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  • David Tyrer

Player Ratings: Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool

Bloody football, eh? You're a goal down, with less than 5 minutes of normal time remaining, it looks as if you're unbeaten run in the league is coming to an end.


Then the mentality monsters rear their beautiful heads again and you come away from Villa Park with a 2-1 win.


Liverpool had spent 85 minutes huffing and puffing and not looking likely to find an equaliser, nevermind a couple of goals.


But fate had not prepared itself for Sadio Mane. The little Senegal winger saved our skins so many times last season and continues to do so this season, even when the more heralded Firmino and Salah flatter to deceive.


Liverpool will know they got away with it today. But the more we go behind and rescue all three points late on, the more we'll be said to have the 'mark of champions'. The more that happens, the more teams will fear us even more when they go ahead.


For now, we maintain our 6 point lead at the top and go into the game in the week knowing that we have a huge opportunity never weekend to extend out lead even further, if we can just beat Man City at Anfield. Doing something we couldn't do last season.


Alisson - Honestly had nothing to do. Villa scored and he only had one other shot on target to face. Played his 'sweeper keeper' role to a tea in the second half, to clear up a Villa counter attack. 6


Trent Alexander-Arnold - Trent was great this afternoon but his delivery left a lot to be desired. He'll get the 'assist' for Mane's goal, but it was - again - a poor delivery, and Mane somehow made the most of it to score a seemingly impossible goal. Needs to ensure his crossing improves ahead of next Sunday. 7


Virgil Van Dijk - A sloppy pass early in the first half set the tone for a game where big Virg just never looked entirely comfortable. Has had a tendency to look lazy lately. Something which has perhaps led to us struggling to keep clean sheets this season. 6


Dejan Lovren - Like Van Dijk, Lovren struggled all day up against Wesley and Trezeguet and Klopp will be hoping to have Matip back fit again as soon as possible. 6


Andy Robertson - Another one of those games, where he worked like a dog but wasn't getting the luck he deserved at the other end. Until the 86th minute that is, when his header from Mane's cross equalised for the Reds. Prior to this season, he'd scored 1 goal in 2 seasons for the Reds. He now has 2 in 3 months! It feels good to have a goalscoring, rampaging full-back again. 7


Adam Lallana - Came in for some weird criticism during the game, in what was an unfamiliar number 6 role. He was basically Fabinho's stand-in. He actually did perfectly fine. He can never be Fabinho, but he was tidy. Didn't give possession away much and barring his awful miss prior to our first goal, he was the best of our midfield three. 7


Jordan Henderson - Abject. Woeful. Off the pace. These are all things that have been said about Henderson in recent weeks. You have to wonder what he has to do (or not) for Klopp to take him out of the firing line. Head and shoulders our worst player today, culminating in a terrible ball into the box when he was in a 3 on 2 situation with Mane and Salah. 5


Gini Wijnaldum - Barely much better than Henderson today, but he at least lost possession less. Considering our glut of midfield options, they're all trying really hard to play themselves out of selection lately. 6


Sadio Mane - Cometh the hour, cometh man. Sadio Mane has been our saviour so many times, and today was another of those days, as he crossed to set up Robbo for the equaliser before heading home the final corner to win us the game and confirm three points. Like Fabinho, he's got to be an early runner for POTY awards already. 8 Man of the Match


Mo Salah - Just wasn't his day. Like last weekend, he often looked as if he was playing within himself and you wonder how much his ankle problem really is troubling him. Rest him mid-week, get him right for next Sunday. That should be Jurgen Klopp's plan for this week. 6


Roberto Firmino - Like Salah, just looked as if he wasn't quite there. He toiled away, but got little joy from Villa's back line. 6


Subs:


Divock Origi - Actually came off the bench and looked a real threat. Ran at Villa's defence more than most of our team had for the previous 70 minutes and his pace scared the home side a little bit. Looks to have gained more confidence after his display in the week. 6


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - Looked more direct and had more drive the the man he replaced, as well as Henderson and Lallana. Managed three shots back to back, but somehow found all three of them blocked in the box. Should be given another start on Wednesday night. 6


Naby Keita - Not on long but good to see that him limping off mid-week wasn't a long-term problem, as it usually is with young Naby. NA



 

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