Following Liverpool’s 3-2 win over Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday afternoon, we rate each Reds player on the day.
Liverpool 3–2 Aston Villa
Premier League – Anfield – Saturday 26th September 2015
Goals: Milner (2), Sturridge (58 & 67); Gestede (65 & 71)
The Belgian was relatively untroubled throughout the contest, but dealt well with the danger whenever he was called upon.
He could do nothing about either of Rudi Gestede’s well-taken goals.
Emre Can– 5.5
Not the most convincing of displays from the young German, who blew hot and cold in his right-sided centre-back role.
A poor clearance almost led to Gestede equalising for Villa in the first-half, and he was rather erratic at the back on several occasions. Could arguably have done better for Gestede’s second goal.
Martin Skrtel- 6.5
A reliable performance by the Slovakian, who once again looked more comfortable in a back-three.
Skrtel’s role in the system allows him to focus solely on defending, and he did that pretty well from start to finish.
Mamadou Sakho- 7
It seems ridiculous that Sakho couldn’t get into the Liverpool side earlier on in the season, and he was once again a formidable presence at the back.
The Frenchman was classy in possession, using the ball intelligently, but he was also relatively faultless defensively.
He did play his part in the Reds conceding twice though, and like Skrtel, he was given a tough afternoon by the dangerous Gestede.
Clyne has become Mr Solid for the Reds, but more needs to be expected of him in an attacking sense when deployed as a wing-back.
The 24-year-old was rock solid defensively, but rather ineffective going forward. It’s hard to be critical though, and he continues to be a sizeable upgrade on Glen Johnson.
Lucas Leiva– 7.5
An extremely impressive afternoon from the Brazilian, who was arguably Liverpool’s star man.
Time and time again he broke up the visitors’ attacking forays, and he was a hugely calming influence at the heart of the midfield.
James Milner– 7
Following some poor performances by his standards in recent weeks, Milner was impressive against Villa.
The England international took his second-minute goal expertly, and was influential from start to finish. Assisted Daniel Sturridge‘s first goal. A welcome return to form.
Moreno’s form has been refreshing since returning to the side, but he was solid rather than spectacular against Tim Sherwood’s side.
The Spaniard got forward well on occasions, and his defensive work looks better than it did last season.
Deployed in a slightly deeper midfield role, Coutinho wasn’t always at his best on the day, but he played a big part in the victory.
His flick to set up Sturridge’s second was absolutely delightful, and his creativity was eye-catching from start to finish.
It’s hard to put into words how much the Reds have missed Sturridge.
Following a quiet first-half, the 26-year-old burst into life after the interval, scoring twice and cementing his place as possibly Liverpool’s most important player.
42 goals in 67 appearances for the Merseysiders is some return.
Danny Ings– 5.5
A very quiet afternoon for the popular Ings, who did absolutely nothing wrong but also failed to have an impact on proceedings.
The 23-year-old’s attitude in infectious, however, and you feel he will remain a key man as the season progresses.
Joe Allen (on for Strridge ’90)- n/a
Only on the pitch for a matter of seconds.
Brendan Rodgers- 7
The manager was under enormous pressure going into the game, and he deserves praise for the way his team played.
There was some flowing football and an undeniably improved attitude, and the fact that he didn’t have to make a substitution until the 90th minute is testament to that.
Rodgers may not have too long left in charge, but this was a good day at the office for him.
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[statsfc-player-rater key=2dCG2IPndnJBm4GL141AFJQnx7Wsl6gT3JGGW02u team=Liverpool date=2015-09-26 default_css=false]