Premier League

Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa: Player ratings as Alexander-Arnold bags vital late winner

Max Cooper
Apr 10, 2021, 5:36 PM GMT+1
Man of the hour
Man of the hour | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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Liverpool climbed into the top four of the Premier League with a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds dominated from the off, and Mohamed Salah should have broken the deadlock early on, but he rolled a shot wide of the post when clean through against Emiliano Martinez. The Egyptian missed the target again soon after, and Villa capitalised upon the hosts' poor finishing when Ollie Watkins blasted under Alisson Becker, who should have done better.

Liverpool thought they'd pulled level through Roberto Firmino on the stroke of half-time, but his dinked strike was ruled out for an offside call against Diogo Jota in the buildup to the goal. Jurgen Klopp's men did equalise just before the hour-mark however, as Salah was on hand to tap home after Martinez parried Andy Robertson's shot.

Villa almost regained their advantage on 62 minutes, Trezeguet's curling effort striking the inside of the post before bouncing away, before the Reds got their reward for long periods of dominance when Trent Alexander-Arnold curled a stunning shot inside the far post to clinch a huge three points.

Liverpool player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-ASTON VILLA
Focus | MARTIN RICKETT/Getty Images

Alisson Becker (GK) - 6/10 - Had to be alive to pinch the ball ahead of Watkins from a short back-pass. Poor attempt to save Villa's goal, and should have done better.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - 7/10 - Curled a dangerous free-kick just over the bar, before firing a brilliant match-winner to save the day. Decent deliveries all afternoon.

Nathaniel Phillips (CB) - 7/10 - Almost played Watkins through on goal but Alisson spared his blushes. Did well enough against the English striker however, and largely kept him quiet.

Ozan Kabak (CB) - 5/10 - Too weak in the initial challenge, then couldn't get across quick enough to block Watkins' shot. Not his finest hour.

Andy Robertson (LB) - 8/10 - His misdirected effort fell to Firmino, who did the rest. Alas, offside. Repeated his heroics in the second half, and this time his parried shot fell to Salah, and he did bring the Reds level. On a different planet to his teammates.

2. Midfielders

James Milner, John McGinn
Using his experience | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

James Milner (CM) - 6/10 - Tidy on the ball, but couldn't make any sort of impact in the final third. Dispossessed and almost gifted Villa a second in the second half.

Fabinho (CM) - 7/10 - Played so much of the game on the edge of Villa's penalty area, moving play from side to side with urgency. Couldn't protect his backline from the turnover in play which caused Villa's first-half strike.

Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) - 6/10 - Scurried up and down the pitch, and saw a shot blocked by some stoic defending. Subbed.

3. Forwards

Mohamed Salah
Among the goals | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah (RW) - 7/10 - Lively from the off, but wasteful in front of goal. Somehow missed a simple one-on-one, but couldn't fail from a yard out to pull Liverpool level.

Roberto Firmino (ST) - 6/10 - Thought he'd got the Reds on level terms, but his clever finish was all for nothing due to an offside flag.

Diogo Jota (LW) - 7/10 - Headed just over the bar from Robertson's corner, and caused Cash a few issues with his clever runs in behind. Produced a stunning first-time pass to feed Robertson to level.

4. Substitutes

Thiago Alcantara
Introduced | Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Thiago Alcantara (CM) - 6/10

Sadio Mane (LW) - 5/10

Xherdan Shaqiri (RW) - 7/10

Aston Villa player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-ASTON VILLA
Got away with one | LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/Getty Images

Emiliano Martinez (GK) - 7/10 - Tested early doors by Salah, but kept out his front-post drive. Produced a good save to deny Robertson, but could only parry into the path of Salah. Unlucky to see his final save cancelled out by Alexander-Arnold.

Matty Cash (RB) - 7/10 - A solid first half against Jota. Was lucky that his missed interception went unpunished, due to an extremely harsh offside call.

Ezri Konsa (CB) - 7/10 - Had Villa's first shot on target, but headed straight at Alisson. Threw himself in front of the ball on a number of occasions. Booked.

Tyrone Mings (CB) - 6/10 -
Got away with a proper clanger, allowing the ball to roll under his foot and through to Salah. Lucky for him, the striker misfired. Recovered to lead the backline against a barrage of crosses and balls into the penalty area.

Matt Targett (LB) - 7/10 - Lost Salah a few times on that flank, but got back in to block crosses and reduce the danger from his wing. Did a decent job on the whole.

6. Midfielders

John McGinn, Fabinho
Getting stuck in | Pool/Getty Images

John McGinn (CM) - 7/10 - Slotted a superb ball through for Watkins to break the deadlock. Harassed the Liverpool midfield and gave them so little time on the ball.

Douglas Luiz (CM - 6/10 - Struggled to help his side get a foothold in the game, and then picked up a head injury just before the half-hour mark. Carded, not for the first time. Broke up Liverpool's attacks efficiently.

Marvelous Nakamba (CM) - 6/10 - Surrendered possession far too easily on a couple of occasions, landing his teammates in danger. Dashed around, putting his endless energy to good use.

7. Forwards

Ollie Watkins
Celebrations all round | Pool/Getty Images

Bertrand Traore (RW) - 5/10 - Dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box, and was generally poor throughout.

Ollie Watkins (ST) - 8/10 - Very isolated early on and was forced to invent chances from next to nothing. Got his chance just before half-time and rifled it home.

Trezeguet (LW) - 7/10 - Buzzed around the final third trying to press the Liverpool backline into a mistake. So unlucky to hit the post with a brilliant effort under pressure. Left the field in tears through injury.

8. Substitutes

Ross Barkley
Subbed on | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Ross Barkley (CM) - 5/10

Anwar El Ghazi (RW) - 6/10

Jacob Ramsey (CM) - 6/10

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