Liverpool 2 Middlesbrough 2: Player ratings as Raheem Sterling stars

Liverpool 2 Middlesbrough 2: Player ratings as Reds edge into fourth round after 14-13 penalty shootout win

By Brett Curtis
Liverpool
2
Middlesbrough
2

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet Saved well from Tomlin and Clayton either side of half-time and provided a good platform in the penalty shoot-out by saving Middlesbrough’s opener. But his hands were twice not strong enough to win the game himself. 6/10

Javi Manquillo Bounced back well from his early substitution against West Ham on Saturday, effectively hugging the touchline like an old-fashioned right-winger. 7

Kolo Toure The veteran Ivorian illustrated why he is very much fourth-choice this season with an unconvincing display. At 33, his pace has now deserted him, fatefully highlighted in the final minute of the match when he went in late on Bamford to give away a penalty. 5

Mamadou Sakho Delivered a strong showing in the first-half, but the odd wobble remains, most evident when he hand-balled on the edge of the area to give away the free-kick for Middlesbrough’s initial equaliser. 6/10

José Enrique Quieter than usual on his first start since last October, but the Spaniard showed enough glimpses to suggest his strength and directness have not been left on the treatment table. 6

Lucas Leiva Has found himself back in the fold after injuries to Allen and Can over the international break. His experience proved crucial alongside two midfield debutants, as well as in the shoot-out with two fine penalties. 7

Jordan Rossiter Dubbed a “young Stevie G” by Robbie Fowler, the 17-year-old debutant made a dream start to his Anfield career by scoring the opening goal from trademark Gerrard territory. Showed plenty of willing until subbed in the 79th minute. 7

Lazar Markovic Will take time to adapt and was guilty of over-elaboration in the final third. Tidy enough but outshone by Suso after being replaced by him in extra-time. 6

Adam Lallana Continued where he left off from Saturday by injecting a creative spark. His ability with both feet is a delight on the eye in an age of one-footed wingers, although he could do with finding his shooting boots if he is to score double figures as he has in four of the last five seasons. 7

Raheem Sterling (Man of the match) Surprisingly started with the Merseyside derby looming, the teenage prodigy looked Liverpool’s best player once more. His strength is eye-catching and his presence is growing but he must learn how to kill a game. 7

Rickie Lambert The boyhood Red finally made his first start for the club, incredibly captaining the side. The armband appeared to weigh heavy, however, as even his usually reliable touch was lacking. Unsurprisingly subbed for Balotelli in the 74th minute. 5

Substitutes

Mario Balotelli Provided a more physical focal point but is struggling for clear-cut chances. His only two both came in the shoot-out and were inevitably cooly dispatched. 6

Jordan Williams Replaced fellow debutant Rossiter and the 18-year-old provided a sturdier shield for his defence. Admirably smashed home to open sudden death in the shoot-out. 6

Suso Instantly linked well with Lallana, looked to have scored the winner in the second-half of extra-time with a composed finish on his weaker right foot. Why have we not seen more of him? 7

Middlesbrough

Jamal Blackman One young debutant was beaten by another as the former Chelsea youth goalkeeper somehow allowed Rossiter’s daisy-cutter to roll underneath him after he had collided with his team-mate Kenneth Omeruo. Looked shaky thereafter. 5

Ryan Fredericks Delivered a solid performance in both defence and attack. 6

Daniel Ayala The former Liverpool defender didn’t really put a foot wrong and handled both Lambert and Balotelli well. 7

Kenneth Omeruo Untidily clashed with his goalkeeper for the opening goal and he struggled to help his side retain possession. Booked in the 57th minute for a cynical lunge on Lallana but did improve with the challenge of Balotelli. 5

George Friend A quiet first-half but, like Fredericks, he battled well as Liverpool looked to overload their right-side. 6

Albert Adomah Performed his defensive duties well and had the beating of Enrique a couple of times with his pace. Critically blazed wide with the 30th penalty of the shoot-out. 6

Grant Leadbitter His Premier League experience showed as he displayed a decent passing range, but he failed to offer the attacking threat he has previously this season and was subbed in extra-time. 6

Adam Clayton Busier just ahead of Leadbitter, forcing a good save from Mignolet and hitting the post within the final 15 minutes of normal time. Finally beat the Belgian in the shoot-out. 7

Adam Reach Advanced and tracked back well on the left of midfield before popping up from a set-piece to score his side’s opening goal in the second-half. A mature performance. 7

Lee Tomlin A real live-wire in the number ten role, the former Peterborough man showed superb skill in the 35th minute to evade two Liverpool players, before stinging the hands of Mignolet from just outside the area a few minutes later. Replaced in extra-time as his influence faded. 7

Kike The £3.5m summer signing satisfactorily led the line as he worked hard to bring his team-mates into play, but was starved of chances and was replaced in the 76th minute. 6

Substitutes

Yanic Wildschut Like Kike, provided an outlet by battling well and providing a few lively runs in the channels but struggled to make a real impact. 6

Patrick Bamford The Chelsea loanee had an instant impact, winning and scoring the penalty with pretty much the final kick of extra-time only eight minutes after being brought on. 6

Jelle Vossen N/A

Follow @thesportreview on Instagram

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie questions Arsenal’s style under Unai Emery
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp rates Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Liverpool FC return
Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker tweets reaction to Dani Ceballos display for Arsenal
Christian Pulisic
Paul Merson rates Christian Pulisic’s start at Chelsea FC