Aston Villa suffered heartbreak at Anfield on Saturday as Liverpool secured a 2-1 win courtesy of a last-gasp strike from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Villa took the lead just before half-time through Ollie Watkins, despite being second best through the opening 45 minutes.
In a bizarre encounter, Dean Smith will have been pleased with his side’s display in the second half as we gave as much as we got, but unfortunately we couldn’t come away from Merseyside with something to show for our efforts.
It was a similar tale in many ways to what we’ve seen from Villa in recent months, with a number of the usual suspects impressing and disappointing.
Aston Villa player ratings vs Liverpool
Martinez, 7 – Made some top saves as he usually does, while his leadership was in full voice as he constantly barked out encouragement to his teammates and organised them from the back. A solid display from our shot-stopper.
Cash, 7 – His attacking threat seems to have waned in recent months, but powered forward when possible and kept things relatively tight on our right side.
Konsa, 7 – Another assured performance at the back despite picking up a yellow in the first half. Solid defensively, although will be disappointed that he didn’t do better with a headed chance in the opening 45 minutes.
Mings, 6 – Fortunate to get away with another sloppy mistake as Mohamed Salah failed to capitalise on his error. Was dragged out of position with the movement and pace of the Liverpool frontline at times, and while he did show some quality, was slow to react for the first goal.
Targett, 6 – Difficult afternoon for him given the assignment against Salah with Alexander-Arnold also bombing forward down the Liverpool right flank. Did his job well enough, but wasn’t able to offer much going forward himself.
Douglas Luiz, 6.5 – Showed glimpses of setting the tempo but with a lightweight Villa midfield losing that battle, it was a tough outing for the Brazilian who showed some steel as it looked as though he would have to be replaced at one stage.
Nakamba, 7 – Provided what you would expect with his ability to offer additional defensive protection in front of the backline. Also showed some nice touches in possession to move the ball quickly out wide or into attack.
Traore, 5 – Sloppy performance where he gave away possession on countless occasions. Shows his creative talent too sporadically and wasn’t able to offer enough in the final third this time round.
McGinn, 6.5 – Started really brightly and showed quality at both ends of the pitch. Produced the assist for our goal, but gradually became less influential in the second half as he moved into a deeper midfield role.
Trezeguet, 6 – Willing runner and worked hard for the team, while he almost produced a moment of real class with his effort that struck the woodwork. Unfortunately went off in tears due to injury and it’s hoped it isn’t serious.
Watkins, 8 – While Alisson will believe he should have done better, it was a sharp finish from our frontman as he bagged his 12th goal of the season. His movement and touch caused problems for the Liverpool defence as he produced another impressive display.
Barkley, 5 – Wasteful after coming on. Had a couple of chances on the counter attack to make something happen, but the moves ultimately fizzled out and led to nothing.
El Ghazi, 4 – Didn’t really offer much in the latter stages other than a fresh pair of legs.