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Player Ratings: How The Liverpool Players Rated In A Humiliating Defeat To Burnley

Player Ratings: How The Liverpool Players Rated In A Humiliating Defeat To Burnley
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Unfortunately for Liverpool, they can't play Arsenal every week.

The last time Jurgen Klopp rocked a baseball cap on the sidelines for Liverpool, his side lost 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace. He had tossed it by half-time of this game, with Liverpool producing the kind of infuriating, feeble lethargy in the aftermath of an encouraging result that they have made their own. Not that it made a difference: Liverpool managed to once again confound and pull a 2-0 defeat to Burnley out of the bag.

Klopp - despite backing him in the build-up - dropped Alberto Moreno for James Milner, with Daniel Sturridge replacing the injured Sadio Mané. In the first half, Liverpool badly missed both men's direct running.

Liverpool are at their best when they are on the front foot and aggressive. Instead, they began this game by giving the ball directly to Burnley to allow them score a first ever Premier League goal against Liverpool.

Liverpool had all of the ball - 80% - but never looked like scoring, with long-range potshots the only attacking enterprise they showed throughout the game.

 

In further sartorial foreshadowing, Liverpool wore their new 3rd kit, whose colour is officially titled 'Toxic Thunder', resembling a coast guards who had failed in their singular duty and had instead managed to get shipwrecked.

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To reinforce the 'toxic' part, here are the Liverpool player ratings.

Simon Mignolet - 5 

Negatives:Had two shots to stop, he didn't stop either. Has not saved a shot since Theo Walcott's penalty last week.

Neutrals: Still can't kick very well.

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Positives: Didn't throw anything in.

Nathaniel Clyne - 4

Began the game with the kind of lazy error that would have earned Alby Moreno the righteous pursuit of an angry mob: casually giving the ball away in the build-up to Burnley's first goal.

Much of Liverpool's play came down their left, and he was denied the space he exploited at Arsenal last weekend. Was otherwise anonymous.

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Dejan Lovren - 6

 

Any errors obscured by the feeble performance of the man alongside him. Easy to imagine him looking pleadingly towards the bench for Joel Matip.

Made a couple of good interceptions to prevent some Burnley counter-attacks.

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Ragnar Klavan - 3

Premier League: You're Klavan a laugh.

The Estonian defender is increasingly slipping into the Sotirios Kyrgiakos end of the 'cheap European centre-backs who've signed for Liverpool' scale.

Switched off for the first Burnley goal, giving goalscorer Sam Vokes far too much room for the opener. His concentration was an issue in Arsenal's opener last weekend also, an error obscured  by the great intellectual limitations of Alby Moreno.

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He was appalling on the second goal, rushing up to an intercept a ball he then lost, before lumbering back to swipe wildly at fresh air in a bid to prevent the second goal.

Brian Kerr's commentary on Today FM was apt:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oBni_2gzqI

James Milner - 5

Milner was picked at left-back ahead of Moreno, and he did a good job in explaining Jurgen Klopp's continued confidence in the Spaniard. The main problem here is his right-foot. Burnley took the lead very early in the game and were content to sit deep without the ball, and the fact Milner had to cut inside greatly blunted Liverpool's attack.

Ahead of him, Phil Coutinho cut inside onto his right-foot without fail, with Milner frequently doing the same, which had the dual negative of slowing down Liverpool's attacks and denying space for Coutinho.

He was also caught out on Burnley's second goal, and didn't have the legs to get back.

Moreno runs unencumbered by the impediment of thought; Milner plods along as if he has lead in his boots.

This was most noticeable in the play before he was subbed for Moreno, a good pass by Klavan gave him space to run into, instead checked inside to loft a ball into the penalty area. Instead, he lost possession. Left immediately afterwards.

Jordan Henderson - 5 

Henderson is good at switching play when on the front foot, but when receiving the ball under pressure from his centre-backs, facing his own goal, he fails to convince. He was far too weak on Burnley's second goal, with his excuse of a tackle in the penalty area pathetic. Henderson's strength is bombing on from a relatively deep position, and playing him at the base of a midfield three blunts those gifts.

Henderson's strength is bombing on from a relatively deep position, and playing him at the base of a midfield three blunts those gifts.

The captain's issue is that Liverpool have about 654 attacking midfielders in their squad, and at the moment, it looks like he's just keeping that position warm for Emre Can.

Georginio Wijnaldum - 3

Henderson's hope is to replace Wijnaldum ahead of him, because the £25 million signing was utterly anonymous. Allegedly played 90 minutes.

Adam Lallana - 4

This was the Lallana performance Liverpool fans have seen far too often: more decorative than decisive. A great man to feign a shot and to pull off a Cruyff turn, but offered little incision.

Roberto Firmino - 6

With Moreno on the bench, Firmino accepted the role of having the worst haircut in the Liverpool side.

He looked most likely to score too, stinging Tom Heaton's hands with a long-range drive in the opening stages.

Phillippe Coutinho - 4

Liverpool's frustration in games in which supposedly poorer opposition sit deep can be summed up by how many wild shots Coutinho takes from the edge of the penalty area, having cut inside from the right wing. He had three of them in the first-half, with two of them in the first twenty minutes.

When Coutinho plays well, Liverpool play well.

When he doesn't, Liverpool lose to sides like Burnley.

Daniel Sturridge - 5

With Sturridge's performance today, we are in the odd position of accentuating the tactical influence Roy Hodgson has had over a Liverpool side (not something we could say often when he was actually their manager). At the Euros, Sturridge played for England in a withdrawn role, roving with intent behind Jamie Vardy.

Sturridge replaced Sadio Mane in the side and while he played centrally, he played quite deep, with Roberto Firmino bombing on. Pushed up to try and play on the shoulder of the last defender as the first half wore on, but with Burnley sitting deep, the space between defenders and goalkeeper could be measured in millimeters. Therefore, he really struggled to make an impact.

Subbed on 63 minutes having done very, very little.

Substitutes 

Divock Origi - 5

Came on and put himself about: he shows far more recklessness for his limbs than Daniel Sturridge, but failed to pick up from where he left off last season, goalscoring-wise. Got in behind twice but failed to get a shot off.

Alberto Moreno - 5

Came on for Milner with his reputation higher than it's been in some time. He gave the ball away with his first touch. The concept of Alberto Moreno remains superior to the actual execution.

Marko Grujic - 7 

Replaced Lallana to bring a bit of strength and directness to Liverpool's play. His first act was to control a ball brilliantly on the edge of the penalty area and force a great save from Tom Heaton. The last Liverpool player to shoot immediately with his first touch in the Premier League was Dirk Kuyt. There's some useless information for you.

 

 

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