14 Apr

Hart - His positioning could be questioned for the first goal when he came off his line but was then caught flat-footed and was bypassed easily by Sterling. Made one flying stop to deny a Gerrard header but despite Liverpool’s vibrancy in the first half, it didn’t feel like he was called into action too often - 6

Zabaleta - The odd sticky moment against the constant movement and pace of the home side’s attackers but for the most part he was his usual ebullient, dogged self. Benefitted from Milner’s introduction down the right - 7

Kompany - His mobility was hindered throughout by injury and that meant he couldn’t match Sterling’s run for the opener, nor Skrtel’s dart for the second. An awful sliced clearance ultimately cost us the game, but that he played was verging on a miracle. Such were the doubts about his fitness, Joleon Lescott had undergone a separate warm-up to the rest of the substitutes and was ready to be brought on within the opening five minutes. All that said, the mistake for Coutinho’s strike was beyond basic, but if more players showed the fighting spirit and sheer will of our captain, we’d be an ever tougher unit to crack - 5

Demichelis - There were fears before the game about how he would cope with the fizzing qualities of Liverpool’s attacking thrust, but the much-maligned Argentine produced a superb display. He largely shackled the considerable threat of Suarez with his positioning, reading of the game and the timing of his tackles. Displayed all his nous and experience and he was the standout City performer - 8

Clichy - Usually such a bundle of energy, he tired early on and that negated some of his bursts down the left. He struggled in the first half as Glen Johnson peeled wide without Samir Nasri tracking him, and that meant Clichy was often out-numbered and vulnerable. Grew into the game, however, and played a role in our second goal - 6

Y. Touré - Barely touched the ball in the opening exchanges and then hobbled off injured - No time to mark

Fernandinho - Found it tough to establish control in the centre against Liverpool’s extra man and his pressing, normally indefatigable, was sketchy at best. Liberated to some extent following Yaya’s withdrawal and the subsequent presence of Garcia, but this was a much quieter display that we have come to expect from the Brazilian - 6

Navas - He frustrated at times with his stuttering tendencies and poor delivery into the box, but always offers an outlet on the right and teed up Fernandinho towards the end of the first half - 6

Nasri - Clearly did not enjoy being forced backwards by Johnson’s constant drives down Liverpool’s right and his hesitation in tracking towards his own goal left Clichy defensively isolated. When we did have the ball, and when Nasri did drift more centrally to become involved, he was a threat and linked neatly with the likes of Silva and Milner - 6

Silva - Suffered in the first half as our midfielders struggled to win, and then maintain, possession but grew in influence as the match wore on and was instrumental in our recovery. As ever, had more time on the ball than his teammates and his intricate nature around the box is delightful to watch - 7

Džeko - His first half performance was up there, or perhaps down there, with his most inept displays ever. He was frequently a static presence when we needed someone to unsettle Liverpool’s defenders, and when he could be bothered moving, he drifted harmlessly out to the left and was then painfully slow to burst into the middle. His touch was as wayward as ever and despite an improved second-half showing, it was no surprise he was replaced - 4


Garcia - Positionally average, leaving gaping gaps for the home side to pour into on the counter-attack. In possession, the complaint is not that he does anything wrong, it’s that he doesn’t do anything. No-one is expecting him to replicate David Silva’s creativity on the ball, but a notion of positivity or intent in his passing would be appreciated - 6

Milner - His introduction brought about a noticeable improvement to our play. As is so often the case, we seemed a more balanced side when he featured. His directness, not just in searing down the right but also in his frequent central bursts and slaloming runs, adds another element to our attacks and he’s far better technically than given credit for - 7

Aguero – One shimmy and darting run down the left before laying the ball across for Silva but struggled to find the space in to which to run - 6

21 Responses to “Liverpool 3 – 2 MAN CITY – PLAYER RATINGS”

  1. Ben Renshaw 14/04/2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Agree with all the ratings except for Garcia. I think his vast improvement has gone largely unnoticed. Whilst he is never going to be able to ping 60 yard balls ala Gerrard, he is noticeably quicker at releasing the ball to those who are capable of unlocking a defence than previously. I don’t think it is a coincidence that we were a lot more compact when he came on and we came back into the game as a result. I feel comfortable with the prospect of Garcia filling in for Toure in his absence. Precise passing and a number of interceptions yesterday from the Spaniard.

    • Alphie-Izzett 14/04/2014 at 6:07 pm #

      I agree in the main. There’s no point reading VfaB’s player ratings if you expect to find anything positive stated about Garcia. I wouldn’t be surprised to see “Took his goal poorly” next time he scores or “Fortunate to get in the way of the ball” next time he clears off the line :-)

      The thing is that both YYT and Fernie are happier and most comfortable playing a box to box role, neither has the game to play in the makelele manner as a classic midfield sweeper. When up against quality and outnumbered 3/2 these two excellent players are made to struggle. It does, however, allow Pellegini to deploy the extra attacking player which has been a feture of our most commanding performances.

      The evidence seems to be that when we play high quality sides (BM, CFC, Barca, Pool) he should strongly consider commencing 433 with Garcia sweeping infront of the CH’s which would tighten the control early on and allow Yaya and Fernie to drive forward more as the game progresses. I doubt he ever will because he never has and has had notable success sticking to his guns.

      Maybe if a DMF with Garica’s qualities, plus a bit more vision and a lot more pace, is ever found to replace him we could play 442 with one of Yaya or Fernie alongside and one on the bench.

      We are not finished yet this season but it will take every player, not just the warriors, to stand and be counted if we are to still be in with a chance when the last game of the season kicks off.


  2. srexr 14/04/2014 at 4:54 pm #

    I thought Dzeko and Nasri were our hardest working players in the first half and never gave up trying despite getting little support from those around them.

    The fact is if Clattenburg had got the refereeing decisions right we would have been talking about City showing the resilience of champions, Kompany showing the grit of a leader, Liverpool capitulating and Suarez being the villain of the piece for leaving Liverpool a man short at the time of their greatest need. Yet because of that one man who makes the decisions the result is different and the pundits are praising Liverpool for the performance and denigrating City.

    Are we people or sheep? Winners like SAF and Mourinho wouldn’t be singing the praises of Clattenburg and I hope that isn’t revealing a character flaw that will stop us from getting too, and staying at the top. Unfortunately at the moment I favour the chance that it will.

  3. stussy 14/04/2014 at 5:09 pm #

    Dzecko had very little support and no ball to play with.Had Kompany been fit,Toure on the pitch and Clattenburg been a half decent referee then Suarez would have been sent off and we would be hailing a great city victory.

  4. stan bowles 14/04/2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Kompany scoring higher than Dzeko ? Really ? Not sure whether Kompany’s decision to declare himself fit was brave or foolhardy. Sometimes you have to put the needs of the team first and Kompany should not have taken to the field in the first place. His injury unsettled our preparations severely and Lescott should have been pencilled in to start by Saturday evening.
    Unfortunately at the moment Silva is our only consistently high performer. Navas has frustrated me all season seemingly indecisive and lacking end product and so it’s high time Milner was given the starting wide right spot for the rest of the season.

  5. mathew ridyard 14/04/2014 at 5:58 pm #

    1. I agree with Ben R above, Garcia sures things up and we looked a better unit with him on. I too am not worried about him for the remaining games.

    2. Milner: I am so tired of his “reputation” preceding every comment made about him. He has been outstanding this season, period. Does he has to move to another club, like Barry, before he gets recognition?

    3. Maybe it is just me, but Pelligrini’s dismissal of the English players annoys me. I couldn’t believe he started the overrated Navas instead of Milner. What more does JM have to do to earn a start?

    Would Sterling, Henderson, Coutinho et al be playing for City or benched if they were in our squad?

    If the rumours are true that Hart will be replaced by a Spanish speaking keeper over the summer, I suspect I won’t be the only one wondering what the hell is going on.

    I prefer what is happening at Southampton, Liverpool and Everton.

    I also don’t think MP has the bottle to win the title.

    • Alphie-Izzett 14/04/2014 at 6:23 pm #

      I think the facts belie the criticism held in the last two lines of your post last two lines of your post Mathew.

      On the first point Liverpool have spent a huge amount, their Academy has brough forward a couple of very good players in Flanagan and Sterling in particular but the cheque book was responsible for the rest and between Gerrard, Carragher and those two lads there hasn’t been a lot to shout about.

      As for Saints, are you saying that you’d rather struggle in mid table and have to sell all of your best players?
      And Everton….don’t make me laugh, they have made an art of borrowing players, buying cheap and selling high. That is admirable but we are fortunate in that we do not have to do that and gasp into the CL once a decade.

      The City Academy has struggled to produce players who are good enough since SWP, Micah, Nedum and Sturridge came through. Now we have Lopes, Huws and Rekik knocking at the door and a great many 15-19 year old players attracted in more recent times, some of whom look to be really fine prospects.

      If you are going to put the accusation of ‘lacking bottle’ you should evidence it. I feel that Pellegrini has shown considerable strength of character and has delivered a terrific season of quality football and has stood firmly by his principles. All the way through the club, from the leadership in the boardroom to the playing staff and coaches there is a consistent approach because the maen at the top have the vision and the bottle to deliver it.

      • Alphie-Izzett 14/04/2014 at 6:25 pm #

        Lousy proof reading once more – apologies :-)

        • Roggie123 15/04/2014 at 6:32 pm #

          Alphie Izz – I think you wrote earlier in the season that ‘there were no English players good enough to play for City apart from Gerard’! So are you now going to eat your words? Can I suggest Stirling, Henderson, Flanagan, Sturridge might be good enough?? And what about the Southampton youngsters who totally outplayed City in the first half despite the fact that they lost?

  6. Goatman 14/04/2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Agree wholehearted with Matthew Ridyard. Im becoming totally disillusioned with Pelligrini not only picking the wrong team but picking unfit players. Vincent has been marvellous for us but he was in some part responsible for all three goals and couldn’t merit more than a 4 (and that only in sympathy)He should not have played. Demichelis ‘marshalled a defence’ that could have let four or more in during that first half so 8 for him is ridiculous. Zabba has been looking very tired for a few games now and didn’t merit 7. Where is Richards by the way, surely he must get a game somewhere if he is fit or is it the anti English bias that also keeps man of the match Milner out of the side? Well maybe not MOM, because Silva was superb again. My if only he had a right foot as well, what a player. Dzecko doesn’t display anything like the urgency and aggression that is needed in attack and Negrado should have started. He’ll never rediscover his touch on the bench, yet Dzecko gets chance after chance and we all know he is not good enough for a top top club. Still one bright spot Yaya off before he’d broken sweat, oh, forgot, he never breaks sweat.

    • Roggie123 15/04/2014 at 6:02 pm #

      Totally agree with you Matthew. I wondered how long it was going to take before my year long criticism of Pelli was going to be accepted by others. He got it wrong yet again and I blame this defeat on the manager (as with Chelsea) with both his selection of players and his style of play when playing away.

      Kompany should not have been playing and was clearly unfit. Milner is one of the best players in the squad, has been fantastic all year and yet hardly ever starts. Why?? Navas frustrates and was overawed by the passion of Liverpool. He appears to play because he speaks Spanish and not for reasons association with football tactics! Milner should have started for his experience of playing at the ‘pool and because he would have supported the defence more. He plays superbly with the magician and it was no coincidence that we played so much better when he was brought on. So I agree with you completely ‘what the hell is going on’?? Is there any truth that we are playing in La Liga next season?

      As for Garcia he was a joke, an embarrassment! Stirling made him look like a complete monkey at times and it appeared he was treading in treacle when chasing him. The guy is a total waste of time and even micky mouse could pass the ball 5 yards every time. Why does he have to be in the squad at all. Are there no development squad players? Has the manager been told he has to play him? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered here.

      Now I must ask this question. Everyone says this team is better than when we won the league. If this is true and we don’t win the league this year who is responsible? The manager or the players or a combination of both. If we don’t win the league I put it squarely on the shoulders of the manager, his choice of players, his loaning out our best midfield defence player and his lack of tactical awareness. We are losing to the top teams, they know exactly how we are going to play! This is not good enough for a (supposedly top) manager.

  7. Glenn Kavanagh 14/04/2014 at 8:50 pm #

    Very disappointing day to say the least..Mr pellers baffles me with his foolish talk (again) about Chelsea..strange carry on, I was disappointed with the team line up, after loosing a big game like that it becomes very easy to make yourself sound smart & I know all about football etc etc, human nature I quess’ we like to think we are all of that bluster, it came as no surprise that the pool started the first half as they did… It was mentioned by my fellow bluemooners that we needed to tightened up around the middle with Garcia in from the start…. Why did we play like we didn’t know what we were coming up against??? does the manager learn nothing from playing “footballing teams”??, he’s 40 years in the game, I’m a lay fan observing like the rest of us, calamity kompany put on a ” performance ” that will unfortunately stay in my mind forever more..injured???, bullshit excuse’ he looked like a clown out there, if that was demich (who was excellent again) the rope would be on the tree, I feel your comments about dzeko to be totally disrespectful, he put a very good shift in….& Garcia was very good, its a shame that the ref “managed” the game through emotion rather than reason, it was a cowardly showing from him, please Manuel step up to the plate, I would like to see jovetic & kolly come back in…well played milner, we were never going to be allowed to go to anfield & get a result.. no way, it was 10 men against 14… The…the ref & our dear captain…we didn’t stand a chance.

  8. @btb42 on Twitter 14/04/2014 at 10:39 pm #

    First I want to say a few things about Pelegrini. This is what I wrote after the match against Chelsea. (
    That it is not just a matter of bad fortune that Manuel has not won any titles before (he managed even Real Madrid without success)
    His mistakes against Liverpool were:
    1)Playing Navas and not Milner
    2)Playing Dzeko and not Negredo
    3)Playing Kompany injured
    4)Playing Yaya injured
    5)Not playing Garcia

    Now, i can say that mistakes no.1 , no.2 and no.5 are not what you would call ”an amazing mistake”.
    Milner ahead of Navas was a real tough one and I myself at SBNATION said that I would have played Navas to use his lightning speed at the counter. Navas didn’t play well, Milner was great end of story. It could have been the other way around, Navas having a great game and we would not judge MP.
    Dzeko. What should I say about him? He was in good form, against Southampton he won a penalty and scored a goal but.. Sunday’s game was a derby. And Dzeko tends to disappear at derbies, especially against Chelsea and Liverpool. Negredo, although not in form I believe would have been a much more imposing figure at the field and a tougher match up for the Liverpool defenders. Anyway, it required some guts to play an out-of-form striker ahead of an in-form-striker so let that go.

    BUT.. for heaven’s sake Pelegrini!!! I find it very hard to swallow that he played Kompany and Toure although they were injured! Result? Yaya may be out for the rest of the season and Kompany was at fault in each and every one of the three goals we conceded! WELL DONE MANUEL!

    Now let’s talk about the team ratings: I agree with the ratings for Hart, Demichelis (giant!), Clichy, Fernandinho, Nasri, Dzeko, Garcia, Aguero.

    Zabaleta was not that good for a 7 please. He was not that usual calm presence, not so productive at both ends. 6 at best.

    Kompany was at fault in every goal we conceded. Gets a 3. End of story. He should have not played but if he was injured he should have asked MP not to play. Costed us the game.

    Silva gets an 8 from me. What a man really. Can’t say how I like Merlin. And he is one of our few players who don’t play only for the money and show some passion even when things don’t go our way. Responsible for our both goals, not able to make it 2-3 but for a man of his size only the fact that he managed to kick the ball mean nothing.

    Navas a 5 at most. His only contribution was the cross for Silva’s header. Nothing more. Anonymous. Milner should start ahead of him for the rest 6 games.

    Milner 8. Amazing performance, he turned the whole game around with his class and his vision. What a move at the first goal. Simply, class!

  9. Blue Bullet 14/04/2014 at 10:43 pm #

    Demichelis better than Silva yesterday; just no VFAB

    • Roggie123 15/04/2014 at 6:09 pm #

      Replay the first goal. Watch the effort of Demich. when the ball was played past him. With Stirling twisting and turning he stood and watched from ten yards away!! He could easily have got back and helped out. It was shameful! Liverpool players would have been busting a gut to get back. That’s the reason I believe we will not win the league.

  10. aj 15/04/2014 at 1:02 am #

    Your ratings have no credibility whatsoever. Your inability to rate Dzeko objectively is bewildering or rather, inept haha, not his actual performance. He received no support and yet the first person you blame is him. Ridiculous. Silva was invisible for the entirety of the first half along with Nasri. The two players who are meant to dictate play in midfield were the ones who didn’t show up and yet you blame Dzeko for not doing his bit. He deserved at least a 6 like the majority of the team if not more because he made the biggest contribution out of all the offensive players on show. He did go a bit too wide at times but nearly always did something productive in possession. A few wayward touches as you’d expect but a few delightful ones as well.What about the dribble past Skrtel, the volley pass in the 2nd half, the constant physical presence and work ethic….. Even Kompany got a higher rating! Aguero got a higher rating for one great bit of play that should have resulted in a goal but did F all afterwards. These player ratings are a joke. Absolute garbage. Pfft.

    • @btb42 on Twitter 15/04/2014 at 2:19 pm #

      Silva was invisible? If Merlin was invisible Dzeko was what exactly?? He barely made the Liverpool defenders understand that he was playing. As for ”What about the dribble past Skrtel, the volley pass in the 2nd half, the constant physical presence and work ethic” his ”constant physical presence” is a joke, his work ethic better than usual but not enough and what about the GLORIOUS chance that he misses when he MUST have scored

      • aj 17/04/2014 at 8:41 pm #

        What glorious chance? Are you talking about the left footed hit just before he was taken off because he thumped that one at full power. Pellegrini made the mistake of taking him off. Ok it wasn’t his best game by any stretch of the imagination but why replace your only striker when you’ve fought your way back into the game and are in the ascendancy? He should have taken Nasri off and played with 2 upfront so someone (either Aguero or Negredo) could have supported him because obviously Silva and Nasri weren’t doing much, particularly in the first half.

  11. bigbri 15/04/2014 at 4:28 am #

    pellegrini got his starting line up wrong. Navas hasnt done anything for two months now, his pace cannot be used when games have spaces squeezed, his dribbling and one on ones are poor so he cannot beat the defender and too often he prefers to cut inside instead of getting wide and to the byline. Milner, as he showed when he came on, would have offered more defensively and further much in carrying the ball into liverpools territory.

    On the other side, i hoped pellegrini would have sacrificed nasri for kolorov who offers better crossing and more defensive protection for clichy.

    To be honest, in this game i would have played with no striker by dropping dzeko for garcia. A midfield six of kolarov, fernandinho, milner, toure, nasri and silva with toure pushed further up rotating attacking positions with nasri and silva to bring out the liverpool defence and offer more space centrally for the movement and interplay of nasri and silva.

  12. Roggie123 15/04/2014 at 6:26 pm #

    Totally agree with you bigbri. Milner has been far superior to Navas all season, yet Navas always starts. Why is this? It again appears to be bias against an English player as it is not good football sense. Navas hardly ever beats a defender and his crosses are minimal. Milner offers so much more both in attack and defence.

  13. Roggie123 15/04/2014 at 6:40 pm #

    If Pelli fails to play Milner on Wednesday then I will be convinced the guy is either crooked or totally useless as a manager. I wait with interest to see who plays!!

Leave a Reply

WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates