Liverpool defeated Aston Villa 2-0 at Villa Park on Saturday, and we assess each Reds player on the day.
SIMON MIGNOLET (out of 10)- 7.5
The Belgian did well all afternoon, making a good first-half stop after a Villa shot had deflected off Martin Skrtel, and brilliantly denying Christian Benteke after the break. Arguably his best display of the season.
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EMRE CAN- 7
The 20-year-old looked a class act at the back all afternoon, using the ball intelligently and exuding calm. The young German looks a real prospect.
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MARTIN SKRTEL- 7.5
Skrtel has been playing well of late, and he impressed again on the whole. He was strong in the air, and seems to have erased the consistent mistakes that were plaguing his game earlier on in the season. Made one brilliant block in the second-half.
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MAMADOU SAKHO- 8
The Frenchman continues to be the most dominant defender Liverpool have at their disposal. He didn’t put a foot wrong all game, and made a couple of expertly-timed tackles. Another brilliant performance.
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LAZAR MARKOVIC- 6.5
The in-form Serb was quiet by his recent standards, failing to get forward much in his wing-back role. He was solid but unspectacular. Like the rest of the team, a professional performance.
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LUCAS LEIVA- 7
The 28-year-old quietly went about his business in the middle of the park, breaking things up and reading the game well. His impressive run of performances continues. No wonder Rodgers has now decided not to sell him!
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JORDAN HENDERSON- 6.5
The Reds vice-captain produced a sublime cross for Borini’s goal, and was as industrious as ever in midfield. Having struggled prior to the turn of the year, Henderson has been pretty good of late. As ever, much better in the centre.
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ALBERTO MORENO- 6.5
The young Spaniard had a goal disallowed in the first-half after a typically speedy burst through the middle, and he offered attacking thrust from the left.
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PHILIPPE COUTINHO- 6.5
The 22-year-old has been in scintillating form recently, but he wasn’t at his best. He started well, but struggled to get involved as the match went on.
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RAHEEM STERLING- 6
Sterling wasn’t at his sharpest, having had two weeks off to recharge his batteries. He should have scored when clean through in the first-half, but produced a sloppy finish when attempting to chip Guzan. Rather than looking refreshed, he often looked rusty.
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FABIO BORINI- 6.5
The Italian may not be the most popular player at Anfield, but he scored his side’s crucial opener with a well-taken effort, and showed good work-rate and movement prior to be being replaced by Lambert. His lack of awareness let him down on occasion though and Sturridge’s return will still be very welcome.
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RICKIE LAMBERT (on for Borini 71)- 7
The 32-year-old has taken plenty of flack lately, but he scored his side’s vital second goal with a clinical finish from the edge of the box.
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JOSE ENRIQUE (on for Moreno 71)
His arrival was needed as Villa were hugely piling on the pressure at the time.
JORDAN IBE (on for Raheem Sterling 84)
Bright cameo for the recently recalled youngster.
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