Football Features

“Joe Gomez won’t be worried” – Full player ratings as Shrewsbury comeback denies Liverpool

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 19:09, 26 January 2020

Does this count as an upset?

In an FA Cup which, thus far, has been starved of drama, Shrewsbury pulled off a remarkable comeback to force a deserved replay against the world champions, Liverpool.

The game appeared to be over just after half-time after Donald Love scored a comedic own goal, but Sam Ricketts’ side built on an impressive first half to pull the Reds back and set up a dream tie at Anfield in the coming weeks.

Here’s how the players rated at New Meadow:

Shrewsbury

Max O’Leary – 6 – Was nowhere near as busy as his counterpart – in fact, he didn’t make a save until the 75th minute (which turned out to be crucial). He also played a pivotal role in Shrewsbury’s equaliser, claiming a pre-assist.

Ro-Shaun Williams – 7 – Maybe could have done more to prevent Liverpool’s first but otherwise was solid defensively. Even posed a threat going forward. Wasn’t tested as much as he would have expected, but made a goal-saving tackle right at the death to earn his side a replay.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell – 7 – Dealt with some unimaginative Liverpool attacks with relative ease. Only had long balls and hopeful crosses to deal with. Showed off a very impressive passing range.

Aaron Pierre – 7 – Did his bit going backwards and, similar to Williams, got forward when he could. Completely nullified Harvey Elliott.

Donald Love – 6 – Fairly solid in the first half but scored a catastrophic own goal which could well have killed the game. Made up for it afterwards by putting Larouci under immense pressure for the rest of the match and can be happy all things considered.

Josh Laurent – 9 – Didn’t look out of depth at all against Liverpool’s midfield and was the worthy winner of the Shrews’ second-half penalty. The 24-year-old spent most of the 90 minutes running the midfield. He’s been something of a journeyman throughout his career – don’t be surprised to see another move up the football league ladder.

Oliver Norburn – 5 – Taken off midway through the first half due to injury. A devastating moment for him on what could have been one of the best nights of his career thus far.

Sean Goss – 6 – Probably the least impressive of the three midfielders who played most of the game. Gave the ball away too many times but his work-rate cannot be faulted.

Scott Golbourne – 7 – Was always available down the left and persistently stretched the Liverpool back four. Didn’t have too much to do defensively, although it appeared as though that wasn’t what he was meant to be doing anyway.

Callum Lang – 8 – Was one of the main reasons Shrewsbury looked so dangerous in the first half. Was denied by a very smart save from Adrian and was the surprise victim of a substitution after an hour (which turned out to be a masterstroke).

Shaun Whalley – 6 – Got in some excellent positions and stretched Liverpool, particularly in the first half, but wasted two golden opportunities to score. Partly denied by great goalkeeping, but equally by poor finishing.

Substitutes:

David Edwards (for Norburn 26′) – 8 – Replaced his captain and was excellent in midfield. He and Laurent were both exceptional in the middle of the pitch.

Jason Cummings (for Lang 60′) – 9 – Wow. Came off the bench and followed a well-taken penalty with an amazingly cool finish. Whatever Cummings achieves in his career, it’s highly unlikely anything will come close to tonight. Well done Ian Wright for predicting this to happen!

Daniel Udah (for Whalley 85′) – 6 – A late substitute.

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Liverpool

Adrian – 8 – Was totally overworked due to the ineptitude of the defenders in front of him. Made two outstanding saves but was exploited too many times as Liverpool were forced into a replay.

Neco Williams – 5 – Looked good going forward but defensively he struggled. Was pulled left and right by Golbourne and showed that he probably isn’t good enough to be Trent Alexander-Arnold’s understudy just yet.

Joel Matip – 4 – Was Virgil van Dijk’s partner in crime before injury but, after today, Joe Gomez is probably not worried. Seriously struggled with everything that Shrewsbury threw at him. Taken off before the end and has a lot of work to do to regain his place.

Dejan Lovren – 3 – Also returning from injury and also dreadful. Shrewsbury are not a bad side by any means but you would expect a Champions League winner to at least vaguely hold his own, which he didn’t do. Was far too weak in the tackle in the lead up to Cummings’ equaliser, which summed up his game.

Yasser Larouci – 4 – Gave away a penalty in the second half which let Shrewsbury back into the game. Was given the runaround by Love at times and will have hoped to appear a bit more assured than he did.

Pedro Chirivella – 5 – His assist for Curtis Jones’ opener was magnificent, from the vision to the execution. Other than his progressive passing, he didn’t do much and lost his battles against the Shrewsbury midfield. Could have been worse.

Fabinho – 3 – Completed the trio of returning Liverpool players who looked totally off the pace. Was given the runaround by Shrewsbury’s midfield from start to finish and was uncharacteristically sloppy in possession, particularly in the first half. Hard to see who he will replace in Liverpool’s midfield.

Curtis Jones – 7 – One of the few Liverpool players who can leave with his head held high. If Liverpool didn’t have one of the most complete midfields in the world right now, this boy would surely be getting some league football. A special talent who took his goal like a seasoned striker.

Harvey Elliott – 4 – Totally anonymous whilst he was on the pitch. Didn’t do much wrong but equally didn’t create any chances. You would expect more from a talent like him when he gets his rare chance to shine.

Takumi Minamino – 5 – A bit more involved than Elliott but equally ineffective. Perhaps playing out of position, but needs to do more regardless.

Divock Origi – 5 – Had a late effort well saved by O’Leary. Part of a front three that did nowhere near enough to test the home side.

Substitutes:

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (for Elliott 71′ – 6 – Came on to try and add some attacking impetus. Helped, but didn’t do enough to prevent a replay.

Mo Salah (for Matip 79′) – 5 – Didn’t do much apart from spurn a golden opportunity right at the death.

Roberto Firmino (for Minamino 85′) – 6 – Made a difference for the short time he was on.

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