Liverpool vs Man City Player Ratings

Liverpool and Manchester City played out a high-octane draw at Anfield although the Reds will feel hard-done by after a superb team performance against the defending champions.

Football News: Martin Kelly Aleksandar Kolarov Liv

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

The Reds played a very well-coordinated game both in attack and defence, regularly threatening City keeper Joe Hart's goal. Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Jonjo Shelvey and young Raheem Sterling were continually able to string together passes and looked like they would score a number of goals but defensive mistakes prevented new manager Brendan Rodgers from registering his first league win. 

The opener came courtesy of a corner by Steven Gerrard which was met by Martin Skrtel who sent in a powerful header straight towards the middle of the net. City were able to claw their way back into the game in the second half as Yaya Toure scored from close range following a dangerous cross by Carlos Tevez from the right. 

A superb free-kick by Suarez helped restore the advantage but Liverpool saw their Slovakian hero commit a horrendous mistake when his poor backpass was intercepted by Tevez and the Argentinean made no mistake from the one-on-one opportunity presented.

ESPNSTAR.com rates the players from a pulsating match that saw Liverpool finally get some points on the board. 

Liverpool

Pepe Reina - 7

Two mistakes from his defenders prevented the Spaniard from posting a clean sheet and there was not much that he could have done about it. 

Martin Kelly (off 66') - 7.5

Kelly was confident and ready to take on the likes of Samir Nasri and Carlos Tevez. Unfortunately, he should have cleared more forcefully when a cross by Carlos Tevez was headed towards him near the goalline and his weak touch allowed Toure to score the first equaliser in the match.

Sebastian Coates - 7.5

The Uruguayan was filling in for Jamie Carragher by partnering Skrtel and he gave a good account of himself. 

Martin Skrtel - 7.5

If there were concerns that Denmark international Daniel Agger would be missed in the game, then Skrtel answered those doubts in emphatic fashion in the first half with his goal. Unfortunately, he made a horrible blunder in the second half that gifted City a way back into the game when a win, largely due to his heroics, would have been thoroughly deserved.   

Glen Johnson - 8

The England international was played out of position as a left-back but he did a good job nevertheless. However, it was his inability to close down Tevez that allowed the striker to send in a dangerous cross that resulted in City's first goal, and he was promptly swapped to his favourite flank soon after. 

Lucas (off 5') - N/A

It's a pity that on his first home start for the Reds this season, the Brazilian could not last for long as a recurrence of his injury forced Rodgers to make an early substitution. 

Joe Allen - 8

The former Swansea passmaster played a good job as the defensive playmaker with Lucas' departure, helping distribute the ball into areas where his team mates had less pressure. Although signed by Rodgers to help initiate the final pass, the Welshman's willingness to come to the aid of the centre-backs helped make life a whole lot easier for the team. 

Steven Gerrard - 8.5

The Liverpool captain sent in a perfect corner for Skrtel to hammer the first goal of his side's new season. It came after an equally dangerous cross by him that Vincent Kompany nearly sent into his own net and Liverpool's second was also courtesy of the stalwart midfielder; his thunderous shot came off Jack Rodwell's hand which led to the free kick which Suarez converted beautifully.

As always, Gerrard remained the player who wanted to thrill the fans more than anyone else at Anfield. 

Raheem Sterling - 8.5

The 17-year-old looked very sharp on what was likely his first high-profile senior outing. He nearly got Fabio Borini his first goal with a quick cross that was hit just wide. The youngster continually troubled Kompany and Toure with his quick feet, several unexpected turns and contributed when defending as well. 

Fabio Borini (off 84') - 7.5 

Borini was dangerous when pressing the City defenders but couldn't get concrete chances. The striker does appear to combine a lot more effectively with Suarez than Carroll did last season.  

Luis Suarez - 8.5

Suarez's free-kick was of the highest quality and just what the Reds needed after City had drawn level in the second half. He was a constant threat with his dribbling and hunger for goal. 

Subs

Jose Enrique (on 66') - 6.5

Enrique wasn't able to provide decent service from the left wing and was not fast enough to join in on the Liverpool attacks.  

Andy Carroll (on 84') - 7

Sent in as a last-ditch attempt to score the winning goal, the tall striker was dangerous with his aerial ability and nearly had a chance to score with a header. Rodwell was on hand to prevent the ball cross the goal-line and perhaps the ex-Newcastle striker should have been sent in earlier. 

Jonjo Shelvey (on 5') - 8

Shelvey played the game of his Liverpool career as he made incisive passes and came to the aid of every player who was under pressure. In many ways, it seems like he has matured as a player and so the Brazilian's injury, on hindsight, may be a blessing in disguise. 

Manchester City

Joe Hart - 7

The England goalkeeper could not do much as two solid finishes left him completely flummoxed. 

Pablo Zabaleta - 5

Zabaleta was not comfortable in the centre-back position in Roberto Mancini's new 3-5-2 formation and was repeatedly beaten by Suarez. 

Kolo Toure - 5

Toure looks unfit and a little clumsy on the ball and allowed the talented Sterling to get the better of him one too many times. 

Vincent Kompany - 6

The Citizens captain was let down by poor communication by the rest of his defence. But a seasoned campaigner such as the Belgian should not have been made a fool out of by the 17-year-old Merseyside sensation. 

James Milner (off 76') - 5

Milner played as a wingback but he was largely anonymous down the right flank.

Samir Nasri (off 60') - 7

The Frenchman's substitution was a strange decision as he was the most creative player with a blue shirt on the pitch. However, he appeared a little lethargic and unwilling to contribute in defence leading to Mancini deciding that a more defensive-minded player was needed to curb the attacking intensity of the home side. 

Nigel de Jong - 5

The Dutchman was poor in his positioning and his attempts to wrest the ball off the Liverpool players. Simply put, he was a waste of space and did not help the transition between defence and attack at all. 

Yaya Toure - 7.5

The mercurial Ivorian had a quiet game early on and seemed more willing to go back into his own half than rampage forward. He was released further up the pitch after Rodwell was brought on and was in the right position to slot the ball in after Kelly failed to clear Tevez's cross from the left wing. Still, the summer break seems to have dulled the midfielder's senses, from the showing he displayed in Sunday's game. 

Aleksandar Kolarov - 5

He was guilty of letting Skrtel wander free when he should have closely marked the Slovakian as the corner which led to Liverpool's first goal was whipped in. With Skrtel being the only significant aerial threat in the box, City were punished strongly for the Serbian's mistake. 

Mario Balotelli (off 62') - 6

Until he barged Coates off the ball and then cheekily earned a free-kick moments later, the Italian striker didn't seem to want to be involved much in the game. He was rightly substituted in the second half as he wasn't doing much to combine with Tevez. 

Carlos Tevez - 8

The Argentinean had a brilliant chance early on when he was sent clear with only Reina to beat but, for once, the post came to Liverpool's rescue. 

However, Tevez did not give up and continued to be a danger to the Liverpool defence. He helped assist the first goal for his side and capitalised on Skrtel's poor backpass to score the second. City would have totally deserved to have suffered their first defeat if it had not been for the striker's never-say-die attitude.  

Subs

David Silva (on 76') -  6.5

He had very little time to make an impact but the ex-Valencia man was not able to provide any source of inspiration. 

Jack Rodwell (on 60') - 6.5

He was responsible for the second goal, perhaps harshly as the handball he committed was not deliberate, but he made amends by clearing the ball after Carroll powered a header on goal. 

Edin Dzeko (on 62') - 5

The Bosnian had only one decent chance but he scuffed it and sent the ball sky-high. As an out-and-out poacher, it's really difficult for him to become a game-changing substitute unless he demonstrates an eagerness to run with the ball and carve out chances for himself. 



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