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Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Rating the Reds Players Against Spurs

Vince SiuFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2013

Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Rating the Reds Players Against Spurs

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    A pulsating, Sunday afternoon English Premier League clash at Anfield saw Liverpool claim all three points against Tottenham Hotspur in a 3-2 win. 

    Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing and Steven Gerrard scored for the Reds as a Jan Vertonghen double briefly gave the visitors a comeback lead that only served to spur the home side further.

    An impressive result from Brendan Rodgers' in-form Reds, especially against a Spurs team that had so impressively beaten both Arsenal and Internazionale last week, maintains their push for an unlikely Champions League spot at the end of the current campaign.

    Here are our player ratings for the men in Red.

Brad Jones

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    In the build-up to the match, Pepe Reina's excellent performance against Wigan Athletic last week provided plenty of encouragement against a strong Spurs team.

    But it wasn't to be, as Reina's calf injury ruled him out of Sunday's clash, and so it was Brad Jones who was deputized on a night that saw a number of fine saves from the Reds' No. 2.

    That both of Spurs' goals came from crosses, however, will mean that perhaps Reina's command of the box might have come in handy, but fortunately that didn't matter.

    Rating: 6/10

Glen Johnson

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    In front of Jones, Liverpool's right-back put in a typical Glen Johnson shift, as he supported both defence and attack admirably in a balanced performance.

    Gareth Bale was once again Spurs' most threatening player of the night, though Johnson also had to deal with a roaming Gylfi Sigurdsson, who took up dangerous positions in and around the box.

    Perhaps slow to react on both goals, Johnson was a key part of a shaky-looking Reds defence that fortunately didn't need a clean sheet to secure the win.

    Rating: 6/10

Jose Enrique

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    With Spurs' in-form right-winger Aaron Lennon missing out on the night, the direct threat facing Jose Enrique was vastly diminished with only Kyle Walker proving Spurs' genuine threat from the right.

    Marauding attacking midfielder Gareth Bale did shift out onto the right on various occasions, but Enrique stuck to his task and performed well defensively.

    Jan Vertonghen's first goal of the afternoon came from a Bale cross from the Spurs right that had as much to do with the Belgian's good positioning and header as with an uncertain Liverpool defence, but Enrique was perhaps the least culpable.


    Rating: 7/10

Jamie Carragher

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    Continuing his recent run in the first team at the expense of Martin Skrtel, vice captain Jamie Carragher showed admirable dedication to his duties but also proved a weak link in the Reds defence as he simply couldn't deal with the energy and running of the Tottenham attack.

    Perhaps conscious of his inability to deal with Bale and Co. in full flight, Carragher marshaled an often deeper defensive line that served to invite Spurs onto the Liverpool defence, but also put in several tackles and blocks that earned Anfield's appreciation.

    A mixed performance from the soon-to-retire Reds legend.

    Rating: 6/10

Daniel Agger

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    Alongside Carragher, Daniel Agger perhaps didn't find himself as comfortable in a Liverpool team that didn't dominate possession at home.

    In a match that put the back four's focus back on defence, Agger put in a decent shift in his own half while contributing nothing of note going forward.

    He will enjoy far better afternoons, but matches like this offer a stern test to ball-playing center-backs like Agger, and he passed the one on Sunday.

    Rating: 7/10

Lucas

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    Sunday afternoon was one of those occasions that proved Brendan Rodgers right when he said that Lucas still had some way to go before regaining full-match fitness.

    The Liverpool midfield was simply too open at times, with Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele seemingly breaking into the last third almost at will, and Lucas didn't have the pace to recover on those Spurs breaks.

    A needless foul on Bale early in the second half earned him a yellow card.

    Not a convincing showing from the Reds anchorman.

    Rating: 5/10

Steven Gerrard

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    A late penalty from Steven Gerrard set the Reds on their way to victory, but it was admittedly a performance some way off the impeccably high standards he has set for himself in the past few months.

    Not that this will be of any concern to his managers or his fans, though; it is his frequent match-winning goals and leadership from the midfield that have dragged Liverpool from the depths, and so it proved once again in front of a voracious Anfield crowd.

    A chaotic midfield battle saw plenty of possession lost and regained, but Gerrard was Gerrard when Gerrard was most needed.

    Rating: 7/10

Stewart Downing

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    Selected on the right as a more defensively inclined winger on the afternoon, Downing provided one of those rare moments during his time in a Liverpool shirt: a goal.

    But his goal came as a result of the work rate he showed all night, as he anticipated a wayward Spurs back pass and worked his way into the box for the right-footed finish. 

    Aside from his equalizer, Downing provided plenty of defensive coverage on the right flank and showed plenty of encouraging movement with and off the ball.

    A man-of-the-match performance from the much-improving winger.

    Rating: 8/10 (Man of the Match)

Luis Suarez

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    Another game, another goal. Such is the form of Luis Suarez that he simply can't seem to stop scoring.

    His goal on the afternoon came courtesy of a neat buildup by Philippe Coutinho and Jose Enrique, but the left-back's through-ball still needed plenty of skill to finish, and Suarez's poked first-time finish with the outside of his right boot was as skillful as it was classy.

    Plenty of work rate from Suarez up front as he continued his audition for the Player of the Year award with an influential performance that ultimately won Liverpool a late penalty and brought home all three points.

    Rating: 8/10

Philippe Coutinho

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    Starting on the left side of the Liverpool attack, Philippe Coutinho once again enjoyed a bright first half before fading in the second.

    His dribbles on the left flank caused trouble for Spurs right-back Kyle Walker, and it was his pass that set up Jose Enrique to provide the assist for Luis Suarez's goal. Spurs began the second half closing down the midfield effectively, and as the half wore on Coutinho's influence diminished.

    He was withdrawn around the hour mark for Joe Allen, as Brendan Rodgers looked to add more control into his midfield.

    Rating: 7/10

Daniel Sturridge

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    On his return to first-team action, Daniel Sturridge showed that he was lacking in both the match and physical sharpness departments.

    Eager to show his pace and dribbling, Sturridge overdid his flicks and tricks up front as several fancy touches ultimately let him down and broke up many a Liverpool attack.

    The January signing was substituted on the 88th minute with Rodgers looking to Jordan Henderson to help protect a one-goal lead.

    Rating: 5/10

Substitute: Joe Allen

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    Joe Allen was brought on for Coutinho around the hour mark, and his addition to the Liverpool midfield proved to be an inspired one from Brendan Rodgers as it added another presence deeper in the midfield.

    Nothing in particular to note from the much-maligned midfielder, but the fact that his substitution preceded Liverpool's equalizer and subsequent winning goal means that his contributions can't and won't be ignored.

    Rating: 7/10

Substitute: Jordan Henderson

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    Chosen to bring more energy and physicality in the midfield in the dying minutes, Jordan Henderson came on for Daniel Sturridge as Rodgers opted to protect Liverpool's lead, and promptly set about his usual chasing and harrying ways.

    Not enough time for him to impress, and thankfully he didn't need to.

    Rating: N/A

     

    For extensive coverage on the Premier League, please check out my Bleacher Report writer’s profile and my weekly roundup of English football on SoccerWithoutLimits.com.

    Follow me @theredarmchair.

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