This was not the horror show that many had feared, but in a game where Liverpool weren’t always in top gear and opportunities came Villa’s way, we might wonder what could have been.
Villa performed well in patches against a Liverpool side that ultimately had too much class when it counted.
Ahead of The Villa Underground’s full reflection on the game, you’ll find individual Player Ratings below:
The Spaniard was favoured over Orjan Nyland and whilst not always flawless himself, immediately brought more confidence to the defence. Made a couple of smart catches and was quick off his line to clear in the first half. Made an acrobatic stop in the second. Not at fault for either goal and reasonable to assume that the Number 1 slot is his until further notice.
In and out of the game and another occasion where we are yet to be convinced of his role at full-back. Had a good chance in the first half, but put a headed opportunity over the bar. Would really prefer to see him back at centre-half alongside Mings.
The former Wolves man has been in reasonable form of late. Competed well until about the hour mark with Liverpool not really asking many questions. The proof was in the key moments, with his pairing alongside Mings unable to do anything to prevent either goal. Positioning looked questionable for both goals as each move played out.
Whilst comfortably our best defender, this showing underlined why he needs better supporting cast, as with Grealish. Like at Newcastle found himself covering for others at times and having to be drawn to the ball to counter Liverpool’s attack. Played around for both goals with ease by the hosts.
The Welsh international can come in for unjust criticism at times and in The Villa Underground’s view put in another decent display deputising for the injured Matt Targett. He wasn’t given an easy ride though and often found himself chasing down the line. Made a strong tackle in the box in the first half and won a lunging interception shortly after. Committed and whilst very limited going forward, defensively generally more competent. Must take his share of the blame for opener, being one of many not to read the move or run.
A better display from a player who has struggled to refind early season form since the league’s restart. Got a booking from the inconsistent referee which meant he couldn’t put a foot wrong for the rest of the match. There was more than one occasion where this caused hesitation and allowed Liverpool to break past him. Overall though a high energy performance with more threatening movement forward.
Appeared to pick up a foot/ankle injury early on which seemed to cause repeated discomfort. Broke down on more than one occasion. Created two great openings for El Ghazi and should have finished a late effort that Allison saved. Worked hard but with little reward.
Another very slick display from the Brazilian who was tireless in his running. His passing has improved markedly since early season and he seems much more in tune with the pace of the game around him. Unlucky with a first half effort. There looks to be a superb footballer inside Luiz, hopefully we get to see him blossom at Villa.
Not one to be faulted for effort, but just doesn’t appear to have nearly enough quality to his game. Given his advanced role he provided little threat again, failing to release El Ghazi when the Belgian was running on goal. Limited contribution.
Ran into dangerous areas and showed some clever movement. However, as is often the case with El Ghazi, the end product is severely inconsistent. Spurned at least two great opportunities, which given our league position and Liverpool’s lacklustre start to the game, is the difference.
Not the first time that Davis hasn’t been on the same wavelength as Grealish or El Ghazi, watching on as a dangerous ball was whipped across the face of the goal at Anfield. Davis has likeable qualities, not least his ability to hold the ball up, but with chances few and far between, he has to take what comes his way. Doesn’t seem to have the ability to craft anything for himself and rarely threatened Liverpool.
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