Player Ratings: Liverpool 2-1 Southampton

Sports Mole rates the players' performances from Liverpool's 2-1 win over Southampton on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Liverpool got their season off to a winning start this afternoon courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Southampton at Anfield.

Raheem Sterling gave the hosts the lead midway through the first half, but Nathaniel Clyne levelled things up 10 minutes after the restart with an emphatic finish.

The Reds clinched all three points in the 79th minute, however, as Daniel Sturridge converted from close range having been found by Sterling's header.

Here, Sports Mole looks at who impressed during an absorbing 90 minutes on Merseyside.



LIVERPOOL

Liverpool's English midfielder Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on August 17, 2014© Getty Images

Goal

Simon Mignolet: Kept his side in the lead with a sensational save to deny Schneiderlin late on. Made a couple of other good stops over the 90 minutes but could do nothing about the Southampton goal. (8/10)

Defence

Javi Manquillo: Solid debut from the Spaniard, who kept Tadic quiet for long periods. Didn't pose much of a threat going forward, though. (6/10)

Martin Skrtel: Was strong for the vast majority of the match, coming out on top in a physical battle with Pelle. Almost caught out late on when Schneiderlin hit the bar, but generally was solid at the back. (7/10)

Dejan Lovren: Promising debut from the defender against his former club. Showed some good touches on the ball and read the game very well at times as well. (7/10)

Glen Johnson: Always a threat going forward, but often a liability at the back, Johnson showed more of the same today. Didn't make any glaring errors but may struggle to keep his place in the team when Moreno is available. (6/10)

Midfield

Lucas Leiva: Solid as ever from the Brazilian, who played out his role in a disciplined fashion. Struggled to have a huge impact on the game, but didn't make any mistakes either. (6/10)

Steven Gerrard: Was not afforded much time on the ball by Ward-Prowse, so was unable to have his usual impact further up the field. Looked as comfortable as ever in possession, though. (6/10)

Jordan Henderson: Played a sumptuous ball through for Sterling's goal, putting the perfect weight on the pass with his weaker foot. Had a couple of other nice touches here and there. (7/10)

Attack

Philippe Coutinho: Was given very little room to manoeuvre by Wanyama. Showed a couple of glimpses of what he can do before being taken off, but overall a frustrating afternoon for the Brazilian. (6/10)

Daniel Sturridge: Was out of the game for long periods, but popped up with the winning goal when it mattered. Produced a smart finish from close range to hand his side all three points. (7/10)

Raheem Sterling: The best player on the park. Was a constant threat with his pace and trickery, and deservedly picked up a goal and an assist. (8/10)

Substitutes

Joe Allen: Replaced Lucas shortly after the hour mark but didn't really have much of an impact. (6/10)

Rickie Lambert: Came on for the final 15 minutes against his former club and had a sniff of a chance almost immediately. Seemed to worry the Saints defence in the short time between his introduction and Sturridge's goal. (6/10)



SOUTHAMPTON

Southampton's English defender Nathaniel Clyne clebrates scoring the equalising goal with teammates during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on August 17, 2014© Getty Images

Goal

Fraser Forster: Solid Premier League debut for the new signing. Could not do anything about either goal but made a couple of other decent, if routine, saves. (7/10)

Defence

Nathaniel Clyne: A mixed bag for the defender. Lashed his side level with an emphatic finish, but was found lacking a couple of times in defence. Lost Sterling for the opening goal and was also the wrong side of Sturridge for the winner. (6/10)

Maya Yoshida: Did a good job keeping Sturridge quiet for large periods and was not at fault for either of Liverpool's goals. (6/10)

Jose Fonte: Marshalled the defence well and stunted the influence of Liverpool's dangermen. Decent performance. (7/10)

Ryan Bertrand: Solid display from the left-back as he was involved a fair amount at both ends of the pitch. Helped keep the likes of Coutinho quiet. (7/10)

Midfield

Steven Davis: Missed a glorious chance to give his side the lead when the scores were level at one apiece. Had a decent enough game on the whole, but will be rueing that missed chance. (6/10)

Morgan Schneiderlin: Looked a little off the pace at times, perhaps due to the ongoing speculation surrounding his future. Should have equalised late on but was denied by a fabulous save. (6/10)

Victor Wanyama: Very impressive display in midfield as he left no room for Coutinho or Henderson to operate. Was partly at fault for the winning goal having put in a weak clearance, but was Southampton's best player over the 90 minutes. (8/10)

Attack

James Ward-Prowse: Threatened all day long with his dangerous deliveries into the box, and backed that up with some nice touches on the ball as well. (7/10)

Graziano Pelle: Struggled to make a big impact against Skrtel and Lovren. Looked like being a handful at times but was unable to really impose himself on the Liverpool defence today. (6/10)

Dusan Tadic: Very much a mixed bag for the debutant. Was poor for the majority of the match but then produced a sublime flick to set up Clyne's goal. Improved from then on before being withdrawn in the 74th minute. (7/10)

Substitutes

Shane Long: Made a nuisance of himself as ever, but missed a very good chance after Schneiderlin had hit the bar. For someone so good in the air, he probably should have scored. (6/10)

Lloyd Isgrove: Introduced shortly after Liverpool had regained the lead. Didn't have much time to make an impact on proceedings. (6/10)


Liverpool's Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers applauds before the start of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on August 17, 2014
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