Player ratings from the Guardian and the Mirror

Player ratings

Dominic Fifield

José Reina Villain for Ashton's goal, hero for saving from Reo-Coker in extratime. To conjure three penalty stops from four was remarkable. 7

Steve Finnan Hamstrung before the end and uncharacteristically nervous up to then, unable to exert his usual influence down the flank. 5

Sami Hyypia A smart early interception on Etherington and a neat twist, turn and shot late on were the highlights but he missed his penalty. 5

Jamie Carragher An unfortunate owngoal summed up Liverpool's shaky defensive performance but his rugged presence was reassuring at the end. 6

John Arne Riise Exorcised the ghosts of Istanbul with his penalty but struggled defensively and was caught too often for comfort. 4

Steven Gerrard Irrepressible. A stunning pass for Cissé's goal, a smart finish for his first and a ridiculous equaliser from distance. Pardew had no answer. 9

Xabi Alonso A doubt in the build-up with an ankle injury, he was off-colour and eventually replaced, his passing lacking its usual verve and assurance. 5

Mohamed Sissoko He may not revel in possession but his industry was summed up by a snapped tackle late on as he lay on the turf with cramp in both legs. 7

Harry Kewell Yet more final heartache. He was ineffective before succumbing to another groin complaint which could threaten his World Cup. 3

Djibril Cissé His goal was sublime but that remained his principal contribution as he flitted from forward role to flank and limped through extra-time. 6

Peter Crouch Had a good goal ruled out and laid off the ball for his captain's first equaliser but was otherwise shackled well by Gabbidon. 5

Substitutes Fernando Morientes (for Kewell, 48); Jan Kromkamp (for Alonso, 68); Dietmar Hamann (for Crouch, 71) Not used Jerzy Dudek, Djimi Traoré

West Ham

Shaka Hislop Cannot be blamed for Gerrard's stoppagetime equaliser. Caused problems once by not coming for a cross and kicking was mixed. 5

Lionel Scaloni His crosses led to West Ham going 2-0 up but was let down by his defending. Helped Liverpool score their first and third goals. 5

Danny Gabbidon Powerful and reliable, winning a sequence of balls in the air and on the deck, and he was not afraid to step out to track strikers. 8

Anton Ferdinand Resolute, with decent clearances, good headers and an excellent covering tackle on Morientes late on. But distribution was poor. 7

Paul Konchesky Recovered from a shaky opening to look solid and enjoyed luck when his cross went in over Reina - but few other dangerous crosses. 6

Yossi Benayoun Great energy, setting up attacks and foraging back to defend. Played a part in two goals but unable to close down for Gerrard's second. 8

Carl Fletcher Tended to stay deep and the majority of his distribution was accurate. Tougher for him when Gerrard came infield. Substituted. 6

Nigel Reo-Coker Impressed with driving runs, tackles and mostly good use of possession. Came close to winning the game until Reina touched on to a post. 7

Matthew Etherington Rarely beat an opponent, but his spilled shot led to Ashton's goal and set up a fine chance for Reo-Coker. Taken off after 85 minutes. 6

Marlon Harewood Worked extremely hard but not enough end product in the final third. Might have clinched a win for West Ham but screwed wide. 5

Dean Ashton Excellent either side of half-time after a poor start but then tired. Had a role in the opener, scored the second and put pressure on Alonso. 7

Substitutes Bobby Zamora (for Ashton, 71); Christian Dailly (for Fletcher, 77); Teddy Sheringham (for Etherington, 85) Not used Jimmy Walker, James Collins

Ratings by Jon Brodkin

Copyright - The Guardian


The Mirror Compiled By David Maddock
After horrific start he more than made up for it with outstanding saves - and then lived up to his penalty-king reputation to win the Cup. 8/10

Quiet game, but he earned his winner's medal for playing through the pain of a hamstring injury to stay on the pitch until the end. 7/10

Not his best game as the physical presence of Dean Ashton unnerved him. Kept his cool in extra-time.but what about that penalty? 7/10

Epitomised Liverpool's never-say-die spirit. Unlucky to concede an own goal, but never let it affect him as he marshalled the defence. 8/10

All at sea defensively, throughout the game to provide his side's width during an exhausting extra-time. 7/10

What more can you say about Captain Marvel? It was his sheer strength of will that singled handedly dragged Liverpool from the dead. 10/10

Hampered by injury from the start, hindsight will tell him that he shouldn't have played with the week-old ankle problem. 6/10

Another monumental performance from the young African. He has super-human reserves of energy which he showed in extra time. 8/10

Another cup final, another early departure for the cursed Aussie. Never in the game and a big doubt for the World Cup Finals. 6/10

Looked out of his depth as a central striker, but when switched to the left he came up with the stunning goal to spark revival. 7/10

Less than effective as he struggled to get in the game. Did well to head down for Gerrard's first goal but needed better service. 7/10

Fernando Morientes (for Kewell 47min): Worked hard but little attacking threat 6.
Jan Kronkamp (for Alonso 67min): Out of his depth 4.
Didi Hamann (for Crouch 71min): Calming influence when it mattered 6.

Copyright - The Mirror

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