PLAYER RATINGS: ASTON VILLA 1-2 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool came from behind to beat Villa tonight in a hard fought game. Douglas Luiz gave the Villains the lead before Matip equalised shortly after. The Reds dug deep second half and found the winner through Sadio Mané. Here are player ratings from the match.
Alisson – 7
Poor for their goal as he parried the header straight back into the danger area. Unfortunate as he has made a good save from Watkins before that. Almost gave away a goal when he passed it straight to Watkins but got away with it. Was better second half and made two huge saves against Ings. First was a one on one and the second was from a powerful angled strike. This time he got enough on it to push it away.
Alexander-Arnold – 7
I don’t know what has happened to his deliveries over the past week. He got into some great positions but he didn’t make the most of it, one fine pickout to Keita aside. He played some lovely diagonal switches however and found Tsimikas in space every single time. Went close with a free kick. Solid defensively second half when they threw everything at it.
Matip – 8
Fouled for their goal but VAR didn’t see anything wrong. Equalised almost straightaway after reacting quickest to Van Dijk’s shot being blocked. Held firm in the face of a spirited Villa side. Dribbled upfield well when the opportunity arose.
Van Dijk – 7
Was ropey first hour I felt. Villa got in behind a few times and he wanted an offside flag that never came. Watkins cut inside him too easily in the build up to their goal. Embarrassed by a Coutinho nutmeg but recovered well to win the ball back. Last thirty he was himself, stood up excellently to Watkins and Ings when one on one in the box.
Tsimikas – 7
A bit chaotic first half. All over the place at times. He did put in a sensational cross for Mané which should have seen us score. Second half he was calmer, both in possession and out of it. Crucial tackle on Watkins when he looked set to score.
Fabinho – 4
Woeful tonight. Caught on the ball multiple times and then went off with an injury first half.
Keita – 6.5
Missing first half. Should have converted Trent’s cross but miskicked. A lovely driving run or two but not enough substance to his performance. Tired badly late on and gave it away a few times. Flashed a shot wide of Martinez’s goal. Looked like he picked up an injury.
Jones – 7
Didn’t offer the control we see from his more senior colleagues. He played well however. Drove at their defence well and went close to scoring when he pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the box. He placed it too close to Martinez though. Cut inside his man and whipped a shot over not long after. Promising.
Diaz – 8
A willing runner. Started on the right wing and ended up on the left. Gave Digne and Cash similar headaches. Provided the moment of quality we needed with that cross for Mané second half. He never seems to panic in and around the box. Was almost played through by Trent on a few occasions.
Mané – 8
Fought so hard tonight. Little things like bringing a ball under control with a man on his shoulder helped the side move up the pitch. He worked his socks off for the win tonight. Should have opened the scoring from Tsimikas’ cross but headed wide. Tucked Diaz’s away with aplomb. Match winner.
Jota – 5.5
Hasn’t been at the races in recent weeks. His touch is just off and he keeps running straight into defenders. Couldn’t get involved at all. Played a lovely first time pass into space for Diaz in the buildup to the winner though.
Henderson – 7
Slotted into the holding role and stepped up the urgency. Played well I thought. Dependable.
Thiago – 7
Brought a huge dose of calm to proceedings and we controlled the game well for a period. Won the ball back for the move that ended with Mané scoring. Lost a challenge on Watkins and Ings was played through.
Salah – 4.5
Played through on goal immediately he came on and ran it straight into the keeper’s hands. Jota then cut a ball back to him on the edge of the box and it was a powder puff shot. Lost the ball when we needed to keep it. Another who constantly runs straight into defenders. His form is worrying.
The gaffer rang the changes, making five alterations to the side that drew with Spurs on Saturday. Matip and Tsimikas came in for Konaté and Robertson in defence, Keita and Jones came in for Henderson and Thiago in midfield, whilst Jota got the nod over Salah in attack.
With so many minutes in the legs and with a Cup final on Saturday, you can understand why. It was a sloppy start and Villa capitalised to go ahead. The gaffer geed his boys up on the touchline. The second half was better and his changes helped see out the win in the end. Level on points with City again. We had to dig deep for it tonight. Another comeback victory.
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