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Liverpool 2, Sunderland 0: Player grades

Pepe Reina C
Didn't really have to do much. Didn't get bored and have his ADD affect his performance which is always a good thing. It was his first clean sheet of the season, but should have been his third, only this time the ref didn't give a bogus penalty. Funny how that works.

Alvaro Arbeloa B-
He was seemingly all over the place when he was playing left-back, but showed the awareness to be where he needed to be, when needed. When he had to switch to centre back, he really showed his class with a more disciplined performance. With his versatility, he's the only reason at the moment that I'm not too worried about our backline.

Jamie Carragher C
Eh, nothing spectacular, but nor was such a performance needed. He showed up and did his job.

Daniel Agger C-
There seems to be something bothering him as he has yet to put in a good performance this season. I really hope he's not hiding an injury or letting personal issues affect his output on the pitch. Some of his decisions, clearance and passing-wise, were a bit questionable, though he does still seem to have that uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time.

Steve Finnan C+
The thing that always surprises me about Finney is his pace. For a 31-year-old, he not only appears to have not lost a step, but seems even faster than last year. Another flawless performance for the right back.

Ryan Babel C+
I'm sure we'll see better performances from the 20-year-old, as this one was far from great, but if there's one thing he showed once again is that he's a force to be reckoned with. His pace, dribbling, passing, and vision are only going to get better and that should scare the living bejesus out of our opponents. His decisions on the ball should get better as well and I really don't understand so-called fellow 'fans' are slagging off on him already, he's only 20 and if he hasn't shown you his potential yet, you should really think about getting your eyes checked.

Momo Sissoko B
After watching this match at least twice more, I've come to the conclusion that Momo truly does deserve the Man of the Match. Besides the terrific goal, he was calm, cool, and collective, made less reckless tackles, and was everywhere being the best menace to Sunderland as he could be. People tend to forget Momo is only 22 and has his best days ahead of him... now that's just scary.

Xabi Alonso C-
I'm beginning to think that I expect too much out of Xabi. Though not really that bad in this match, he did have a few nice moments, for the most part he was useless. When Gerrard is out, it's Xabi's opportunity to shine, something he failed to do here.

Jermaine Pennant B-
When JP wants to take over, JP takes over, I just wish we'd see it more often. If he can draw two and three defenders on his runs down the right every time, it'll open up tons of space for everyone else. A couple of his crazy-legged dribbles down the flank were just spectacular and I would really love to see him take a shot once in a while, other than that, a solid performance.

Andriy Voronin B-
His presence and awareness on the pitch are invaluable. His experience really shone through in this match as he set up Momo's goal and scored another. I hope Kuyt is taking notes on how, even when he loses the ball, he commands respect from the defense by being a constant threat and using his strength to push opponents around. Dirk might have lost his number two status in that match. His finishing and decisions on the ball though left a little to be desired.

Fernando Torres C+
If only he finished just one of his opportunities, he'd easily been Man of the Match. I can't wait for a club to not show him the kind of respect he commands, it's going to be a long day for them. The way we just threw the ball his way, had him go after it and have him win it so many times was really encouraging. The kid is class personified. Still, he's going to have to improve his finishing, but other than that I don't see much to complain about.

I don't see the point in grading any of the subs nor Hyypia since they didn't get much time nor really contribute.

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