RATINGS | Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa: Substitutes make the difference in Anfield win

DON KOPLEONE rates the Liverpool players’ individual performances as Reds continue 100pc winning record at Anfield.

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Liverpool were poor in the first half here. The loss to Manchester City showed defensive lapses, but not a drop in attacking intensity – that felt less the case today.

It was on the hour mark that Jürgen Klopp felt the need to introduce Roberto Firmino, and Liverpool looked immediately more comfortable with their No.9 on the pitch.

Sadio Mané broke the deadlock after good play from Naby Keïta, before a first league goal for Curtis Jones wrapped up the points late on.


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Here are your ratings:

Starting XI

Ali 7.5 – Proved his class when diverting a late Jack Grealish strike away from the onrushing Mbwana Samatta. Wall.

Trent 6 – Another ‘not quite’ post-lockdown performance from the Reds’ right-back, but played a key role in the build-up to first goal.

JoGo 7 – A far more assured display than the one he put in at the Etihad.

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Big Virg 6.5 – Far greater number of misplaced passes than we expect from the Dutch machine. Almost gave a goal away early in the second half after losing the ball in midfield but got back well to atone.

Robbo 6 – First-half display tempted the joke about Robbo *still* being on the lash, but his performance after the interval was much improved.

Ox 5.5 – Uncharacteristically poor passing, at times. Never got into the game and was hooked on the hour mark.

Fab 7 – The Brazilian was arguably Liverpool’s best starter. Surprised to see him taken off after an hour.

Naby Lad 6 – Underwhelming, other than a great assist to set up Mané’s opener. Wasn’t as busy trying to create as he usually is.

Mo 6 – Could have been given two penalties, but went down far to easily on both occasions. Was rather quiet otherwise.

Divvy 5.5 – Little went right for the Belgian today. Continues to look lost when out on the left flank.

Sadio 6.5 – Frustrated until his goal, which was fortunate to crash its way over the line via the crossbar.

Subs

Bobby 7.5 – You notice him when he’s not there, which was proven today. Link-up play was good, and forced a great save from Pepe Reina. Man of the match? Go on.

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Hendo 7 – The same mantra could be applied to Liverpool’s skipper. Positive influence after being brought on.

Gini 6.5 – Part of the triple-substitution which changed the game, but miscontrolled a few seemingly easy touches.

CJ 7 – Mixed bag of a cameo, but key moment came with his first Premier League goal to clinch the three points. Not a bad way to celebrate a new five-year contract.

Neco N/A – One appearance closer to a Premier League winners’ medal.


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