Mizgan Ahmed on 6th November, 2015
Liverpool endured a comfortable night in eastern Europe and Jordan Ibe’s 53rd minute goal wrapped up all three points for Klopp’s men against Russian strugglers Rubin Kazan in Europa League.
Let’s analyze player by player performance of Liverpool on the night –
S.Mignolet – 7
The Belgian couldn’t have come across a comfortable outing in his Liverpool career, 0 shots on goal for Rubin speaks itself that Mignolet was hardly tested in Russia. For the first 80 minutes he hardly had anything in his box to save, then a 5-6 minute spell for Rubin of trying to score the equalizer had the Belgian in one or two nervy moments, all in all a very easy night for him.
N.Clyne – 6.5
Clyne had a very solid night in a Liverpool shirt. Defensively he didn’t had much to do and was solid in possession, providing overlap runs for Ibe was his hallmark today. Match by match he is becoming a regular starter under Klopp. Klopp although, would like him to improve his crossing ability as that addition will make Clyne a complete right-back.
D.Lovren – 6
The Croatian replaced Martin Skrtel for this game and was under little pressure to perform. He actually didn’t had to do much as Devic was barely making runs in behind or parallel of the centre backs, gave away a cheap free kick in a dangerous territory but overall I would say he had very little to do to be judged in all fairness.
M.Sakho – 7.5
The Frenchman showed another classic centre back display in a Liverpool shirt. He is growing both as a player and a leader at the back. His offensive passes has been extraordinary with more than 90% of them being completed. He is decisive and clinical in his passing. Defensively didn’t had much to do, one or two headed clearances and blocks in later stages of the game when Rubin were trying to equalize, overall a thumbs up display from the former PSG man and continues to be the number one centre back of Liverpool at the moment.
A.Moreno – 6.5
The Spaniard also had a solid night in Russia with nothing much to do in defensive front of the game, he was good in possession play and stretching Rubin to wide areas, needs to improve his crossing and decision-making in final third of the pitch. All in all a stroll night for him as he continues to thrive under Jurgen Klopp in that left back position.
J.Allen – 6
Allen replaced Lucas for this game and was in the centre of the midfield today. It was a typical Joe Allen display with few neat touches and transition plays, helped his midfield partners to press higher up the pitch. Apart from one or two give aways and fouls, the Welshman endured a comfortable night in the central midfield position.
E.Can – 7
Can was again influential in midfield and continues to thrive as a player in his favored position. He was neat in his passing; pressing, tracking back and breaking opposition’s counter attacks and attacks is his hallmark, probably needs to be more decisive in passing when in final third of the pitch and needs to release the ball quicker from his feet. Although, in all fairness the German looked increasingly comfortable in that central midfield role and we have to remember that he is still young and has a long future ahead of him.
J.Milner – 5
Milner was on the left of the three men behind the centre forward, former City man endured another tricky outing and questions will be raised whether he should be a regular starter and whether he should continue to wear the captain’s armband. A below average performance and continues to struggle in wide areas, does not track back too often and slow in switching plays, got a good chance early on in the game from which he battered the top of the crossbar, apart from that a sub-standard outing from the 29-year old and eventually substituted in the hour mark.
R.Firmino – 7.5
The Brazilian continues his good form and produced another crafty performance in that no 10 position and slowly making that position his own. He was the player who looked like creating an opening whenever had the ball and always tried to run in behind or between the centre backs causing loads of problems. A typical no 10 performance from the 29 year old and slowly getting his identity back as a Liverpool player under Klopp. Probably this is the position where Firmino seems the most comfortable.
J.Ibe – 8.5 (MOTM)
By the far the most impressive player on the pitch and his best performance in a Liverpool shirt. Played in that right side and looked at utmost ease in cutting inside and shooting whenever possible, taking the shots from left foot is an element he has added recently which makes him more dangerous as he can cut inside and shoot from either foot, was impressive in holding the ball and letting Clyne to run the overlaps; those two combined well on that right hand side. Scored a wonderful goal that eventually proved to be the difference on the night. A statement performance from the 20 year old which could yield him more starting positions in future.
C.Benteke – 6
Starting for the first under Klopp, the Belgian endured a quiet night infront of goal, mainly due to lack of good crosses from either side of the field. He was fairly strong in air winning headers and holding up play for runners to run at the defense. Liverpool have to improve their crossing to get more of him. Overall a good performance from the Belgian.
A.Lallana – 7 (came for Milner in 60th minute)
Came on for Milner and did pretty ok, few neat touches and turns, provided a good pass to Ibe on the Liverpool break. He has also looked different player under Klopp and becoming a regular in the team.
Lucas – 7 (came for Firmino in 81st minute)
The Brazilian came when Rubin started to look a bit dangerous. He came just to shore the backline and be the presence in between the centre backs.
M.Skrtel – NA (came for Can in 90+2 minute)
The Slovakian came for a few seconds and had no involvement in the game.
Jurgen Klopp – 8
The manager continues to impress and the results now are showing for it, three wins on a bounce in all competitions and the last two coming in tough away trips which is pleasing. He started with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Can and Allen in the central midfield, gave Ibe the start he needed which proved a master stroke. He continued with Firmino in that no 10 which also payed dividends. Overall, tactically a good outing for the manager and hopes to continue his unbeaten start as Liverpool boss.
All in all, a solid away European performance for Liverpool, their first away European win in three years and they became the first English team to beat Rubin Kazan going away to Rubin. Few areas to address otherwise Liverpool already a look a side who are becoming very difficult team to beat.