Liverpool 0 Aston Villa 1: Player ratings Balotelli & Lallana disappoint

Liverpool 0 Aston Villa 1: Player ratings as Mario Balotelli and Adam Lallana disappoint

By Ross Cannon
Liverpool
0
Aston Villa
1

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet Couldn’t do a whole lot to stop Agbonlahor’s opener and flapped at a Villa corner on 16 minutes, otherwise had virtually nothing to do. 5/10

Javi Manquillo Whipped in a dangerous cross for Markovic early on in the first-half and provided a couple more dangerous crosses in the second half, but his influence on the game dissipated considerably as the game went into the final 20 minutes. Provided constant width for what was a considerably narrow Liverpool attack. 5

Dejan Lovren Got the wrong side of Senderos and allowed the Swiss centre-half to head towards goal and provide the impetus for Villa’s opener. 4

Mamadou Sakho Had virtually nothing to deal with after the Villa opener. Worked well in tandem with Lovren. 5

Alberto Moreno Made an early mistake with only three minutes on the clock which almost proved catastrophic. Was always willing to go forward but wasn’t fed enough of the ball. Booked for a needless tackle of Richardson. 5

Steven Gerrard Delivered an unusually poor free-kick on 19 minutes which set the tone for an ordinary performance. Sat deep as a regista but didn’t hit enough of the long penetrating passes we are so used to seeing from the Liverpool captain. 5

Jordan Henderson Helped Liverpool win the midfield battle for the first 45 minutes. Broke up play and won back possession for Liverpool on several occasions. 6

Lazar Markovic Had a chance to head Liverpool in front after four minutes, but couldn’t get enough purchase on the ball. Was willing to run into the channels and looked a genuine threat at times. The Serb signed from Benfica can be relatively happy with his first start for the club. 5

Philippe Coutinho Constantly dropped deep to pick the ball up and attempted to be the platform for Liverpool’s attack but proved ineffective. Constantly shot inaccurately from distance and saw a shot come crashing off the post in the 82nd minute. Looked like Liverpool’s only genuine threat. 4

Adam Lallana Picked up a booking in the 12th minute for a nasty tackle on Tom Cleverley. Subbed off for Raheem Sterling on the hour mark. 3

Mario Balotelli Involved himself in a battle with Senderos from the very beginning of the game, a battle he eventually lost. Constantly played with his back to goal and offered little movement. Managed a deflected shot from outside the box that landed just wide of Guzan’s goal. Subbed off for Lambert in the 70th minute. 3

Substitutes

Raheem Sterling Offered an instant spark after coming on for Lallana on the left-hand side of the front three, but couldn’t effect the game on the wing. 5

Rickie Lambert Found himself in a dangerous area inside the box only to miss control his pass and lose possession, did little else to effect the game. 5

Fabio Borini N/A

Aston Villa

Brad Guzan Extremely quiet evening for the American. Punched a Gerrard free-kick clear just after the hour mark. Jabbed a finger in the face of Lovren after a mid-air collision and that was the height of his activities. Can thank his two centre-halves for such a quiet night. 5

Alan Hutton Roused the Liverpool players and fans with a dangerous high-speed tackle that sent Sterling flying into the air. Helped bully Balotelli out of the game. 6

Philippe Senderos Missed a great opportunity early on as he found himself totally unmarked in the box but couldn’t get his header on target. Risked a red card after petulantly kicking Balotelli on 21 minutes. Helped shutout Liverpool alongside Baker at the heart of the Villa defence. 7

Aly Cissokho Stayed cohesive and part of the defensive unit but rarely ventured forward. A wayward header almost sent Sterling through the heart of the defence. 5

Nathan Baker Put in a vital block to stop Moreno from crossing for Markovic inside the Villa box in the first-half. Headed the ball out of the Villa box time and time again. Proved an astute deputy to Ron Vlaar. 7

Tom Cleverley Was a passenger for most of the game. Reminiscent of his Manchester United days as he struggled to assert himself in the midfield, but did perform well in defensive role as part of a midfield trio. 5

Ashley Westwood Delivered a fantastic free-kick only for Senderos to head over on 13 minutes. Solid performance in midfield. 6

Fabian Delph (Man of the Match) Industrious performance from the 24-year-old. Helped mark Gerrard out of the game and drove his team forward at every opportunity. Helped shield his back four from oncoming Liverpool attacks. 8

Gabriel Agbonlahor Scored the only goal of the game after he reacted quickest to Senderos’s initial header. Chased from the front and helped quell Gerrard’s influence on the game. 6

Andreas Weimann Starved of possession in the first-half and struggled to effect the game. Dropped into midfield when Villa were without the ball, which effectively removed the Austrian as an attacking threat. Withdrawn after 70 minutes for N’Zogbia. 5

Kieran Richardson Was pegged back in his own half as Moreno spent almost the entire first 45 minutes in the Villa half and couldn’t offer much of an attacking threat. Stuck to his defensive duties diligently. 6

Substitutes

Charles N’Zogbia N/A

Carlos Sanchez N/A

Darren Bent N/A

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