Around time last year, Liverpool needed penalties to get past lowly, League 2 side, Carlisle. That match was a stark contrast to that result, where players not only turned up, when there could have been signs of tiredness and complacency creeping in, but to also go for the neck, when they could have been just as easily tempted to conserve themselves, nibbling away at their tendons.
Here are the T4O player ratings:
Loris Karius 6.5
Handsome display from the German keeper, who finally had his crack after sustaining a crack on his wrist. Still a bit iffy coming out of crosses, understandably, missing one glaring punch. Did well to thwart Bent before the break. Looks very assured on his feet, he put in a rather reassuring performance. Simon Mignolet could be sweating under his collar.
Nathaniel Clyne 7
It was no surprise as marathon man, Nathaniel Cyle was given the responsibility to start again, after a tireless performance vs Chelsea, such is the high estimation that he holds among the Liverpool management. Put in another 7/10 performance without as much even needing to change his gears. Neat.
Ragnar Klavan 8
Ragnar [RAAAGNAAAR!] is proving to be one of those squad players that some of the great Liverpool teams had in the past. Uncompromising, classy, and always ready to be called into action. Deserved his goal, one that again highlighted his technical ability. A striker’s finish.
Joel Matip 7
It was a walk in the park for the former Schalke defender, as he was mostly untroubled by Derby’s forward thinking intentions. Always seems to be a step ahead of his opposition, down to his uncanny positional sense. Sami Hyypia may be sitting up on his sofa and nodding in approval.
Alberto Moreno 6.5
This was an exercise in confidence building for young Alberto Moreno. Often ridiculed in the social media circle, he gave his detractors to reason to come out of their virtual caves and huts, with virtual tar, pitchforks and feather.
Lucas Leiva 7
Lucas Leiva is slowly but surely asserting his usefulness in the Liverpool squad. Played in his more familiar holding role, he did his bidding like clockwork. In bigger matches, perhaps, when Liverpool come up against an attack-heavy opposition, the Brazilian may find the chance to play a pivotal role, which could see the Anfield cult hero, who was on the verge of an exit, stay on for a few more years.
Jordan Henderson 6.5
Much like Nathaniel Clyne, Henderson is one of the unputdownables in this Liverpool squad. The marathon man, given a lot more freedom, played in 3rd gear, and conserved his energies for tougher battles ahead. A tidy, crisp performance.
Marko Grujic 7.5
The Serbian Kraken is a player Liverpool fans have been desperately waiting to get a prolonged look at. And on first glance, the boy looks a player. Vision, drive and an appetite to get stuck in. Looked tired towards the end, we expect him to feature more often as the season wears on.
Bob Firmino 8
Ah, Bob. What a player. The Brazilian with an end product. The lay-off for Coutinho was a sublime. A proper’s hipster’s footballer.
Phil Coutinho 8.5
When lil’ Phil gets his dancing shoes on, he demands the spotlight to be on him. A peach of a finish off a peach of an assist, the Brazilian led the Rams to slaughter.
Big Div Origi 7
Despite being wasteful, the young Belgian is showing signs of potential that cannot be quantified. The thumping finish had a flick of the ankle behind, that elevated the ball well beyond the keeper’s reach and into the roof of the net from an acute angle. Something that was a happy knack of former World Cup winning forward, French bag of bricks, David Trezeguet.
Emre Can [for Henderson, 57th minute] 5.5
Coming back from his recurring ankle injury, Klopp’s Rolls Royce still needs some fine tuning to get back into operational levels.
Danny Ings [for Phil Coutinho, 63rd minute] 6
Do you think Danny Ings can be a success in a British remake of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’? We think so. Good lad, great to see him get minutes.
Ovie Ejaria [for Bob Firmino, 78th minute] 6
The boy has a long way to go, but his periscopic legs may get him there.