Here are my ratings for the Liverpool cup clash. For the Liverpool ratings, click here to be directed to Anfield Asylum, and Bromantic's take on the Liverpool performance.
A score of 1 being the lowest (Sebastian Savic standard), 10 being the highest (Messi like) A score of 6 will be standard, 7 is solid, a very good game will get an 8, 9 is good for outstanding and 10 is unplayable. 10's will be very rare. Not only will they have to play the game of their life, but it will usually come against a team of good quality or in a big match (FInals, championship deciding game's etc.)
David De Gea - A really poor game. His last game was against Blackburn, where he screwed up a cross, mis-reading the flight of the ball. Here, he was too pre-occupied with Carroll and ended up failing to make a proper attempt at saving the header from Agger. He just wasn't set. Flapped at several crosses after that, failed to take a firm command of his area all afternoon. Could have done better with the 2nd goal too in my humble opinion. Made some decent saves, but nothing that any profesional keeper would have had too many troubles with. 3/10
Rafael - My man of the match. Showed a real desire and hunger to win the ball, something that was lacking slightly from others, especially in a game against Liverpool. Won many 50-50's including one against Steven Gerrard where he wasn't favourite to win the ball. Steamed up the right hand side to win the ball and put in a cross for our equaliser. 8/10
Jonny Evans & Chris Smalling - I have decided to mark these two together because I can't really separate them, and I don't want to end up repeating myself. Kept Carroll quiet for the majority of the game, but done De Gea no favours for the first goal. Gave him no protection. I liked Smalling's composure on the ball, but it has been two weeks in a row where his slips has almost cost a goal. Evans keeps proving the doubters wrong. Nothing either could do for the second goal IMO - 6.5/10
Patrice Evra - Performed well all afternoon apart from the second goal. Should have tucked in which would have left him in a perfect position to intercept Carroll's flick on. A really sloppy mistake that undone all of our hard work. 5.5/10
Antonio Valencia - Started the game well and hit the post early on after a direct run toward the penalty area. In the second half he was far less direct and this helped Liverpool contain are attacks. He is most dangerous when running toward the byline. Too bad he had his back to goal or was shown inside far too often - 6/10
Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs & Michael Carrick - Im going to do the same with these three, because when Scholes was on the pitch, they really dominated the game. They often formed triangles and with help from Park who flitted in and out of the centre of the pitch, gave no chance to Liverpool to get foot on ball for any sustained period of time. Carrick was astute as ever in breaking up the play, with both tackles and interceptions. Giggs (Probably the most in-effective of the three) was taling up some good positions, and Scholes was the magician. His passing was superb and he controlled the tempo of the game. Then he was taken off for Hernandez. (Scholes, 8/10)
We switched to 4-4-2 and all of a sudden we couldn't get near to Liverpool, even the more suprising because Gerrard was taken off at a similar time. There seemed no energy and we had no foothold in CM. Bellamy became a good outlet for them and we couldn't get off the backfoot at all. Carrick and Giggs became a non entity for the last 25/30 minutes. Carrick 6.5/10 - Giggs 6/10
Ji Sung Park - Played well. Worked hard and got stuck in. His footballing brain is under rated IMO. He can play so many positions and gets involved. For instance yesterday he was often appearing in the centre to help win the ball. Nani could learn from his off the ball runs too. one of which resulted in him arriving late unmarked to finish the low cross from Rafael with aplomb. 7.5/10
Danny Welbeck - Not his greatest game. Didn't work hard enough in closing down the defense IMO, and struggled to keep hold of the ball. Had a good but difficult chance in the second period but after rounding Reina he was dispossesed by Skrtel. Was given a hard task in playing up top on his own at Anfield. 5/10
Chicarito - Poor when he came on. Couldn't make the ball stick and is still too easily pushed off the ball. Couldn't link up with Welbeck at all well. Feeds off of service, however his arrival and subsequent tactical change to incorparate him stifled any service he may have had. 5/10
Dimitar Berbatov - Came on just after we conceded the second. Had no chance to influence the game at all. N/A
It wasn't a bad performance. But the change to 4-4-2 killed us. And I still feel that, had Anders Lindegaard been between the sticks, we would have won, or at worse still been in the hat for the 4th draw, and looking forward to the prospect of beating Liverpool at home twice in one week.
Again, as bitter as it feels to lose to Liverpool, we now need to focus on the League. That starts against Stoke in midweek. Early indications are that Rio Ferdinand will be back, as well as Wayne Rooney and Nani