Player Ratings: Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa

Sports Mole takes a look at who impressed during Aston Villa's shock 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield this evening.

Aston Villa's recent hold over Liverpool continued this evening as they made it 10 points from a possible 12 this season with a 1-0 win at Anfield.

Gabriel Agbonlahor got the only goal of the game after just nine minutes when he poked home a loose ball in the area, while Liverpool hit the post late on through Philippe Coutinho.

Here, Sports Mole rates and slates the players on a frustrating night for the hosts.


LIVERPOOL

Lazar Markovic of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on August 25, 2014© Getty Images

Goal

Simon Mignolet: Could do nothing about the Villa goal as it trickled into the corner, and had no other shots on target to face all game. (6/10)

Defence

Javi Manquillo: Panicked in possession on a number of occasions as he was closed down quickly. Didn't pose much of an attacking threat and was shaky all game. (5/10)

Dejan Lovren: Overpowered by Senderos in the build-up to the first goal and also lost his man from a couple of set pieces. Looked confident on the ball and had very little to do for more than an hour, but struggled in the opening 20 minutes or so. (5/10)

Mamadou Sakho: Had Liverpool's only shot on target with a tame header that didn't trouble Guzan. Other than that a solid performance, with little to do after the early pressure had passed. (6/10)

Alberto Moreno: Allowed Hutton in with an early error, but recovered to put in a decent shift down the left. Had a good chance at the end of the first half, but looked for a teammate and saw his low cross well blocked. (6/10)

Midfield

Steven Gerrard: Quickly closed down whenever he got on the ball, so could not have his usual impact on the match. (6/10)

Jordan Henderson: Played in a slightly deeper role than usual today but put in another decent shift. You know what you're getting with Henderson, and it was more of the same this evening. (6/10)

Philippe Coutinho: Struggled to find space for much of the match until Sterling was introduced. Had more of a say on the game from that point on and hit the post with less than 10 minutes to go, but still not his best display. (6/10)

Adam Lallana: Saw a shot fizz wide towards the end of the first half and looked lively on a couple of occasions in possession, but could not break down the Villa defence. A solid, but unspectacular debut. (6/10)

Lazar Markovic: Tried an ambitious early volley that went over, but failed to show much other than that. Looked bright now and again, but was part of a Liverpool attack that looked short of ideas. (6/10)

Attack

Mario Balotelli: Failed to have a big impact on the match as Senderos and company nibbled away at him all game. Saw one shot fly just wide, but otherwise experienced very little joy today. (5/10)

Substitutes

Raheem Sterling: Made an impact off the bench, giving his teammates a lift and looking to create something himself too. His mere introduction created more room for others, but in the end he couldn't make the difference. (6/10)

Rickie Lambert: Replaced Balotelli with 20 minutes remaining, but didn't get a chance to grab an equaliser. (6/10)

Fabio Borini: Came on at the same time as Lambert in a final throw of the dice by Rodgers, but also could not make the required impact. (6/10)



ASTON VILLA

Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on September 13, 2014© Getty Images

Goal

Brad Guzan: Was a mere spectator for most of the match, including when Coutinho's effort crashed off the post. Was protected very well by those in front of him as Liverpool had just one shot on target - a tame Sakho header. A third clean sheet in four games for Guzan. (7/10)

Defence

Alan Hutton: A typically combative performance, although he may have strayed over the line on a couple of occasions. Heavy challenges on both Balotelli and Sterling could have combined for a red card. (7/10)

Philippe Senderos: A pain at both ends of the field for Liverpool. Threatened with his aerial presence in attack and won the header which led to the only goal of the match. Missed a glorious chance of his own shortly afterwards but was a constant danger from set pieces. Also engaged himself in a feud with Balotelli, which the Swiss defender won. (8/10)

Nathan Baker: Colossal performance from the centre-back, who was replacing injured captain Ron Vlaar. Made numerous clearances and contributed greatly to Villa's stubborn defensive effort. Also made a crucial interception at the end of the first half to deny Liverpool a certain goal. (8/10)

Aly Cissokho: Enjoyed a solid performance on his return to Anfield, keeping Markovic quiet and getting forward whenever possible. Perhaps as well as he ever played in a Liverpool shirt. (7/10)

Midfield

Tom Cleverley: Solid debut for the midfielder, even if he had to do most of his work off the ball. Part of a narrow midfield three that starved Liverpool of space throughout. (7/10)

Ashley Westwood: Another who made things crowded in the middle. Worked tirelessly throughout to ensure Liverpool's dangerous players did not have room to work their magic. (7/10)

Fabian Delph: Worked hard off the ball to close down the space in midfield, while also giving Cissokho any defensive help that he needed. (7/10)

Andreas Weimann: Struggled to get into the game really. Villa spent most of their time defending, and Weimann wasn't given too many chances to shine. (6/10)

Kieran Richardson: Solid display from Richardson, who stuck to his defensive duties well to ensure that Liverpool never got an overlap down the right. (6/10)

Attack

Gabriel Agbonlahor: Superb performance from the striker. Got the only goal of the game with a poacher's finish, but did his best work off the ball, chasing everything down and giving the Liverpool defence very little time. Worked tirelessly throughout having been made stand-in captain for the day. (8/10)

Substitutes

Charles N'Zogbia: Came on with just under 20 minutes remaining but didn't get a chance to make an impact going forward, instead just replacing a body in the defensive effort. (6/10)

Carlos Sanchez: Replaced Cleverley in the dying stages and had no time to make a difference. (6/10)

Darren Bent: Introduced in stoppage time of the second half as Villa looked to wind the clock down. (6/10)


Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on September 13, 2014
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