Let’s just pretend that last match didn’t happen. Maybe Pep was right, Liverpool drank too many beers the past week and then played their worst game of the season against FFP violating Manchester City.
Today, Aston Villa visit and empty Anfield. Liverpool look to get things back on track.
Not happening early though. Feels like watching a Barcelona match under Setien. Lots of meaningless possession with no end-product. 0-0 at half and Villa looks better.
Second half was more of the same…until Klopp subbed in Hendo, Gini, and Bobby. Then Liverpool began rolling and claimed the 2-0 win.
Liverpool Starting XI vs Aston Villa
Here’s the full squad and bench. Good see Xherdan Shaqiri on the bench. Hopefully he sees some field time at the end.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (6.5) –
The boss said they’re playing to win every remaining match. But he also needs to rotate the squad to keep the lads fresh. Today’s rotation makes sense. It’s a more attack-minded midfield. That should generate plenty of chances against the EPL’s worst defense.
Squad is meh. No end product. Really disappointing. Hope he pulls the right strings in the second half. However, waits too long to make subs to spark the boys. Makes the right subs at least. Game totally changed. Well done, boss.
Alisson (7) –
Challenged more than he should be. Thank the lord he’s back there.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (5) –
Some good switches but otherwise a meh game.
Virgil van Dijk (5) –
Looking a little more assertive than on Thursday. Clears a dangerous cross in the 14th. Also making some sloppy and careless mistakes. When VVD has lapses in concentration, he looks bad. Little margin for error with him.
Joe Gomez (5.5) –
Gets the start again despite a poor showing vs City. Then again, they all had a poor showing against City. Was fine. Nothing special.
Andy Robertson (6) –
Looks good going forward but struggling defensively. Earns a careless yellow. But effort is there. Subbed off late or Neco.
The Looks Great in Training Naby KeitaTM (6.5) –
Is this the match where the “match” Keita and “training” Keita finally meet?
First half is very meh. Better in second half. Great ball in finding Mane to assist on the opener.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (5) –
Expecting a big game from Ox. Not happening. Sometimes Ox looks like the fastest guy on the pitch. Not the case today.
A good cross and a couple of ok moments in the second half, but that’s all. Subbed off for Gini.
Fabinho (5) –
Nothing terrible, nothing great. Subbed off for Hendo.
Mo Salah (7) –
Lively early. Dancing with the ball in the box like Salah of ’17-18. But dribbling into walls like Salah of ’19-20. Worked hard all game and deserved something for it. Was marked at all time. Got the assist with a heady header to Jones.
Sadio Mane (7) –
Emblematic of Liverpool’s post-COVID problems: too much cutesy stuff, no basic / simple /effective soccer.
However, clinical finish on Keita’s ball in to give the Reds the lead.
Divock Origi (4) –
Big Div has gone blonde! Interesting choice. No judgement here. You be you, Div.
Does nothing of note. Subbed off for Bobby.
Jordan Henderson (6.5) – Squad looked better as soon as he came on.
Roberto Firmino (NR) – More linking up when he came on.
Gini Wijnaldum (NR) – Better energy / disruption as soon as he came on.
Curtis Jones (7) – Congrats, scouser! First Premier League goal!
Neco Williams (NR) – Time killer at the end.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Since nobody stood out the whole match, it goes to Jones for his first EPL goal.