Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 1: Player ratings as Sturridge nets winner

Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 1: Player ratings as Daniel Sturridge netted the winner at Villa Park

By Guy Clarke
Aston Villa
0
Liverpool
1

Aston Villa

Brad Guzan Powerless to stop Sturridge’s opener, but dealt well with anything else that came his way, showed bravery to come out although clashing with Agger just after half time, lucky not to concede a penalty in the closing moments. 6/10.

Matthew Lowton Played fairly well before been subbed, kept Coutinho quiet whilst the Brazilian was out on the flank even though he got booked for a late tackle on the 21-year-old. 6/10.

Ron Vlaar Partnership with Okore looks like something to build on, played well together although a slight miscommunication that led to the only goal of the game, but cancelled out many other crosses. 6/10.

Jores Okore On his full debut the young Dane at the heart of the Villa backline dealt well physically with the tricky Daniel Sturridge, although may take some blame for the visitors opener after being taken out of position by the 23-year-old. 6/10.

Antonio Luna Enjoyed getting forward but seemed slightly caught out in position defensively at times in the first half. Handled Jordan Henderson and Iago Aspas well but could be got at by stronger wingers. 6/10.

Leandro Bacuna Started off in midfield but reverted back into a right-back role with the arrival of El Ahmadi for Lowton. Put numerous early crosses into the box from his deep position with a varied degree of success. 7/10.

Ashley Westwood Villa’s deep midfielder broke up play well and with Delph has a good understanding in midfield. Helped make the home side dominant in play, but were unable to break through. 7/10.

Fabian Delph Busy and tenacious performance from the former Leeds youngster in the heart of the midfield, broke up play alongside Westwood and offloaded the ball simply but effectively and supported any attacks. 7/10.

Gabriel Agbonlahor One of Villa’s more threatening players, looking dangerous when allowed to run at the opposition’s defence. Had a decent chance to pull the hosts level in the second half but put his effort wide. 7/10.

Andreas Weimann Not as involved in proceedings as last weekend’s 3-1 at Arsenal, never really caused Liverpool any problems with Enrique pushing him back on numerous occasions, subbed off for Tonev in the 72nd minute. 6/10.

Christian Benteke Liverpool’s main tormentor from last season was kept quiet for large parts of the game, only real opening was late on but was saved well by fellow Belgian Mignolet. 7/10.

Substitutes

Karim El Ahmadi Replaced Lowton in the 65th minute, added composure to the midfield went he came on but he too was unable to play that killer ball to create Villa the open chance they needed. 6/10.

Alexsandar Tonev The Bulgarian came off the bench again and looked promising but wasted a long range free kick in a decent position when Villa had big players in the box. 5/10.

Nicklas Helenius N/A

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet Quiet day at the office for the Belgian between the sticks, but when called upon was on hand to save from Benteke late in the second half. 7/10.

Glen Johnson Handled the pacey Agbonlahor not letting and got forward in his typical manner, but was tracked well by his opposing number, Agbonlahor, so found it tough to show his attacking threat. 6/10.

Kolo Toure Kept Villa’s dangerman, Benteke, quiet although the Belgian got a sight at goal late in the day and used his experience well in marshalling the defence, looks to be building a good understanding with Agger, astute signing by Rodgers. 7/10.

Daniel Agger Looked classy and composed as always in defence, carried and pass the ball efficiently, gave one sloppy back-pass to Mignolet that led to a mis-control giving Villa a chance from a corner which fortunately led to nothing. 7/10.

Jose Enrique Got the assist for the only goal of the game, showed why he is Liverpool’s first choice at left-back with the arrival of Aly Cissoko, not only good going forward but sound defensively also. 7/10.

Lucas Leiva Had a quiet first half with Liverpool dominant but during the second half as the hosts came on stronger the Brazilian was on hand to make crucial interceptions and tackles. 7/10.

Steven Gerrard Looked comfortable in a deeper midfield role, allowed to sit and dictate play also did his part defensively too, a captain’s performance in a potentially difficult match. 7/10.

Jordan Henderson Kept the width on the right for the visitors but wasn’t spectacular in any way, just kept Liverpool in possession when given the ball but was no major threat to Villa’s goal. 6/10.

Iago Aspas Largely ineffectual, gave away a couple of needless fouls one of which resulted in a booking for a tackle through the back of Delph before being replaced by Cissoko. Not quite up to speed with the pace of the Premier League just yet. 5/10.

Philippe Coutinho His dummy allowed Sturridge his chance to score, moved inside with the introduction of Cissoko after failing to stamp his authority on the game from the left flank, subbed off for Allen late on as Rodgers looked to close the game out. 7/10.

Daniel Sturridge – His moment of genius gave Liverpool the only goal of the game, great tight control before dancing past the Villa defence and past Guzan to tuck the ball away, also unfortunate not to win a penalty late on. 8/10.

Substitutes

Aly Cissoko Gave a solid display after coming on as a second half replacement for Iago Aspas, played on the left wing although regarded as a left full back. 6/10.

Joe Allen N/A

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