Aston Villa v Liverpool: LFC Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet

Simon Mignolet:


A far more pleasant afternoon for Migs because he had bugger all to do, really. He made a couple of ‘sharp’ saves throughout the 90 minutes, but nothing he wouldn’t be expected to save. Having said that he’s not been saving shots he’s been expected to save, so that’s an improvement. Of course I’m not going to ‘celebrate’ something like that, so I’ll keep this short and simple.

He was grand.


Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:


It’s amazing what competition can do to a player. Patsy has had the right back slot nailed down pretty much all season due to a lack of alternatives to either Brendan or Jurgen. Now however Jon Flanagan is breathing down his neck (picture that for a moment…*shudder*) and if Clyne doesn’t buck his ideas up he’ll find himself picking splinters out of his arse for potentially the next 3 years.

Lo and behold Patsy puts in arguably his best performance of the season. I must temper that rating once more with an observation that Liverpool were playing the worst Premier League team I have seen since Derby County, but Patsy was excellent. He consistently raided down the right wing from the first minute to the last, and his final ball was much improved. He put in a peach of a half-volley cross late in the game that was begging to be slammed home, but alas Benteke was on at that stage and he just watched it all happen 10 yards in front of him. Nice scrambled goal for Clyne too. A good day.

He’s still just keeping Flano’s shirt warm of course.


Kolo Toure




I’d love to say that this was a barnstorming performance capped with a towering headed goal, but I’d be lying.

This was a hilarious tussle between KOLO and Agbonlahor, both of whom have a combined age that must be nudging three digits. It reminded me of Randolph and Mortimer arguing in ‘Trading Places’. Bless ’em.

Then of course there was ‘The Goal’. Did he leap? Did he lose his man? Did he do anything? Nope. The ball bounced off his bonce and flew into the net. Glorious. Best goal of the season for me. Such joy on his face. If ever there was a time to recreate that epic Barry Davies commentary, it was then…”Look at his face! Just look at his face!”.

We love you KOLO. Never, ever change.


Mamadou Sakho

Mamadou Sakho: 


He looked like Franz Beckenbauer against that Villa team today. He knew he could pretty much do anything up to bashing the ball into his own net, and get away with it with his pace and power, so he was in his element. He constantly strode out of defence to win the ball ahead of his opponents, launching attack after attack as a result. He also took an English Lesson for 30 minutes during the game and wasn’t missed. If only every match was this easy. Alas, it won’t be.


Alberto Moreno

Alberto Moreno: 


Let’s play a game. Ready?

Pretend that Brad Smith is the ‘senior’ left back in the Liverpool squad. Now pretend that the ‘young’ Bertie Moreno was getting a chance today to stake his claim for a place in the starting XI. Did he do enough to shift the incumbent?


I want Brad Smith starting from now on, when fit. In fact, imagine Smith today raiding down the left against that Villa defence….feck, we would have had twelve. Easy.


Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson:


An ideal game for Captain Hendo to use to play his way back into form, and this was a small step in the right direction. He was neat and tidy, and he kept it simple for a change which is nice.

I have a tip for you Jordan, when you read this, as you undoubtedly will do: Don’t try to be Stevie. You can’t, and you don’t need to be. You have immensely talented players in front of you with Coutinho/Sturridge/Firmino, so get the ball and give it to them. That’s all you have to do mate. It’s simple really. Like yourself. Bless.


Emre Can

Emre Can:


A dominant midfield performance from Emre, who absolutely bossed the middle of the park against….well, against nothing really, but still, we can only judge what we see. He was constantly pressing, winning the ball back quickly and his passing seemed to be simple but effective.

His goal typified his performance. Got a foot in high up the pitch, won the ball, gave it to somebody talented, bombed on, got it back and smashed it home from 20 yards. Great stuff. He’s younger than Kevin Stewart, did you know that? I think this is sometimes forgotten by Liverpool fans. This fella is a mere footballing foetus, and will grow into a monster in time. A Scouse monster with a German accent. Terrifying.


James Milner: 

God, is there any way that James Milner can make himself more exciting? Even in a game where we wallop someone for six he blends into the background. Don’t get me wrong, his performance was decent. Solid set-piece delivery at corners, dangerous crosses at free-kicks, typified by his goal. Yet… know? Maybe I’m being harsh. After all he had the dream team in front of him and left them at it. I do wonder once more though, now that we ‘nearly’ have everyone back fit, does he make the first XI? It will be interesting to find out….


Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho: 



What? You want more? Fine….glorious cross for Goal 1. Glorious through ball for Goal 5. Won the free kick for Goal 2. That’s just for starters. He finished as the Man Of The Match with three assists. The ‘Holy Trinity’ was born today, and they’re only going to get better and better as they play together more often. Coutinho is going to be the puppet-master for potentially the best forward line in the league.

After struggling with the amount of games to be played, suddenly I want the lads to be playing tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. I just can’t get enough.


Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge:


It is simply astonishing how this fella can come back from long layoffs and hit the ground running. Scrap that, he doesn’t hit it running, he hits it sprinting full pelt and sticking the ball in the net. He came off the bench against West Ham and looked like he had never been away, and he started this game in exactly the same manner.

He can be borderline infuriating at times with his confidence that leads him to delay passes or try passes that he probably shouldn’t, but he does so many things so incredibly well that he’s instantly forgiven. Scored one today, probably should have had another, and now has 45 goals in 75 premier league games, the best goals to game ratio in the Premier League era for Liverpool. Better than Fowler, Torres and Suarez. I know….if we can just keep him fit. By far the best English striker today. I’d argue that he’s the best striker in the Premier League full stop. Now he needs to stay fit to prove it.


Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino:

Was he quieter today than normal, or was it simply that he was drowned out slightly by the magical noise created by Coutinho and Sturridge? I suspect it’s the latter. Personally I’d be delighted if this was a ‘quiet’ day for Bobby and he was still this effective. Great work to set up Can for his goal, and he was the one that led the pressing from the front.

I’d much rather have Firmino as a ruthlessly quietly effective part of the ‘Holy Trinity’.



Divock Origi

Divock Origi:


Like London Buses, Liverpool wait so long for a striker to show up and then along comes two. With the impact of Sturridge upon his return, Origi could easily have blended into the background. Not a bit of it. He’s stormed to the forefront and has given Jurgen Klopp a very welcome headache when it comes to selecting his strikeforce.

He was on the pitch for mere seconds when he was set through on goal by Coutinho. We’ve seen Benteke miss 5 of these chances over the course of this season, so we know that they’re not easy. Divock showed him how it’s done. Cool, calm, clinical. The less said about the Valentine Snog he got from the 23 stone lad in the crowd after he scored, the better. The ref should have booked that lad. Can he do that?

Now we’ve got the strikers sorted out, we just need to sort the defence. Then we’ll walk the league next season. Right? Another beer anyone? *burp*


Kevin Stewart

Kevin Stewart: 

A star is born.

Immense at Upton Park during the week, he fully earned his place on the bench today, and I was delighted to see him get a run out in the second half. He was determined to make his mark too, which he did by picking up a yellow card and playing a superb pass to Patsy Clyne which deserved to lead to a goal.

The future is bright. The future is Kevin Stewart.


Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke:

Thrown on after Liverpool had hit their sixth goal in an act of humanity by Jurgen Klopp who wanted to show some mercy to Remi Garde. His introduction immediately stemmed the flow of goals so effectively that Benteke has been given the highest mark of any Aston Villa defender in this game.

I have nothing more to say on this matter.


Jurgen Klopp

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 


Eight days on from having a piece of his body surgically removed he leads his team to a thumping 6-0 win away from home.

Since joining us a few short weeks ago he’s led Liverpool to score 4 at City, 5 at Norwich, 6 at Southampton and 6 at Villa. All of this in a season when Benteke has been the most ever-present striker. Bonkers.

What more needs to be said?


Note: If you enjoy the guff on this blog, you can find me on Twitter (@NiallHawthorne). I’m also regularly contributing to Finally I’m a co-host for the best weekly Premier League Podcast in the whole world – @ByTheMinEPL Podcast, which can be found on the website. If you’ve read this far, pat yourself on the back.


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