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Played
January 2, 2013 7:45 PM GMT
Anfield — Liverpool
Referee:‬ P. Dowd‎
Attendance:‬ 44228‎
 
 
26′ Luis Suárez
 
52′ Luis Suárez
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Liverpool 3-0 Sunderland

Luis Suarez bagged a double and Raheem Sterling the other as the Reds beat Martin O'Neil's struggling side to move within touching distance of the European places

By Jack Gaughan at Anfield

  • Pepe Reina
    170
    2
    3.00

    Pepe Reina

    Saved well twice towards the end of the first half which really cemented Liverpool's position of dominance. They were saves to be expected from Reina, but without them the hosts might have been caused further problems later in the game.

  • Glen Johnson
    175
    6
    3.50

    Glen Johnson

    Filling in at left-back, Johnson was well-served given Adam Johnson continually chose to cut inside onto his favoured left foot, meaning the defender was not wrong-footed when closing his man down. As always, attacked with purpose.

  • Daniel Agger
    162
    7
    3.00

    Daniel Agger

    Caught out of position on a couple of occasions, but had very little to do all night. Picked up Steven Fletcher when Sunderland went two up front, but the striker didn't get any service.

  • Martin Skrtel
    152
    8
    3.00

    Martin Skrtel

    There were a few occasions when Skrtel looked troubled by a rogue Sunderland runner, but other than that he won the majority of aerial duals with Steven Fletcher and was relatively non-plussed throughout.

  • Andre Wisdom
    161
    15
    3.50

    Andre Wisdom

    Got forward excellently and has real enthusiasm to impact the game positively which bodes well for the defender's development. Wisdom was perhaps guilty of showing James McClean inside too often, but overall was solid in defence and encouraging in attack.

  • Steven Gerrard
    269
    6
    4.00

    Steven Gerrard

    Now has eight assists for the season - more than the last two year's combined - and is enjoying a renaissance in midfield. When playing in a deeper role, Gerrard sprays the ball about but makes sure he still makes the lung-busting runs so synonymous with his career.

  • Jordan Henderson
    200
    13
    3.50

    Jordan Henderson

    Asked to play in a more advanced role. Henderson impressed again. There was a moment in the first half which summed up his improvement: a deft flick on the counter to speed up play. Not only did that put Stewart Downing, it showed his awareness and how to play in Brendan Rodgers' system.

  • Stewart Downing
    181
    12
    3.50

    Stewart Downing

    Downing's upturn in fortunes is quite incredible. He remains a winger who has only scored one league goal for the club, but has a spring in his step. Playing for a move possibly? Whatever the reason, Liverpool are profiting from it and it'll be up to the new wingers to dislodge him in this kind of form.

  • Lucas Leiva
    164
    6
    3.00

    Lucas Leiva

    Calm and composed in possession with a bite in the tackle tonight, Lucas did exactly what was asked of him against a Sunderland midfield that could not stand up to his and Steven Gerrard's dynamism in and around the centre circle.

  • Raheem Sterling
    204
    14
    3.50

    Raheem Sterling

    Took his goal like a striker, not a winger, and one that had been playing far longer than half a season. Sterling ought to use his youthful naivety and drive at men more often, but the old head on teenage shoulders means he gives Liverpool good balance.

  • Luis Suárez
    322
    7
    4.50

    Luis Suárez Top of the Match

    Suarez's undoubted quality has carried Liverpool at times this season, but tonight, when they're all at it, he comes into a league of his own. He didn't have to deal with much defensive resistance, but was the heartbeat of everything good, epitomised in the 69th minute when he hared around like a man possessed to win the ball back.

Substitutions

  • Jamie Carragher
    101
    7

    Jamie Carragher

    Second-half substitute.

  • Joe Allen
    150
    8
    3.00

    Joe Allen

    Asked to play in behind Luis Suarez when he came on and looked to relish the chance with the game already won. Allen clipped the post late on and picked up decent positions in and around the box, providing his manager with different options looking forward.

  • Suso
    117
    13
    2.50

    Suso

    Suso should have grabbed this chance to shine, but didn't. The Sunderland back four were extremely fragile and he might have got himself on the ball more often to further the away gloom.

  • Simon Mignolet
    32
    11
    3.00

    Simon Mignolet

    Made a couple of excellent stops which kept the score down in the opening period and there wasn't much he could have done for either goal - his defenders were solely at fault. He didn't deserve the farce occurring in front of him.

  • Danny Rose
    23
    13
    3.00

    Danny Rose

    The only defender to come out of this debacle with any sort of pride, Rose stuck to his task well before being brought off in the second half. The only player to have his name sung by the away supporters tells its own story.

  • Matthew Kilgallon
    4
    32
    1.50

    Matthew Kilgallon Flop of the Match

    Is Kilgallon a Premier League defender? No. And it showed. He was inexplicably out-muscled by Luis Suarez for the first goal and made a terrible hash of a header in the lead up to the second. If this was Titus Bramble we'd be having a field day.

  • Carlos Javier Cuéllar
    2
    29
    1.50

    Carlos Javier Cuéllar

    Laughable attempted to throw Luis Suarez into the stand for the second goal, but didn't even manage to foul the striker properly, and watched on as Suarez found the net from the ensuing advantage. Often caught out of position.

  • Sebastian Larsson
    8
    21
    2.50

    Sebastian Larsson

    Doesn't know where his manager wants him to play, and it shows. Deployed out wide and in the middle during this, Larsson was neat on the ball but couldn't affect proceedings in his usual pockets of space.

  • Craig Gardner
    7
    18
    3.00

    Craig Gardner

    Filled in at right-back fairly well given the absurdity of the defending next to him and is always dangerous in and around the box from corners. Did the simple things well enough and didn't try to over complicate matters.

  • Jack Colback
    2
    22
    2.00

    Jack Colback

    It is difficult to see why, other than Colback's supposed snappy defensive work, he was included in a midfield bereft of ideas. He sat in midfield, unsure whether to pick up Jordan Henderson or the two behind him, and ended up doing neither.

  • Adam Johnson
    12
    16
    3.00

    Adam Johnson

    Johnson has the trickery to cause far more problems than he does on a regular basis, but seems to be struggling in Sunderland's insistent to play four across midfield, not allowing him to express himself fully.

  • James McClean
    5
    20
    3.00

    James McClean

    McClean was industrious in his play, even when moving into the middle, and posed a threat in the first half. He'd like to have got forward more, but the way in which the game was going, it wasn't a luxury he was afforded. The Irishman battled well though, encouraging moving forward.

  • Stéphane Sessegnon
    12
    18
    3.00

    Stéphane Sessegnon

    Playing in behind Steven Fletcher, Sessegnon has the spark required for Sunderland to pick up more points on the road. In this one he was snuffed out a touch too easily before suffering an injury.

  • Steven Fletcher
    7
    18
    2.50

    Steven Fletcher

    Looked a lonely and dejected figure for the majority of the game - given little to no service throughout and failing to hold the ball up long enough for people to join in.

Substitutions

  • David Vaughan
    12
    15
    3.00

    David Vaughan

    Vaughan is consistently overlooked in midfield and it's difficult to see why. He came on late in the game and was tidy, tracking his men well and recycling possession.

  • Fraizer Campbell
    4
    22
    2.50

    Fraizer Campbell

    Supposed to provide a link for Steven Fletcher but never get going after coming on at half-time for the injured Stephane Sessengon. It seems a long time since his England call up.

  • James McFadden
    4
    21
    2.00

    James McFadden

    It's actually a surprise that the Liverpool supporters recognised McFadden's arrival as a substitute, such is how his career has gone so nondescript. That summed up his performance, too. Awful.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0