Jack Lusby reports from Villa Park after a sensational attacking display from Liverpool earned a 6-0 win against struggling Aston Villa.
Aston Villa 0-6 Liverpool
Premier League – Villa Park – Sunday 14th February 2016
Goals: Sturridge 16′, Milner 25′, Can 58′, Origi 63′, Clyne 65′, Toure 71′
Making nine changes to the side that lost 2-1 to West Ham United in Tuesday night’s FA Cup fourth-round replay, Jurgen Klopp fielded close to his strongest starting lineup for Sunday’s visit to Villa Park.
Building on this strong base with a 4-2-3-1 formation, Klopp was able to call upon his best attacking trio.
After a congested start to this cold, afternoon clash, Liverpool kicked into gear on 16 minutes.
With Coutinho picking up the ball on the left flank, the Brazilian curled an inch-perfect cross in for Sturridge to nod past Mark Bunn and put his side 1-0 up.
The No. 15 peeled away in celebration as the pressure eased off Klopp’s Reds.
Coutinho was at the forefront of Liverpool’s attacking play, drifting in from his left-sided role to drill passes onto a fluid, dovetailing Firmino-Sturridge tandem.
Villa wilted following Milner’s 25th-minute free-kick, and Liverpool were poised to dominate after the break.
Despite bringing each of Coutinho, Firmino and Sturridge off before full-time, Klopp saw a consistency in his side’s display, as goals from Can, Clyne, Toure and Divock Origi consigned Villa to a 6-0 defeat.
Seemingly doomed to relegation, Villa put up little fight as Liverpool flexed their attacking muscle.
But with the Reds in inspired form throughout, this performance hinted at long-term success under Klopp.
The return of Sturridge and Coutinho could push Liverpool up the table in the second half of 2015/16, with this fluid, fleet-footed lineup surely matching Klopp’s attacking vision.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Toure, Sakho, Moreno; Can, Henderson; Milner, Coutinho (Stewart 66′), Firmino (Benteke 74′), Sturridge (Origi 62′)
Subs not used: Ward, Caulker, Ibe, Flanagan.
Aston Villa: Bunn; Richards (Hutton 85′), Okore, Lescott, Cissokho; Westwood, Gana; Bacuna (Lyden 66′), Veretout, Gil; Agbonlahor (Sinclair 58′).
Subs not used: Guzan, Clark, Richardson, Davis.
ASTON VILLA 0-6 LIVERPOOL