Liverpool vs Ludogorets: LFC Player Ratings

Champions League + Liverpool = Drama. As has been the case on many occasions, there was a lot of drama towards the end of the game as Liverpool enjoyed a winning return to the Champions League. It took us 82 minutes to find the first goal and that looked to have secured the three points only for Ludogorets to hit back. But Steven Gerrard slotted home a stoppage time penalty to make sure that Liverpool avoided an upset. Here are the LFC Player Ratings from that game.

GK: Simon Mignolet – 5/10

He made the silly mistake of rushing forward when he should have in fact stayed back, to allow Ludogorets player Dani Abalo to slot the ball into an empty net in the 90th minute. That mistake ruined an otherwise solid display from Mignolet who was largely untroubled throughout the match. Mistakes like this often prove costly and it’s no surprise why Liverpool have been linked with former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

LB: Alberto Moreno – 7/10

Moreno is an exciting player. He is very capable going forward and was not hesitant in joining the attack. Although, he needlessly charged up the pitch to join the attack instead of staying back and protecting the 1-0 lead, which saw him out of position for the equaliser. But its mistakes like this, that he will learn from and improve. An extremely promising lad.

CB: Dejan Lovren – 6/10

Lovren was brought in to shore up the defence and make us stronger at the back. However, Liverpool’s defence looks the same

Jun 12, 2014; Sao Paulo, BRAZIL; Croatia defender Dejan Lovren (6) heads the ball against Brazil in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup at Arena Corinthians. Brazil defeated Croatia 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

as last year. It’s always difficult to settle into a new club and he has been shifted from the left to the right but Liverpool need better. He will have to improve a lot as Liverpool’s defence continues to look porous.

CB: Mamadou Sakho – 6/10

A decent performance from Sakho but the defensive question marks of last season continues to be there. He was efficient with the ball and distributed it wisely. Would still like to see some better awareness and alertness from him when the opposition breaks.

RB: Javier Manquillo – 8/10

He won the penalty that won Liverpool the match. But other than that massive contribution, Manquillo looks to be improving while going forward in this match. His crossing still needs some work but the signs are there. He provided a perfect cross to Borini, who could only force a save. He even had one glorious chance to score but failed to keep the ball under the crossbar. He’s definitely earned his place in the starting XI now.

CDM: Steven Gerrard – 7/10

We always expect better from the captain. His long-range passing was a bit off as he mishit quite a few of those and was even caught napping on one occasion which allowed Ludogorets a sight at goal. But cometh the hour cometh the man as there was no doubt to who would step up to take the 92nd minute penalty for Liverpool with the game on the line. He stepped up to the plate and as he has done on so many occasions, slotted the ball into the back of the net to secure the three points.

Aug 4, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho (10) is defended by Manchester United defender Shaw Shaw as defender Jonny Evans (6) looks on in the first half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

LM: Phillipe Coutinho – 4/10

Coutinho has had an awful start to the season. This continued against Ludogorets as well. Except for a few give and gos with Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana, Coutinho wasn’t able to execute a lot of his passes. Most of his apsses were either just out of reach of a Liverpool player or easily intercepted by a Ludogorets player. Liverpool looked a lot better after he was substituted. Coutinho really needs to find his form otherwise he’ll lose his place in the team.

RM: Jordan Henderson – 7.5/10

On the day that he was named the new Liverpool vice-captain Henderson turned in a very Henderson-eque performance. A typical high energy display which included a few lung-bursting runs into the box, high pressing and excellent passing. Almost ended up with an assist as one of his lofted passes found Manquillo, who just wasn’t able to convert. Henderson was one of the best players in a red shirt on the pitch.

LW: Raheem Sterling – 6/10

Sterling had a few bright moments in the game, including running past the defence on a few occasions but his chances were limited. He was kept quiet by a solid defence and could only get more involved in the game following a tactical switch which saw him play in the centre for the last half-an-hour.

RW: Adam Lallana – 7/10

Adam Lallana looks like he isn’t quite match ready yet. This was clear from the fact that he was unable to convert two first-half

Jun 19, 2014; Sao Paulo, BRAZIL; England midfielder Adam Lallana (20) against Uruguay during the 2014 World Cup at Arena Corinthians. Uruguay defeated England 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

chances that would otherwise have ended up in the back of net. With a few more games, Lallana will soon return to the form that catapulted him into EPL stardom. However, playing almost as a winger may not be the best use of his talents. Hope to see

him in a more central role soon.

ST: Mario Balotelli – 8/10

In the first half Balotelli struggled to do much with the ball. He did have a couple of half-chances but they weren’t that clear-cut. The second-half introduction of Fabio Borini had a positive impact on his play. Frankly, Balotelli isn’t a Suarez type player. He doesn’t bring out oohs and aahs, but what he does do is score goals. And that’s what he did. It was an excellent finish and will give him some much needed confidence for upcoming games.