So here we go, as promised, the performance ratings for each Liverpool player after the opening game at home to Sunderland. Although Liverpool didn't get the win they wanted and there were so problems with the match, there were positives to take out of it.
If you would like to read my review of the game then just click here or if that didn't work, which I assume it didn't here : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/804208-liverpool-1-sunderland-1-reaction-and-review-of-the-opening-fixture
So without further plugging, let's start.
Considering his return from injury recently, Reina had a great game, he didn't really have much trouble from Sunderland but when they did attack, he seemed comfortable.
My only problem was a free-kick midway through the first half which Reina decided to punch instead of catch and nearly missed it, but of course it is his first game back, so I'll let him off.
Also, I can't fault Reina for the Sunderland goal, it was a great hit from Larrson.
What can I say, last season when he first started against Man City, I was scared of him making mistakes but he had a fantastic season. Now when I think he's got more experience, he starts making those mistakes. On a few occasions, he kept making the wrong decision and passing when he should have cleared and vice versa etc. For the goal, he was ball watching and allowed Seb Larrson a free volley.
I know he's still young and it's the start of the season, but in my opinion, Martin Kelly should have started instead. I obviously cannot be certain that he wouldn't have made the same mistakes, but I think its too much for Flanagan too soon.
Carragher had a good enough game. He didn't let Gyan past him and still works well as captain. Although he didn't really have much to do in the first half, Sunderland did put the pressure on in the second and he and Agger did well at the back. At the moment with Martin Skrtel injured, chances are these two will play against Arsenal, so the Sunderland match was good for both of them to get back into the swing of the Premiership.
The same as Jamie Carragher. He didn't have that much to do in the first half and seemed to handle Sunderland well during the second.
I was surprised that Enrique started the match, as he only signed for Liverpool yesterday and had not trained with the team before playing. However, he had a good game, he managed to defend and attack on the left side and put a few good crosses in for his former Newcastle teammate Andy Carroll.
I'm not sure whether Fabio Aurelio was injured (I thought he would play before the game), but Enrique seemed to fit in well and especially with Glen Johnson on the opposite flank, Liverpool has a very good defense on their hands. Very much hoping to see both of them play against Arsenal next Saturday.
It wasn't the worst Premiership debut for Henderson, but I didn't see much of him in all fairness, he was taken off after an hour for Dirk Kuyt. I assumed he was playing on the right wing, however, whenever there was a ball out on the right, it was Downing who was there. This may be because Henderson is more of a central player and kept drifting into the middle, however, like everyone else it was his first game of the season for a new team, against his old one, which no matter what has got to add some pressure.
I'll go out on a limb and go for him being on the bench against Arsenal.
Surprisingly Lucas didn't get booked. I know, right? And last year's Player of the Season had an average game, like a few last season he wasn't really seen until he was needed and as usual didn't push forward too much and aided the back four for most of the second half.
I expect him to excel against Arsenal, like he usually does against them and prove why he has become a great player for Liverpool.
In my opinion, Adam had the best of the Premiership debuts for Liverpool because he did everything he was bought for. If he'd have taken the penalty that would have completely proved my point, but he made the assist for Suarez to score, managed to take a few good shots (some of which where very close to going in) and fed some very nice passes through to the wings and to Suarez and Carroll.
Although his performance was not fantastic, he showed glimpses of why Liverpool needs him and if he keeps playing at this sort of level and scoring a few goals, he'll keep Meireles and Aquilani out of the team.
The only picture I could find of him vs Sunderland
This one was a difficult one to rate, I should probably split it into both halves, the first half was a seven. He continually beat Sunderland to the ball and made some very good runs and crosses, including a great run that led to him hitting the bar. If he plays like he did in the first half more, I'll have no complaints. Then, he just wasn't seen in the second half, nobody really had a good second half, but I really didn't see him do anything noteworthy.
I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he was shut out of the game by Sunderland, but he's got to be able to beat that in the future and I hope that starts at Arsenal, who are sure to do exactly the same.
I don't think I've seen a weirder first 15 minutes to a Premiership season than Luis Suarez had. One-on-one, taken down for a penalty, completely misses the penalty and then scores five minutes later. It was odd, but he bounced back well from that early penalty miss to command Liverpool's attack during the first half and his partnership with Andy Carroll is very much improving. It is going to be key to Liverpool's success this season.
Suarez was definitely Liverpool's best player on the day and I really hope to see more of the same, except the penalty, leave them to Gerrard, Kuyt, Adam or Carroll.
Carroll wasn't bad at all and although he didn't really get any clear cut chances other than his disallowed goal (why it was disallowed is beyond me) but got a few headers on goal meaning that all the crossers we have in the team aren't wasted. He also tried a few of his 30 yarders (exaggerating) and tried to repeat his success in the game against Man City last season, which I don't mind at all, it just makes him a better player in my opinion.
It was an average performance which I'm certain he can improve on next week.
Kuyt was given half an hour coming on for Jordan Henderson and didn't make that much of an impact really, although I was expecting him to score from about a yard out and make my prediction correct. It never happened, apart from that crushing disappointment, I couldn't really find fault with Kuyt and I hope the head injury he sustained isn't too serious because I expect him to start against Arsenal. He seemed okay to play on, so I'll assume he was alright.
Meireles was given 15 minutes, coming on because Suarez looked knackered by the end and wasn't really seen, apart from a weird looking mohawk I'd forgotten he'd been brought on. Maybe giving Aquilani 15 minutes may have been a wiser choice to either give him a reminder about the Premiership or to put him in the shop window, for want of a better phrase.
All in all, not the worst start to the season. There were some highs and lows, but overall, a point is better than nothing and I am definitely hoping for a first win next week at the Emirates against an Arsenal team that against Newcastle looked lacking a creative force.
Thanks for reading.