Liverpool Player Ratings v Villa

That look says it all. - Clive Brunskill

I don't know what to say. Yet again, Liverpool were unable to turn large periods of domination (pretty much 90 minutes worth) into a result. I am just stunned.

STARTERS:

Reina - 6 - Was left high and dry. Did well early on, especially when he decided he was an outfield player. Nice tackle in the corner on that and did well not to commit himself and concede a penalty. I can't blame him much for the first, it was perfectly banked in off the post.

Johnson - 6 - Key shot on Liverpool's goal, but it certainly wasn't his best day. Too often he tried to dribble through too many players. It didn't help that there was rarely anyone trying to get on the end of anything he was doing. Could have closed Benteke more on his first.

Skrtel - 5 - Got caught looking at the runner on the third goal. His day started poorly with a dumb foul to concede a free kick which Villa nearly scored on in the second minute.

Agger - 6 - Also could have closed Benteke a bit more on the first goal. Unlucky not to have drawn a penalty and showed real determination towards the end with some penetrating runs forward.

Downing - 7 - Hardly put a foot wrong. His crosses were dangerous, even if no one in a red shirt was in the box to get on them. His vision was great all day and it was his passes that on the ground that really created havoc for Villa. If only we could play Downing's former clubs every week. Do we have Middlesbrough any time soon?

Sterling - 5 - He had a few nice moves, but as the game went on, he faded. Perhaps he was trying too hard, but he needlessly conceded possession a number of times trying to do too much. He did draw a number of fouls, but this definitely was not one of his better games overall.

Lucas - 5 - Pretty much anonymous until subbed. I'm beginning to think the Lucas Allen pairing gets the best out of neither player. I would write more about him, but I honestly can't remember much that he did.

Allen - 4 - It has to be a 4. He was directly responsible for two goals. Villa's second was mainly due to his failure to track his man as Villa broke. He applied the pressure initially, but then just let him go. The third was an ill-advised pass which instantly put Cole (who should have done better) under pressure. Then, he again failed to track back adequately. I could even argue his very slack defending allowed the pass to Benteke on the first goal as well. Poor display and overall I think he is a bit uncomfortable playing in the more advanced role.

Gerrard - 6 - Worked quite hard in the first half and was very influential in Liverpool's sustained pressure for the first 30 minutes of the match. Was fairly invisible for most of the second half aside from his goal. I am not sure if this is due to him feeling he needs to hold back a bit to help out defensively or his best years are past him.

Shelvey - 5 - It wasn't that he was poor, but he really failed to work himself into the match. I am not sure if he was just unsure of how to play wide or if it was just one of those days, but it didn't work for him. Rightly subbed at half.

Suarez - 6 - Well again he showed his footballing brain. Some of the passes he made were superb and just unbelievable. How he spots some of the movement is beyond me. However, he wasted a golden chance to send Gerrard through 1v1 with the keeper. His pass was behind Gerrard and then it fizzled out. He still is struggling to turn chances into goals. With the number of chances he creates, he should be near Messi type numbers for goals. We desperately need a finisher. Stupidly talked himself into the books as well.

SUBS:

Cole - 6 - Got caught in possession for the third goal. Allen did put him under pressure with a poorly thought out pass, but he still should have done better. He was pinching in quite a bit, but then again why would anyone want to go wide to cross when Liverpool consistently fail to get bodies in the box?

Henderson - 6 - Seemed to really get a hold of the midfield once he came on. Unfortunately, it was a bit late to make much of an impact.

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