Liverpool 4-0 Borussia Dortmund: Full Player Ratings
Goals from Daniel Sturridge, Dejan Lovren, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson secured the spoils for the Reds on a wet and windy day on Merseyside.
After the game, Northern Irishman Rodgers hailed his charges, and the manager can sleep safe in the knowledge that his side seem primed for another rigorous Premier League campaign.
Here are our final player ratings for each Liverpool player on the day; the scale considers overall performance, impact on the game and importance to the team, with a reasonable six the average score.
Simon Mignolet (Goalkeeper): 7
Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was rarely troubled throughout, and he kept cool when under pressure.
Furthermore, the 26-year-old exuded more of an authority throughout proceedings, and his communication with the defence—perhaps aided by the presence of Lovren at centre-back—has markedly improved upon last season.
Despite having a quiet game, Mignolet no doubt had a part to play in Liverpool’s clean sheet.
Javier Manquillo (Right-Back): 7
Having been deployed on the right-hand side of defence during the Reds’ open training session at Anfield on Friday, at Glen Johnson’s expense, Manquillo started once more in this position.
Despite this being the 20-year-old’s first-ever outing for Liverpool, Manquillo performed exceptionally—persistent overlapping runs were a trademark of the side’s attacking play, while a dominant ability in the air aided the defensive cause.
Martin Skrtel (Centre-Back): 7
Slovakian centre-back Martin Skrtel was preferred to Frenchman Mamadou Sakho in the battle to partner new-boy Lovren at the heart of the Liverpool defence, and the 29-year-old seems to have formed a great relationship with the Croatian.
Skrtel was surprisingly quiet throughout—overshadowed by the prominent former Southampton man—but remained functional; a few last-gasp challenges ensured the Reds kept their clean sheet.
Dejan Lovren (Centre-Back): 8
Another new Liverpool signing making his debut, Lovren has been vocally enthusiastic since his £20 million move from Southampton in July.
The 25-year-old outlined how he would give the club “100 per cent on the pitch,” via The Telegraph (subscription required), and against Dortmund, this was immediately apparent.
The Croatian led the back four vocally, ensuring his colleagues kept in line, and was equally astute technically: In particular, Lovren showed an ambitious defensive edge by stepping forward to make challenges before Der BVB could mount an attacking charge.
Lovren capped an excellent performance with a well-taken headed goal on 13 minutes.
Glen Johnson (Left-Back): 7
England international Johnson has come under fire on countless occasions recently for a string of dour performances in both the red of Liverpool and while representing the Three Lions at the World Cup this summer.
However, the 29-year-old showed no signs of the lethargy, typical of his recent game, when deployed against Dortmund at left-back.
Johnson was both able defensively—keeping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang under wraps throughout—and comfortable supporting left-sided attacker Raheem Sterling in going forward.
Steven Gerrard (Centre-Midfield): 7
Reds captain Steven Gerrard formed the base of Liverpool’s midfield against Dortmund alongside newly acquired German youngster Emre Can.
Starting quietly, the 34-year-old grew into the game and looked set on putting a turbulent summer behind him; following England’s World Cup departure, the midfielder described himself as “broken”, per BBC Sport.
Gerrard threw himself into challenges with typical fervour, stymieing any Dortmund menace, and—given more of a free reign with the introduction of Lucas Leiva at half-time—linked up well with Liverpool’s youthful attack with some great buildup play.
He also provided the assist for Lovren’s goal.
Emre Can (Centre-Midfield): 6
Can, a summer signing from Bayer Leverkusen, has been one of the most impressive performers throughout Liverpool’s pre-season; however, against Dortmund, the German midfielder was surprisingly muted.
The 20-year-old often failed to keep up with the tempo of Rodgers’ system, and he was substituted at half-time to make way for Brazilian midfielder Lucas.
However, at times, Can showed the technical finesse and the defensive brutality that have hallmarked a solid pre-season on the whole.
Raheem Sterling (Left Wing): 8
Deployed on the left-hand side of what became a fluid 4-2-3-1 formation for Liverpool was 19-year-old winger Sterling, who has ostensibly been tasked to fill part of the void left by Luis Suarez this season.
The England winger, who marked his reintroduction into the Liverpool fold following the World Cup with a goal six minutes into a 1-0 win over Olympiakos last month, excelled against Dortmund.
Particularly impressive was the versatile attacker’s linkup play with Brazilian dynamo Coutinho, with the pair exchanging increasingly inspired flicks and through balls amid an encouraging tete-a-tete.
Energetic and creative throughout, Sterling was one of Liverpool’s finest performers against Der BVB.
Philippe Coutinho (Central Attacking Midfield): 9
As mentioned, 22-year-old midfielder Coutinho shone in a creative role in tandem with Raheem Sterling on Sunday.
The Reds No. 10, deployed in what Rodgers described as the player’s “best position” in his post-match press conference, has enjoyed the freedom of this central role throughout the pre-season.
Possessing a bag of tricks and an endless stream of creative nous, Coutinho will be crucial as Liverpool mount a charge in the Premier League once more this season.
He also provided the assist for Sturridge’s opening goal with a superb flicked through ball.
Jordan Henderson (Right Wing): 8
In Rodgers’ 4-2-3-1 formation against Dortmund, England midfielder Henderson was fielded on the right-hand side of the attacking midfield.
Starting quietly, the 24-year-old grew into the game quickly, showing once more a now-typical, boundless energy until his substitution on 71 minutes.
Henderson played a big part in the buildup play that proved so devastating against Der BVB, and he capped the move of the game with a deft, flicked finish after a mesmerising one-touch salvo involving Sterling and Coutinho once again.
Daniel Sturridge (Striker): 8
Any fears over the fitness of Sturridge this pre-season were allayed against Dortmund, as the England striker ran himself ragged at Anfield.
The 24-year-old will look to develop an already impressive skill set in lieu of last season’s star forward, Suarez, and on Sunday, this looked to be in full swing.
He scored the opener with a crafty low finish and assisted on Henderson’s goal following a determined run to keep the ball—debatably—in play.
Rodgers introduced a smattering of substitutes throughout this last pre-season friendly in order to give his first XI a much-needed rest and to cast an eye over some fresher faces prior to the Premier League’s commencement.
Martin Kelly (on for Javier Manquillo, 84 minutes): 6
Forgotten man Martin Kelly came on for outstanding debutante Manquillo, and he did little wrong.
Jose Enrique (on for Glen Johnson, 62 minutes): 6
Spanish left-back Jose Enrique has struggled for fitness over the past several months, and this cameo appearance will have provided a much-needed workout.
Lucas Leiva (on for Emre Can, 46 minutes): 6
Lucas finds himself low down on the Liverpool pecking order following the signing of Can, and this second-half outing may be one of few this season.
Joe Allen (on for Jordan Henderson, 79 minutes): 6
Tenacious Welshman Joe Allen replaced the impressive Henderson, but he had little to do in the centre of midfield.
Jordon Ibe (on for Philippe Coutinho, 71 minutes): 6
The promising Jordon Ibe barely touched the ball against Dortmund.
Rickie Lambert (on for Daniel Sturridge, 75 minutes): 6
A dream outing for new signing Rickie Lambert—a return to Anfield after having been a schoolboy with the club two decades ago—but the striker failed to impose himself within Liverpool’s system.
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