Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Rating the Liverpool Players in FA Cup Final

Peter Webster@@petercwebsterContributor IIIMay 7, 2012

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Rating the Liverpool Players in FA Cup Final

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    Liverpool ran out second best in Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea, but who was to blame?

    Liverpool's second-half performance was better than their opening 45 minutes, and here we'll look at why that happened and who was the catalyst.

    Here is Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Rating the Liverpool Players in FA Cup Final.

Pepe Reina

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    Reina hasn't been in great shot-stopping form this season, and he could have done more to prevent Ramires' opener at Wembley.

    Reina elected to gamble on the path of the ball rather than standing his ground. A decision that proved costly.


Luis Enrique

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    Enrique—like Reina—also could have done more to prevent Ramires' opener.

    The Spaniard was out-muscled by the Chelsea midfielder in the middle of the pitch, giving Ramires the space he needed to sprint forward and score the first goal of the game.

    Enrique played much better in the second half, but the damage was already done.


Martin Skrtel

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    Martin Skrtel allowed Didier Drogba far too much time and space for Chelsea's second goal.

    Skrtel wasn't close enough to the Ivorian in order to block the shot that ultimately won the game for the Stamford Bridge outfit, but aside from that mistake, he kept Drogba reasonably quiet.


Glen Johnson

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    A better defensive performance for Glen Johnson against his former club. The England right back tracked the runs of Saloman Kalou well, but didn't offer much in the way of an attacking threat—something that has been missing in his game this season.

    A modest performance.


Daniel Agger

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    Agger closed out a shot from Salomon Kalou early on, but followed it up with a terrible challenge on Juan Mata sometime later, which warranted his booking.

    Agger was extremely solid and enjoyed a heated debate with Frank Lampard.


Jordan Henderson

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    Young Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson was as hard working as ever, but couldn't produce any real quality when it mattered the most.

    His pace was neutralised well by Ashley Cole, which made him less effective.


Craig Bellamy

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    Having been missing from the Liverpool line up for a few weeks, it was always going to be tough for Craig Bellamy to hit top form in this match.

    As usual he was bright, quick to close players down and had a shot blocked by Ivanovic, which he possibly should have done better with.

    He was substituted for Dirk Kuyt on 78 minutes.


Jay Spearing

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    Unfortunately for Jay Spearing, his performance against Chelsea was as bad as the one earlier in the week against Fulham.

    Spearing's poor pass gave the ball away for Chelsea's opening goal, and Spearing also should have done more when Frank Lampard ghosted past him when creating the second.

    All heart but totally ineffective and looked outclassed.

    He was substituted for Andy Carroll on 55 minutes—unfortunately 54 minutes too late.


Stewart Downing

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    Stewart Downing made himself constantly available whilst out on the wing, but save for a few testing crosses—including one for Andy Carroll's goal—he once again failed to step up and shine.

    Work rate and endeavour meant his value increased slightly on the day.


Steven Gerrard

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    As you would expect from Steven Gerrard, he tried everything in his power to get Liverpool back into the game but found his abilities hampered by having to clean up after the faltering Spearing.

    He took the bull by the horns in the second half and increased the drive and determination of his side. He had an opportunity to get in a strike on goal that he normally would relish, but someone in row z had to duck and cover.


Luis Suarez

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    Luis Suarez was totally ineffective until the arrival of strike partner Andy Carroll in the second half.

    From that point onward, Suarez was a live wire with his movement giving the Chelsea defence all kinds of problems.

    He had a decent effort saved by Cech, but he was booked for dissent.


Dirk Kuyt

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    Brought on for Craig Bellamy with 12 minutes to go, Dirk Kuyt found it hard to get involved in this tight affair.

    The Dutchman was perhaps a surprise bench warmer considering his goal in the Carling Cup final.

    He worked as hard as ever.


Andy Carroll

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    Andy Carroll looked worth his price tag for the first time since he donned the red of Liverpool.

    Some fancy footwork and a powerful finish saw renewed hope instilled into Liverpool's players, and his late header is still the subject of debate as to whether it crossed the line.

    He totally changed the game and should have started from the outset.

    He was Liverpool's best player on the day.


    Unused substitutes—Doni, Rodriguez, Shelvey, Kelly, Carragher.


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