Aston Villa player ratings gallery v Liverpool: Five players score 4/10 but three earn 7s in ‘humbling’ defeat
Player ratings and match report from Aston Villa’s ‘humbling’ Premier League defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
Aston Villa suffered a humbling 3-0 Premier League defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, courtesy of a Dominik Szoboszlai stunner, an own goal from Matty Cash and an easy Mohamed Salah tap-in. Unai Emery’s side looked fragile defensively throughout and weren’t anywhere near clinical enough going forward as numerous clear-cut chances were squandered. The Reds were allowed to cruise on for victory and Villa have slumped down to 11th in the table.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to take the lead as Szoboszlai made it 1-0 after just three minutes. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s outswinging corner made it all the way through to the edge of the area and Szoboszlai, who was left entirely unmarked, struck first time to arrow the ball into the top right corner. The Hungarian must’ve been about 20 yards out or so as he fired towards goal, giving the Villans a very early wake-up call.
Liverpool enjoyed prolonged possession after their goal and Villa struggled to get out of their own half. It went from bad to worse for Emery’s side as centre-back Diego Carlos went off injured and the Reds then earned themselves a two-goal lead. Darwin Nuñez, played in by Mohamed Salah, hit the near post and it rebounded straight to Villa defender Cash at an awkward angle. Unable to react, the ball deflected off the Poland international and into the net.
Nuñez hit the woodwork for a second time in the 39th minute as he beat Ezri Konsa for pace and dinked the ball over Emiliano Martinez. The Reds thought it was going to be 3-0 but the effort flicked back off the crossbar and, unlike for the second goal of the game, Villa were able to clear the ball away from danger to stay in the game.
Villa started the second half a little better as Cash forced a save from Alisson at the other end of the field. Peeling away at the far post, the right-back got plenty of power on a header but Alisson did brilliantly to react and make a diving stop. Nuñez then had a glorious opening on the counter attack as Salah put in a threatening cross with the outside of his boot. The Uruguayan striker got his bearings wrong, however, and nodded wide of the post despite having most of the goal to aim at.
Liverpool’s 3-0 lead was secured soon after, though, as Nuñez and Salah combined once again. Andrew Robertson whipped in an inch-perfect corner and Jürgen Klopp’s new number nine flicked the ball with his head onto Salah, who was waiting to tap it home at the far post. Lucas Digne failed to track the Egyptian’s run and it was costly as the goal put the game beyond doubt. Here are our Villa player ratings from the 3-0 defeat at Anfield.