Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah were on song as Liverpool came from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 on Saturday.
Liverpool made a strong start to the game and had managed to conjure up several shots at goal by the time the first quarter of an hour was up, and it seemed like they would finally end their drought at Anfield. However, Aston Villa soon found their shape and then managed to threaten on the counter. One such move saw them break the deadlock just ahead of half-time.
Winning the ball in their own half, Dean Smith’s charges unleashed a swift move before Ollie Watkins scored from close range. At the stroke of half-time, it seemed as if Liverpool were back in the game, with Roberto Firmino producing a fine finish, only to be pulled back for a bizarre offside call from the VAR.
Liverpool, though, were determined to bring an end to their dry run at home and they finally found the back of the net and legitimately so when Mohamed Salah was in the right place at the right time to slot in the rebound after Emiliano Martinez had palmed away Andrew Robertson’s shot. Aston Villa did continue to carry a threat, with Trezeguet coming within inches of getting the lead back for the visitors.
However, Liverpool had the last laugh in the dying stages of the game, when Trent Alexander-Arnold produced a wonderful curling effort to seal all three points for his side. Thus, the Reds’ six-game losing run at Anfield has finally been snapped, with the defending Premier League champions even climbing to fourth temporarily before Chelsea’s win over Crystal Palace. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 5/10
Alisson was not tested a great deal by Aston Villa, with the Liverpool no. 1 making a couple of regulation saves. However, the Brazilian ought to have done much better to deny Ollie Watkins after having got a hand to it. Precise in possession.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8/10
After the calamitous display against Real Madrid, this was a much-improved performance by Alexander-Arnold, who worked his socks off at the back, making a few crunching tackles while also making a couple of clearances. Going forward, he carried a threat, but it was the finish for his goal that takes the cake. Has to keep this up against Real Madrid this coming week.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been directly involved in a goal in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time this season:
🅰️ vs. Arsenal
⚽️ vs. Aston Villa
Are you watching, Gareth Southgate? 👀 pic.twitter.com/dAb6JDDsZW
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 10, 2021
Nathaniel Phillips: 6/10
A solid enough display in which Phillips was not really to be blamed for the goal that Aston Villa scored. However, the youngster did face one or two nervy moments, especially when Trezeguet came close to scoring. Colossal presence at the back otherwise, winning 10 aerial duels while making a staggering 7 clearances. Solid effort.
Ozan Kabak: 5/10
A game to forget for Kabak, who gave the ball away before being weak in his challenge on Watkins, all in the lead-up to the goal that Aston Villa scored. Managed to win just 4 of the 9 duels that he contested while also losing possession as many as 12 times. Will hope to put the disappointing outing behind him.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
Not tested a great deal, with Aston Villa looking to test Alexander-Arnold more, Robertson did win 4 duels. However, he made most of his impact going forward and it was his shot that was saved by Emiliano Martinez before Mohamed Salah scored the equaliser for Liverpool. Played a joint-game-high 3 key passes.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
It seems like Wijnaldum continued from where he left off against Real Madrid. The Dutchman never really managed to get into the game, bar a moment or two. In particular, he slowed down the ball progression, meaning there was no point in boasting a 91 percent passing rate. Needs to start stepping up.
After an evening to forget against Real Madrid, Fabinho was back to his top levels, asserting the control for Liverpool in the game with his precise outlet from the base of the midfield. The 27-year-old completed 88 percent of his passes while spraying some beautiful balls forward. Put in the hard yards off the ball and won 4 interceptions. Job well done.
James Milner: 6/10
A game of hits and misses for Milner, who saw a lot of the ball and looked to provide the forward thrust from midfield. Having said that, he also lost the ball 14 times while being overrun in the middle of the park at times, although he did not shy away from indulging in some crunching tackles. Solid work still.
Mohamed Salah: 7/10
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 10, 2021
An odd sort of an evening for Salah, who flitted in and out of the game at an alarming rate before he finally found the back of the net. While he did make a strong start to the game, when he should have scored, Salah was nowhere to be seen for around half an hour before he popped up for the equaliser. Did well to net his goal, though.
Roberto Firmino: 8/10
As was the case against Arsenal last weekend, Firmino was full of purpose and desire and continued to take steps towards returning to his best form. The Brazilian was all over the pitch looking to create space for his teammates. And while there were some sloppy moments on the ball, he played his part in driving Liverpool forward. Will be gutted to be denied the goal.
Diogo Jota: 7/10
Starting on the left side of the attack in the absence of Mane, Jota was not as influential as he is when playing through the middle. However, the Portuguese international still looked to make things happen and got in behind the Aston Villa defence on a number of occasions. The goal did not come for him, though.
Thiago Alcantara: 6/10
A superb substitution by Klopp, with Thiago being a major upgrade over Wijnaldum. Involved in the build-up to the goal that Alexander-Arnold scored to win the game for Liverpool.
Sadio Mane: N/A
On for Firmino, Mane was given the final 15 minutes to make an impact. And, the Senegalese star could have scored late on to make it 3-1, only to fluff his lines. In desperate need of a goal.
Xherdan Shaqiri: N/A
A late introduction, Shaqiri did not play enough to warrant a rating, although he was involved in the build-up to Alexander-Arnold’s goal.