What A Night – Switzerland Beckons!

What A Night – Switzerland Beckons!
May 6, 2016

Europa League Liverpool

A packed Anfield last night watched Liverpool overcome a one goal deficit to reach The Europa League Final, where they will face the holders Sevilla on the 18th May in Basle, Switzerland.

The performance last night by The Reds, was full of passion, desire and willingness to work as a team.  They pressed Villareal all over the pitch and stopped their main man in terms of controlling their team’s attacks, Bruno Soriano getting on the ball.  Villareal struggled to deal with the pressure Liverpool applied on the pitch, plus the atmosphere the Liverpool passionate fans created, and due to these factors, a number of Villareal players lost their composure such as Victor Ruiz who was rightly sent off, Roberto Soldado and Denis Suarez.

Here is my match ratings on yet another fantastic European night at Anfield.

Simon Mignolet 7/10 – Made one crucial save when a shot was deflected by Emre Can.  Did not have a huge amount to do after that, but did it all competently.

Nathaniel Clyne 7.5/10 – Did well defensively and had acres of room to move into going forward and always made himself available.  His crossses were a bit disappointing when in good positions, but a very solid performance by the England international.

Alberto Moreno 6.5/10 – Gets my blood boiling when comes to defending, positionally is all over the place.  Reminds me of a springer spaniel who has been let loose on a secluded beach for the first time, just goes racing off enjoying the freedom.  Brainless decision of Moreno also to push Suarez in the back in Liverpool’s penalty box when the game was delicately poised.  Have seen those given.  The Spaniard has high energy levels and did get in some interceptions last night and does provide an attacking outlet down the left, makes you wonder is he more suited to a wide midfield role.  Left back must be one of first positions Klopp will look to strengthen in the summer.

Dejan Lovren – 8.5/10 – The Croatian was magnificent last night. Made a number of vital challenges, two particularly stand out, his tackle in open field against Suarez, when the wide man was in full flight, and secondly his cover block when Bakumbu was about to pull the trigger.  Not many centre backs in the EPL are as two footed as Lovren is, and in this form will be a vital player for Liverpool next season.

Kolo Toure 8/10 – Kolo has proved me totally wrong in recent weeks, he has been excellent.  His leadership and experience in defence has been vital recently, and put in another excellent performance.

Emre Can 9/10 – What a performance. Supposed to have been season over after his ligament injury, but 3 weeks later, he is back playing a vital role in the centre of midfield. His ability to win the ball, composure on the ball, passing range etc.  Even after 90 minutes, he was still looking to support the attack running into space. Outstanding.

James Milner 8.5/10 – Over two legs, Milner has been exceptional. You expect him to cover a lot of ground, pressing people etc, but against Villareal, we saw higher level of passing and dribbling from the player.  Having Can in the side allows him to have more of a free role. The captain was excellent.

Adam Lallana 7.5/10 – Leads the attacking line when comes to pressing, and that lifts the crowd on nights like this. Never stopped working and looking to create chances. Almost scored what would of been a great goal, after yet another of his Cruyff turns.

Philipe Coutinho 7.5/10 –  Brazilian magician kept probing looking for opportunities.  His link up play is outstanding and is undoubtedly the player with the best vision for a pass in the side.

Roberto Firmino 8/10 – Was back in form last night, seemed to prefer playing advanced with another striker up alongside him. Created Lallana’s goal with a great run and cross, and never stopped trying all night.  His piece of skill on Roberto Soldado was delicious.

Daniel Sturridge 8/10 – Had support quickly getting up to him and Sturridge revelled in this.  Link up play was excellent with the likes of Coutinho and Firmino, and took his goal very well.  You could see from his goal celebration what that meant to him.


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