Liverpool vs Arsenal Player Ratings

Liverpool's emphatic 5-1 win over title-chasers Arsenal throws the race wide open. We take a look at how the players fared in the game.

Martin Skrtel of Liverpool celebrates scoring the
Suhas Bhat

By Suhas Bhat

It's been a long while since we've done player ratings on this website. But when a title-chasing side are handed a 5-1 beating in the same week as another strong favourite succumbing to their first home loss, it feels like a good time to come back. (But we can't promise regular post-match player ratings!)  

Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City are now separated by just five points with thirteen games left and it really is anybody's guess on who will win the Barclays Premier League title. 

The Reds have been an impressive force this season but noone could quite foretell the dominant nature of their display on Saturday. Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez didn't even need to rampage into the box as their team-mates were all fired up and keen to get their names on the scoresheet. 

The gap between the Arsenal defenders was so thoroughly exploited that manager Arsene Wenger will now have to do a lot, lot better than a £40 million + £2 offer if he's to have any hopes of prising Suarez away from Anfield in the near future. 

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet - 7.5

The Belgian custodian was rarely called to action but whenever the ball was within his area, he confidently stepped forth to claim it and take it away from danger. 

Jon Flanagan - 7.5

Early on, he was quite the attacking threat but he admirably switched his attention to his defensive duties to prevent Santi Cazorla from having a good outing. 

Kolo Toure - 8

The Ivorian did well to rectify his mistake from the preceding week as he bullied Olivier Giroud to the point that the Frenchman was rendered ineffectual for the hour-long duration of his stay. 

Martin Skrtel - 8.5

The hitman-faced Slovakian was fortunate to be at the right place for the first goal but his second goal was the result of a terrific headed effort.

He was equally influential in defence as the goals seemed to have given him quite the confidence boost as he won many a tackle and aerial battle. 

Aly Cissokho - 8

Criticised for a poor first touch earlier in the season, he made Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain appear awkward on the ball as he latched onto the Englishman down the flank and rarely gave him a yard of space. But can he keep up such a disciplined attitude in future games? 

Steven Gerrard (off 76') - 8.5

Two terrific deliveries led to the early Skrtel goals and the England captain has clearly made the deep-lying playmaker role his own. His pinpoint long passes would have made former team-mate Xabi Alonso proud.

An otherwise immaculate display was hampered by the poor challenge inside the box which led to the 68th-minute penalty. 

Jordan Henderson - 8

He has been a key cog in the Liverpool attacking machine as his quick running allows him to help out team-mates under pressure. He's recycling possession in such an effective manner that Joe Allen should seriously sit down and take notes from the bench. 

Raheem Sterling - 9

The youngster was everywhere for the Reds and was arguably the key reason for the abject performance by the Arsenal defence. Regularly squeezing between the tall Per Mertesacker and the attack-minded Bacary Sagna, it's hard to believe the diminutive winger had the strength to hold off the bigger bodies around him. 

He should have definitely scored a hat-trick and he had a number of chances to do so as well. 

Philippe Coutinho - 9

The Brazilian does well in games where the players make the right runs into the box and his beautiful through-ball for Daniel Sturridge's goal showed just why he's considered as one of the best creative minds to feature at Anfield in over a decade.

Ex-Reds forward Ryan Babel summed it best with "That pass tho..." on a tweet after the goal. 

Luis Suarez (off 86') - 8.5

The Uruguayan was upstaged in this win but his presence was significant as it made the Arsenal defence jittery and turn a blind eye to the runs made by his team-mates.

And it was not like he wasn't hungry for his 24th goal as a beautiful volley from distance off a Steven Gerrard corner seemed destined for the net but the post came in the way. 

Daniel Sturridge (off 66') - 8

The striker was an equally disruptive influence in attack but he was closely marked for much of the game and therefore didn't get as many chances as he normally does. 

Subs

Joe Allen - 7 (on 66') - 7

Helped maintain possession but the Welshman clearly needs to be more creative if he wants to win a place back in the starting XI. 

Jordan Ibe (on 76') - N/A

Brought on for the captain, the youngster did a decent job in front of the home fans. 

Iago Aspas (on 86') - N/A

Arsenal

Wojciech Szczesny - 6

Really not the Pole's fault that Arsenal lost by such a large margin as he was often left outnumbered because of a lethargic back-four. He did his best to keep the scoreline marginally respectable as evidenced by the full-stretched save he carried out in the 63rd minute off a swinging Suarez delivery. 

Bacary Sagna - 7

Wenger is waiting for the defender to sign a new contract but Sagna's position would have been weakened after this performance which shows that he doesn't quite know how to link up with Giroud.

With Robin van Persie, his crosses were quite a threat for opposing defences but with compatriot Giroud, he somehow doesn't speak the same language. 

Per Mertesacker - 5

The German needs to put some extra sessions in sprint training if he's to keep up with the pacey attackers within the division in the future. 

Laurent Koscielny - 6

Cut a frustrated figure and really needs to show more verve when the chips are down. 

Nacho Monreal (off 60') - 6

The Spaniard was just unable to keep up with the twists and turns of Suarez who was mainly driving down his flank. 

Jack Wilshere - 5

Back after a two-match absence through injury, the England international did his best to get his side back in the game but his continual displays of frustration would have not helped boost his side's morale. Needlessly turned aggressive as well when it became clear that his side were not going to turn the match around. 

Mikel Arteta - 5

He was quite a marginal figure for much of the game until his late penalty. Did well not to celebrate it on his return to Merseyside. 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 5

His dangerous runs were too infrequent to seriously worry Liverpool. 

Santi Cazorla - 5

Not comfortable at all with the high pressing line adopted by the home side, Cazorla was pushed back too often and this upset the tempo of the Arsenal side.

Mesut Ozil (off 60') - 4

Caught in possession too often - sometimes costly - and his delivery was wayward. 

Olivier Giroud (off 60') - 4

Was hardly given a touch of the ball and did not look greatly effective when he did. 

Subs

Tomas Rosicky (on 60') - 6

Gave the Gunners another option but damage was done

Kieran Gibbs (on 60') - 6

Brought a bit more solidity. 

Lukas Podolski (on 60') - 6

Replaced the ineffective Giroud but fared little better 



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