Player ratings: Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United

by Sam Peoples

Lindegaard  7   Made three fantastic saves. His distribution was sporadic at times but he did his primary job well today. Sir Alex will continue to have to rotate if his performance was anything to go by.

Rafael  7   What a tremendous goal by Rafael, a strike worthy of winning any game. His defence was very strong and I only counted one misplaced pass. He wasn’t as involved in the attack as he has been in other games but with a game winner like that no one will complain. Let’s hope he can continue to score goals, it’s a great bonus to get offense from a fullback.

Rio  7   When he went down grabbing his left hamstring I thought the worst but thankfully he soldiered on impressively and was a rock in the middle of our defense. Along with Evans, he deserves huge amounts of credit for keeping Liverpool off the score sheet in a first half where we absolutely dominated.

Evans  7   Fantastic effort, he was constantly called to action in the first half and barely put a foot wrong. His passing was accurate and he did well to shake off the challenge by Shelvey that saw him red carded. Vidic was barely missed thanks to his impressive performance.

Evra  6   Did a bit of everything today, though he wasn’t on the ball very often he was there when needed for an interception, header, clearance or cross. He did well to ignore the boos of the crowd but is far from comfortable in his spot with Buttner lurking in the shadows.

Carrick  5   He gave the ball away a fair bit in the first half, but he was much more comfortable once Scholes came into midfield. With the old warrior managing the tempo he was able to play his favored complimentary role and helped keep the game ticking  along well enough.

Giggs  4   Fairly poor in the first half. He had almost no success running the attack from central midfield. He had one good shot very early on but after that he was barely involved going forward. He moved to the left wing in the second half when Nani was taken off where he was much more comfortable but was still on the periphery for most of the game .

Valencia  5   He won our crucial, game-winning penalty and it was a fantastic run from midfield to the base line to get into scoring position. As for the rest of the game,  he really struggled to get anything going. A rare off game for a player who is usually very reliable, but it will be well forgotten thanks to the 3rd penalty United has ever won at Anfield.

Nani  3   It was the worst performance of his that I can think of. He seemed to have more turnovers than completed passes. Sir Alex did well to haul him off at half time, something the manager rarely does. I hope he’s not being distracted by off the field issues.

Kagawa  5   Assisted Rafael’s stunning goal but he really struggled in the first half to make any kind of impact. Was able to make some headway in the second half, but overall it was a very lacklustre performance.

Van Persie  6   It was a strong penalty, the power took it into the goal even though Reina got a touch. It was a great relief to see a penalty scored, much less a penalty at Anfield. That’s something I’ve never seen myself. But we need Van Persie to get more involved in build up play, he was almost invisible in the second half and rarely threatened other than the penalty.


Scholes  7   His impact was instantly apparent, we controlled the game as soon as he was on the pitch. We looked like an entirely different side, what other player can have such a huge impact on our team? He’s made a huge case today for starting every game he’s fit for, what a classy player.

Chicharito  5   Barely had a chance to get in the game.

Welbeck  5  Won a foul, otherwise he was just out for a quick jog.

Memory may be failing me but our first half offensive performance was as bad as any I’ve seen from a United first team. Scholes was the difference in the game, and once he started controlling the offense it felt inevitable that we would score. We didn’t create all that much end product, and we have to feel fortunate to have scored two goals. The sign of a champion is winning when you’re not at your best, and this was certainly a case of that. Not the most encouraging overall display, but the defense was solid and we showed great composure to keep ourselves in the game until we found an answer.

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