used his undoubted talent to get amongst the Liverpool defence; only to hit out at makeshift centre-back Emre Can with an elbow. 

After Garry Monk went public to criticise Jonjo about his lack of discipline, it’s quite ironic that he chose to show his aggression in front of millions of Sky TV viewers. I could go on and on about what had me ranting on Twitter, but what annoyed me most wasn’t the own goal, it was the lead up to it. When you’re 3-1 down and perhaps shouldn’t even be on the field anymore, the last thing you want to do is have a laugh with the opposition’s best player on the night. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, Jonjo and Adam Lallana seemed to be having a great time in the box, right before Shelvey’s header caught Fabianski wrong-footed. His return to Anfield couldn’t have gone much worse.

Leon Britton – 6.5

In a two man midfield where your partner is all but missing, no matter how good Leon is, he was always going to struggle in the midfield battle.  His passing was impressive as ever, but he made it hard to impact the game as much as he normally does. The gap between defence and midfield – usually occupied by the more physical Ki – was obvious, and without Shelvey, Leon couldn’t do much to help.

Wayne Routledge – 5.5

In a game where more than ever we needed our wingers to shine, Routledge didn’t. Honestly, the best thing he did all game was have his shorts ripped by Skrtel; the whole ground was laughing, even Garry Monk. Up against pacey wing-back Manquillo, Routledge failed to impress as his delivery left Bony very much stuck. He did have a decent chance to decrease the deficit but saw his shot sail over the bar.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – 6.5

Gylfi tried his best to impact the game, but struggled to do so with Liverpool’s dominance. He did manage to get himself a goal, reacting well to a scrappy piece of defending from the reds. He did try to pull of a few fancy flicks to liven things up, but couldn’t stop Liverpool from taking all three points.

Nathan Dyer – 5.5

Like Routledge, Dyer failed to make an impact when we needed him most. There’s not many full-backs that beat him for pace but Alberto Moreno did exactly that, and Dyer was marked out of the game completely. He did get a header on goal but it didn’t trouble Mignolet. One of many of our average performers at Anfield.

Wilfried Bony – 6

All but confirmed as 2014’s top goalscorer but Bony couldn’t add to his tally of twenty. Admittedly he was feeding off scraps for most of the game, and only had a handful of chances to change the game. He did have a shot from outside of the area well saved by Mignolet right after Gylfi’s goal, but was taken off for Gomis when the game was out of reach. 


Angel Rangel6 (for Richards, half-time)

An improvement on Richards’ performance, Rangel definitely strengthened the right side of our defence. Although statistically our defence was stronger with Richards, Rangel looked more composed on the ball and improved our game ever so slightly. 

Bafetimbi Gomis6 (for Bony, 63)

Gomis certainly has a point to prove after speculation surrounding him regarding a possible move to Crystal Palace and he almost got on the score sheet, hitting the crossbar with a well struck shot. In all fairness he did more in the time he was on than Bony did, but still didn’t manage to test Mignolet.

Ki Sung-Yueng5.5 (for Britton, 66)

Monk opted to give Britton a break instead of removing Shelvey, but Ki was not much of an improvement. The game was very much lost leaving Ki with little to work with in midfield. Used as a more defensive midfielder at Anfield, his introduction only allowed Liverpool to grab the game with two hands and kill it completely.


Honestly, not the best performance I’ve ever seen. Completely outplayed by a Brendan Rodgers team that was clearly set up to stop us playing our natural game. Their wing-backs marked our wingers excellently and they exploited our weaknesses at full-back. 

Monk won’t be happy, and neither will the players. Away to QPR on New Years Day, I’m sure we’ll be heading to London with only one thing in mind, and that’s three points. To start the New Year off with a bang would be excellent, and I’m sure Monk will be looking to make the most of Ki and Bony while they’re both still available. 

Agree with Josh's ratings? Get in touch using the comment section below.