Lazar Markovic scored his first Premier League goal as Liverpool beat Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light.
The Reds started brightly and Markovic should have been awarded a penalty in the third minute when brought down by Wes Brown. However, the young Serb made up for the poor referee decision when he poked his shot through the legs of Costel Pantilimon.
Liam Bridcutt was sent-off in the second-period for two bookings, however, the Black Cats found momentum and had several chances including Adam Johnson’s strike that crashed against the crossbar.
Liverpool player ratings vs Sunderland
Simon Mignolet 6
An improved effort from the under-pressure goalkeeper and made several positive punches and catches from crosses. However, looked nervy early on and failed to even attempt to block Johnson’s shot in the second-period.
Emre Can 6.5
A comfortable performance from Emre Can. He was solid at the back keeping Conor Wickham at bay, and got forward well playing several positive passes starting attacks for his side. Moved into the midfield in the second-half and although he was bright, the German never quite knew his role.
Martin Skrtel 6.5
Fairly quiet in the first-half, but was busy in the second and dealt with the threat of the Sunderland attack well, making several clearances from inside his own box.
Mamdou Sakho 6
Not a bad effort from the Frenchman and much like Skrtel, was not called upon much in the first-period. A little clumsy here and there, getting his footing wrong but his ball skills are improving.
Alberto Moreno 6.5
Bombed forward given any opportunity and got past Santiago Vergini on multiple occasions and got the Sunderland defender booked. Also never forgot about his defensive duties.
Very impressive from the Brazilian in the second half. Swept the play up well, keeping tabs on Johnson in particular and made plenty of solid challenges that helped start attacks for his side. The Brazilian’s performance was definitely overlooked.
Jordan Henderson 6
Tried to impress too hard against his former side and things just didn’t come off. There were several times when he tried to be too fancy and gave the ball away too easily and ballooned his free-kick over from a good position. Had a decent effort strike the post in the first-half.
Lazar Markovic 8 - MOTM
Excellent performance from the young Serb who is beginning to settle into English football. Threatened the Sunderland goal with venom in the first-half and should have won a penalty when he beat Brown for pace in the first-half. His goal came through a great darting run and struck the bar minutes later through an excellent strike.
Philippe Coutinho 7
A solid performance from Philippe Coutinho in the first-half who was the brains in the side. The Brazilian elegantly glided past Sunderland players so easily and played a number of inch-perfect passes. Lacked service in the second-half and his shooting was not good enough in decent areas.
Steven Gerrard 7
Much more effective playing up the pitch and hit a number of excellent passes. Linked well with Markovic and Coutinho and showed what Liverpool will be missing next season. His side looked different in the second-period when the Reds skipper was forced off with injury.
Fabio Borini 6
Offered little in-front of goal, but his movement was excellent and was the brunt of many Sunderland fouls – may possible have saved his Anfield career.
Dejan Lovren 5
Stupidly booked early on, but settled after and didn’t do too bad considering it was his first appearance for a while
Mario Balotelli 5
Attempted to get into positions to grab himself a goal, but poor decision making didn’t help. Worked harder than usual.