Three points and a clean sheet is definitely a nice way to end the year. Liverpool defeated Sunderland 1-0 in the last game of 2015 and it was Christian Benteke’s goal that won the game for the reds. The defence did a great job to hold back the Sunderland attack. Back-to-back wins to end the year will be a huge confidence booster for Klopp and his men.
Here are our Liverpool player ratings for the match against Sunderland:
Simon Mignolet – 7
The Belgian had nothing much to do. He made a great save to deny Jermain Defoe. He also did well to punch the ball away in the dying minutes of the game. He will be happy to keep a clean sheet and this was his 16th clean sheet of the 2015 calender year, which surprisingly is the most by any premier goalkeeper. A huge confidence booster for him.
Nathaniel Clyne – 7.5
Another great performance by Clyne. He is consistent and reliable and did his defensive responsibilities well and also helped out the Liverpool attack. He was the ‘Assist the Assister’ for Liverpool’s winning goal. He must be the best signing of the summer for Liverpool.
Dejan Lovren – 8
After receiving a lot of praise for his performance against Leicester on Boxing Day, the Croatian again did a great job against Sunderland. He did everything that we expect from a solid centre back and his combination with Sakho seems to be working well. The pair has kept 5 clean sheets from the 7 games they have played together.
Mamadou Sakho – 7
The Frenchman was better than last week. He has still not hit his full form after returning from injury, but he is improving game by game. He was winning headers, intercepting balls and making fine tackles. He will be hoping to carry on the combination with Lovren.
Alberto Moreno – 7
The Spaniard was caught out of position few times, but still he provided a decent display. He helped out the Liverpool attack often and delivered some dangerous crosses into the box. Got booked for a foul on Defoe in Liverpool’s attacking half.
Emre Can – 6.5
Can was the dirty player for Liverpool. He was making tackles here and there and he gave away a few freekicks for his mistimed tackles. He was not good enough in possession and he did not make any particular contribution to Liverpool’s attack. But he did a great job defensively.
Jordan Henderson – 6.5
There was a doubt about Jordan Henderson before the game, but how could he miss the game against his old club? Henderson was subbed off at the one hour mark due to a injury and Klopp must be hoping that it is not a serious one. His long passing is great. His presence is a great boost for Liverpool.
Adam Lallana – 6
Lallana got the assist for Benteke’s goal, but the fans expect more from him. He is expected to be more involved in the game and make more contributions to Liverpool’s attack. He might be benched against West Ham on Saturday, as he has played every minute of Liverpool’s last two games.
Philippe Coutinho – 6.5
Another frustrating night for the Brazilian. He was supposed to be Liverpool’s playmaker but he was not able to do much with ball on his feet. He fired a few shots, but was not able to find the back of the net. His touches were a little bit rusty.
Roberto Firmino – 7
The Brazilian was showing glimpses of his talents and abilities. He was unlucky not to find the back of the net when he fired a bullet shot on goal. Unfortunately the shot came off the post. He made another two chances for Ibe and Benteke to score in the dying minutes of the game, but both chances were wasted.
Christian Benteke – 7
The Belgian put up a much better performance than he put up against Leicester. But he again was the match winner for Liverpool and no one can deny that. The goal will be another huge confidence booster for him and he will be hoping to hit his full form soon. However, he missed an easy chance, when he was one on one against Sunderland keeper, Vito Mannone.
Lucas Leiva – 6.5
Came on as a substitute for Henderson. He played the final 30 minutes and he did exactly what he was asked to do.
Jordon Ibe – N/A
Kolo Toure – N/A