Steven Gerrard showed what Liverpool will be missing next season, as his brace saw his brace saw the Reds reach the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon.
Gerrard announced last week that he would not be signing a new contract with his boyhood club of 26 years, after not being guaranteed regular first-team football by Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.
However, the Reds captain started in arguably his outfit’s easiest game of the campaign so far, on paper at least, and opened the scoring in the 12th minute when he headed home Javier Manquillo’s cross.
It took the London club just 24 minutes to respond though after dominating the game once the away side took the lead, with top scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa pouncing on a loose ball to level the scores.
Plenty of chances were created at both ends in the second-half and just inside the final third of the game it was Mr Liverpool who can to his side’s rescue like so often in his career, superbly striking his 30 yard free-kick into the top left-hand corner and keeping his hope of a final trophy at Anfield alive.
Simon Mignolet: 4.5
The Belgian’s troubles continue on Merseyside and it looks like Brendan Rodgers will bring in a new goalkeeper before the transfer window closes. Mignolet’s problem all season has been coming off his line and that was present once again when missing a corner that lead to Akinfenwa’s goal. Looked unconfident from thereon in rarely leaving his line.
Emre Can: 6
Not a bad performance from Can. He was strong in the tackle and won good headers at times as well as picking out a good pass. Sometimes jumped into challenges too rash and beaten for pace – better when moved up the field later on and his future is in the midfield.
Martin Skrtel: 5.5
The Slovakian was poor in the first-period, being out-jumped for headers that caused problems for his side. Improved in the second-half winning a few vital aerial balls late on but still looked dodgy at times.
Mamadou Sakho: 6.5
Improving as games go on. Sakho is getting more comfortable on the ball and played several key passes that got him out of difficult situations. Still sometimes failed to go with his marker.
Javier Manquillo: 5
Started the game brightly but then faded as the clocked ticked on. Clearly is not suited to the aspect of playing as a wing-back. Injured badly early on which may have been a factor due to his performance.
Jordan Henderson: 6
A little disappointing from Henderson. The game was crying out for somebody to take the game by the scruff of the neck and he failed to do so. Won the ball back well on occasions and played a few smart passes but should have done more.
Liverpool’s man of the match. The Brazilian broke down Wimbledon’s attacks especially in the second-half by being relentless when tracking back. Passing was again basic but everyone football fan knows what he’s in Rodgers’ line-up for.
Lazar Markovic: 6.5
The Serb was clearly not suited to the conditions of the pitch and playing a rough and tough opposition, but Markovic done well. He constantly persisted to run at the home side’s back four and caused trouble for them in both halves. Should have scored late on.
Philippe Coutinho: 6
Much like Markovic, Coutinho was not suited to this game either. There were always two men around him, knowing he was the brains of the team and in the first-half lost the ball too often. Got into the game in the second-half and broke away for his side well.
Steven Gerrard: 7
Two superb goals from the Liverpool skipper. His first header was brave and his free-kick in the second-period was unstoppable. However, did not contribute as much as you’d want when going forward.
Rickie Lambert: 4.5
Little service, however did not make things happen for himself. Looked a little unfit and should have scored in the second-half.
Jose Enrique: 5
Offered little going forward when coming on and beaten a few times at the back.
Mario Balotelli: 5.5
Tried hard to score and his team were desperate for him to get on the score-sheet. Did not happen for the Italian
Kolo Toure N/A