Player ratings: Liverpool 0-0 Stoke

We are Liverpool! We like doing things the hard way.

Liverpool FC and Stoke City's Club Crests

Well that was dismal! On a day where I was just as bothered at the prospect of us picking up injuries as I was the three points, that Stoke team was just about the worst we could have played. They were overly physical the whole game and the referee provided our players with no protection whatsoever. In fact, all the officials were poor today. How both the referee AND linesman missed that hand ball is beyond me and we had a case for a couple of other penalties as well. Both Crouch and Diouf could have been sent off, that one from Crouch was horrendous, a studs up, knee high scrape and Firmino was lucky he never properly connected. As for Diouf, he just blatantly kicked Moreno once the ball was out of play. Anyway, that’s enough excuses about officials regardless of how terrible they were.

I still can’t believe Mo missed that chance. A good 20 seconds had passed with me celebrating before I realised he’d put it wide. After that, nothing really came off for him although again, Pieters consistently fouled him the whole game, similarly to the way Ashley Young did when we last faced United. Bit of an off day but I guess he was due one.

Danny Ings was desperately unlucky with his offside goal, that was a tidy finish but apart from that we never worked Butland, who if there was any doubt that he’s not the keeper for us, I hope there isn’t now. He and Karius mirror each other - nervy and dodgy.

Joe Gomez was awful today, his passing was nothing short of hideous, especially in the first half. He looks to me like a player who is feeling the pressure given Trent’s fine form and he’s been unlucky in as much as every time he gets up a head of steam and his reputation and stature start to grow, he gets injured. Reality check though lad, at a big club like Liverpool, there is always someone hungry for your place and it’s up to you to force your way back in... Just ask Clyne.

I was excited to see Trent in midfield today, where I think he’ll eventually end up. He didn’t look out of place and was arguably our best player in the first half. Unlucky when he went through on goal but that first touch when running flat out was very difficult. I think he’s versatile enough to play any of our midfield three positions and I’m very excited to see how he develops over the next few years.

Gini not involved enough and Hendo struggled to influence the game. My heart was in my mouth when he stayed down though, we seriously can’t afford any more midfield injuries.

CB’s were decent, I still reckon Klavan is our most solid CB after Van Dijk. He’s not as technically gifted as Lovren and Matip but he keeps it simple and rarely makes silly mistakes. Stuck a decent cross in at the end as well. Karius had nothing to do but what he did was dodgy. It will be a mistake to go into next season with him as our number one in my opinion. Unless the alternative is Butland that is...

Overall another forgettable afternoon but it does highlight how important throwing away that two goal lead against West Brom last week may prove to be. We should still qualify for top four but in true Liverpool style we're doing it the hard way. The Chelsea game is now massive when it didn’t need to be. 

Anyway, that’s enough doom and gloom. It’s difficult to feel too much negativity to this team that has thrilled us all season and attention now switches back to Roma on Wednesday night. Just like West Brom, I can understand this result given our European commitments, even if it is frustrating. Remember though lads and lassie, on Wednesday, short of a horrendous collapse we shall be Champions League finalists! So walk on to Rome on Wednesday and let’s just chalk today up as ‘one of those days’.

Y.N.W.A
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