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Liverpool player ratings v Arsenal

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Martin Skrtel's injury time header gave Liverpool a well-deserved point against Arsenal at Anfield with the game finishing 2-2.

The Reds started in a 3-4-3 formation and Brendan Rodgers' tactical gamble paid off with the Merseyside club dominating possession in the first-half.  However, it took Liverpool almost 45 minutes to unlock the Gunners' defence, when Philippe Coutinho provided a piece of magic with his feet before smashing home his shot off the post.

It didn't take the North London outfit long to respond and undeservingly went into the break level when Mathieu Debuchy headed home after the home side failed to clear Alexis Sanchez's free-kick.

The second-half was again governed by Liverpool but Olivier Giroud was left unmarked when his side went on the counter attack strike, hitting his effort through the legs of Brad Jones to give Arsene Wenger's men the lead.

The Merseyside club looked to be down and out when Fabio Borini was dismissed for a second yellow card, however, Skrtel - bandaged up after an altercation with Giroud earlier in the game - met Adam Lallana's corner with venom and headed past Wojciech Szczesny to snatch a late point.

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The ratings

Brad Jones 5

Jones kept his place in the Liverpool goal but was as unconvincing as Simon Mignolet has been. Although he got off his line from time to time, he could have collected Sanchez's cross for Debuchy's header. The Australian lacks authority in between the sticks and is clearly a stop-gap until Rodgers purchases a new goalkeeper in January. Couldn't have done anything for Giroud's goal.

Kolo Toure 6

Not a bad performance from the Ivorian but there is still room for improvement.His experience brings composure to the Liverpool defence and he made himself an aerial threat throughout the game as well as winning several key tackles that broke down his former side's attacks.However, he was caught out for Arsenal's second and was far too easily beat on the left-wing and was simply done for pace. 

Martin Skrtel 6

Poor defender for Debuchy's goal and allowed the Arsenal man to rise above him with ease and without a challenge.The Slovakian was too at fault for Giroud's strike when he failed to pick the Frenchman up, leaving him unmarked in the box.However, his header to snatch a draw was sublime the way he rose and placed his header perfectly.

Mamadou Sakho 5.5

Sakho showed signs he can become a top player at Anfield. He put in a decent shift and made some excellent tackles as well as good headers. Yet, he looked shaky when on the ball and always looked as if he would give it away at any minute and failed to communicate with Skrtel for Giroud's goal.

Lucas 6.5

Offered cover for the Liverpool defence and generally mopped up well. The Brazilian had a strong Arsenal attack to keep quite and did so for the most part and it allowed his team-mates to roam forwards without thinking about their defensive duties. Almost scored near the end and just firing his shot wide, but did well to strike it so close.

Steven Gerrard 6

The Liverpool captain played in a deeper role and could not really make the impact he once did .Gerrard was neat and tidy throughout and put in some decent challenges but he did not have a huge influence on the game. Gave away the ball that lead to the away side's second when attempting a long ball, with barely any of them paying off over the course of the ninety minutes.

Jordan Henderson 5

Henderson was asked to play on the right-wing, something that does not come naturally for him. The former Sunderland man went about his game with his usual high energy rates but did not really make an impact on the game.

Lazar Markovic 7

The Serb's good form is continuing. Playing left wing-back, he went about his game with maturity for just a 20-year-old getting forward and back superbly. Markovic was a threat in the first-half on the left-wing and had a chance that was stopped by the legs of Szczesny. Did lose the ball too easily on occasions, however.

Philippe Coutinho 7.5

The Brazilian was excellent and clearly suits playing in a Liverpool team that has more pace and movement. Coutinho was a menace for the Arsenal defence, causing them problems with his quick feet and inch-perfect passing and took his goal superbly. Will appreciate the return of Daniel Sturridge.

Adam Lallana 7.5

Lallana has been in excellent form lately and really started to prove himself. His first touch is excellent and has the ability to take the ball on into any position with both feet when he receives it and created attacks for his side. Caused problems for the Gunners and forced fouls that made defenders play with caution.

Raheem Sterling 6.5

Not a bad effort from Sterling playing once again as a striker. He's always direct using his pace and gave the Arsenal back-four plenty of questions. Still showed his inexperience on several occasions, once when shooting instead of running at the cautioned Debuchy in the penalty box. 

Substitutes

Fabio Borini 4

Worked hard for his team when he came on and had a header tipped over the bar. However, Borini got himself stupidly sent-off which dented Liverpool's chances of winning the game.

Rickie Lambert 5.5

Didn't really have time to make an impact but did play a few nice passes.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Arsenal
Premier League
Football

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