Liverpool Player Ratings v Villa

Well done son, you wear that haircut much better than Fellaini. - Stu Forster

It could have been better, it certainly could have been worse (especially for Henderson). Three points at this point are all that matter in the race for 4th 5th. Still, it is worrying that Liverpool gave themselves quite the unnecessary uphill battle. Anyways, on to the ratings:

STARTING XI:

Reina - 8 - His save on Abolnglahor early on gave Liverpool a chance of staying with Villa when Liverpool weren't at their best. It was extremely important. Not a lot he could do about Benteke's goal. Did well to even get a finger on it.

Johnson - 6 - Again he looked a bit sluggish. His best addition to the offense needed a deflection to beat Guzan, ultimately hitting the post. He had little defending to do, especially in the second half, should have added much more to the attack.

Carragher - 5 - Partly on the hook for the goal. Was given quite a rough time by Benteke which forced him to live quite dangerously, constantly tugging on Benteke's shirt.

Agger - 6 - Could have done better on the ball to Abonglahor for the first goal. Overall did well to contain Abonglahor's speed since Abonglahor seemed to play much more direct than I remember him usually playing. He did also keep Weimann fairly quiet as well.

Enrique - 6 - We probably should have switched to a back three at some point as Villa appeared to have no desire to attack down Enrique's flank. For someone with so little to do though, I don't remember him being overly influential in attack. Then again, Coutinho is playing further forward making overlaps much more difficult.

Lucas - 6 - Had a very rough time in the first half and there seemed to be a large gap between him and Gerrard. He had a number of poor challenges early on, but managed to battle through it. He is still far from his old form.

Gerrard - 9 - Pulled the strings to bring Liverpool storming back. He took control of the midfield and that was a significant difference between the first and second halves. He gets the nine though for what has to be one of the most impressive clearances off the line I have ever seen. Oh, and he took his PK quite well too.

Downing - 6 - Relatively ineffective, he was booed at every touch. Why? Why on earth are Villa fans booing him? You got 20m for him, from us. Boo Randy Lerner instead for wasting it. You should be cheering him. Either way, he only managed 4 crosses. For a guy who seemed to have his defender's number, that is pretty low.

Coutinho - 8 - Another Liverpool goal, another assist for the newest sensation. His footballing brain is well beyond that of most senior players. The pass through two players, on the floor to hit Hendo in stride was absolutely sensational. While he does go missing at times, he seems to be good for at least two fantastic passes a game that directly lead to a scoring chance. Did miss on a 1v1 with Guzan thought.

Henderson - 7 - Did well to take his goal and worked hard. I really only noticed him when he was tracking back though. As the player who is tucked in behind the striker, I should notice him more than that on the attack. Maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention to him. Not sure how his knee held up to Westwood's challenge. Unbelievable that it was only a yellow.

Suarez - 8 - Did everything but score, and in all reality should get some credit from the penalty. Played Coutinho in for what should have been a goal, and earned a penalty. How Baker didn't know exactly what was coming I'll never know. I was just waiting to hear someone accuse him of diving. As usual, he ran the defense ragged.

SUBS:

Sterling - N/A - Not much time, but it is good to see him back and getting a few minutes.

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