Aston Villa suffered a 1-0 loss at Liverpool on Saturday as Steven Gerrard’s return to Anfield ended in defeat.
Villa produced a resolute and disciplined defensive performance, but that resolve was broken in the second half through a Mohamed Salah penalty.
While there were positives to be taken from the display from a defensive perspective for Villa, there wasn’t too much going the other way and so with Norwich and Burnley to come next, we’ll hope to see more quality in the final third from Gerrard’s men.
Aston Villa player ratings vs Liverpool
Emiliano Martinez, 7.5 – Produced some fine saves when called upon as he showed his class between the posts yet again. Didn’t put a foot wrong throughout even when trying to take command of his box.
Matty Cash, 7 – A gritty and determined performance as he worked tirelessly off the ball with his defending and pressing, albeit he couldn’t quite offer us a major threat in attack down the right flank as his final ball was a little wayward.
Ezri Konsa, 7.5 – Yet another classy display as he dealt with any threat without fuss and showed his excellent defensive skills as he essentially came out on top in a 3 v 1 situation late on. A fine defender who is a pivotal figure in the Villa XI.
Tyrone Mings, 7 – The Villa captain put in a top performance as he was there to clear anything and everything when needed. Had a couple of shaky moments and while it was a contentious decision, he did give away the penalty which ultimately settled the game.
Matt Targett, 7 – Glad to see him back in the side after a short absence. Defended resolutely and pushed forward when possible, but similarly to Cash, there wasn’t a stand-out final product that could make the difference.
John McGinn, 7.5 – Top display from McGinn as he was everywhere, particularly in the first half, as he battled hard to give us a foothold in midfield. Did well with his passing at times, but such was the scarcity of Villa’s time on the ball, he didn’t get much of a chance to showcase his quality going the other way.
Marvelous Nakamba, 6.5 – A decent effort from Nakamba as it wasn’t a memorable performance but neither was it a disappointing one. Got booked in the first half for a rash, mistimed challenge, and wasn’t quite at it with his distribution or tackling as he has been in recent weeks with that caution perhaps hanging over him.
Douglas Luiz, 6 – Struggled to help us win the midfield battle as while he was tidy in possession for the most part, he couldn’t offer enough protection in front of the defence and his pressing couldn’t contain Liverpool’s midfield.
Jacob Ramsey, 6.5 – A tireless display as he pressed and tracked back as often as possible and in that sense, he played an important part for us. However, his influence going forward wasn’t as effective as he has been in the past and so we need to see a more decisive impact from him.
Ashley Young, 6 – Used his experience and technical quality well at times, but in a game where Villa struggled to hold on to the ball, Young was part of that issue, be it with a lack of movement off the ball or his touch on it. Still has a big role to play for us, but have to question the decision to start him for this one.
Ollie Watkins, 6 – Worked tirelessly without a reward to show for his efforts as he was starved of any real service given Villa’s struggles in midfield and their inability to play quality football at times to put Liverpool under sustained pressure.
Morgan Sanson, 6.5 – Bright off the bench as he looked to snap into a couple of tackles while also making runs to break the lines and transition us into attack from defence.
Emiliano Buendia, 6 – Similarly to Sanson, looked lively in the latter stages as he gave us a jolt in attack. Again though, no decisive impact, albeit it is a bit harsh to be critical given his lack of time on the pitch.
Danny Ings, 6 – Linked up well with Watkins and Buendia near the end but couldn’t find that all-important breakthrough.