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Aston Villa 1-4 Liverpool: Reds player ratings as Sadio Mane brace guides English champions to the next round | FA Cup 2020-21

Liverpool huffed and puffed but eventually beat a much-weakened Aston Villa side
Liverpool huffed and puffed but eventually beat a much-weakened Aston Villa side
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 09 Jan 2021, 08:16 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Liverpool knocked Aston Villa out of the FA Cup following a hard-fought 4-1 victory at Villa Park, avenging their humiliating loss at the venue earlier in the season.

Sadio Mane bagged a brace while Mohamed Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum scored a goal each for the reigning Premier League champions.

With the first-team squad ravaged by COVID-19 infections, the home side were missing all their key performers and were forced to play a group of young and inexperienced players.

However, they still managed to put up a great challenge, especially in the first half, with Louie Barry even equalising just before half-time.

The gulf in quality between the sides eventually showed, and Jurgen Klopp's men saved themselves the blushes with a second-half blitz.

Here are the Liverpool player ratings from the fixture:

Liverpool player ratings against Aston Villa

Caoimhín Kelleher - 7/10

If it hadn't been for the Liverpool defence getting horribly exposed on the break, this would've been a clean sheet for Caoimhín Kelleher. The 22-year-old won't have an easier night than this to make his mark for the Reds.

Neco Williams - 6/10

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With little to do at the back, Neco Williams drove forward at will and connected well with Curtis Jones and Mo Salah on the right, even laying two key passes for Liverpool.

Rhys Williams - 6/10

Rhys Williams was outpaced by Louie Barry on the break leading up to the equalising goal. Apart from this, the 19-year-old was sound and completed 92% of his passes in the game.

Fabinho - 7/10

Fabinho held his ground well and tried to build from the back. He also registered the highest pass completion rate of all players, with a 96% success rate.

James Milner - 7.5/10

James Milner turned back the calendar with a solid display, making the most touches (143), creating the most chances (4) and completing the most tackles (4) in the game.

Curtis Jones - 7/10

Curtis Jones put in an impressive performance for Liverpool and registered yet another assist for the side. The Reds' rising star laid a superb cross for Sadio Mane, who scored a header to put the visitors in the lead.

Jordan Henderson - 6/10

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Jordan Henderson struggled for control in the midfield and was taken off at half-time for Thiago. It was not the best night for the Liverpool captain.

Georginio Wijnaldum - 7/10

Georginio Wijnaldum restored Liverpool's lead in the second half with a tidy finish, marking only his second goal of the season and triggering the late onslaught.

Mohamed Salah - 7/10

Mohamed Salah struggled to get to the end of crosses in the first half. However, he found the back of the net in the second with a simple finish.

Sadio Mane - 8/10

Sadio Mane registered yet another brace for Liverpool. Both goals came through well-taken headers as the Senegal international extended his goal tally to nine for the season.

Takumi Minamino - 6/10

Takumi Minamino helped Georginio Wijnaldum to put Liverpool back in the lead. Until then, however, he was largely quiet.


Substitutes

Xherdan Shaqiri - 8/10

Xherdan Shaqiri had more impact in 30 minutes of play than in the entirety of the 2020-21 season thus far, laying two beautiful assists for Sadio Mane and Mo Salah in quick succession.

Thiago - 8/10

After Thiago arrived at half-time, the Reds were more fluid and free-flowing than ever before. Co-incidence? We think not.

Roberto Firmino - 6/10

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Roberto Firmino replaced Curtis Jones at the hour mark but couldn't really influence the proceedings.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 6/10

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a forgettable cameo for the midfielder and was barely seen during the final quarter of the match.

Divock Origi - 6/10

He came alongside Oxlade-Chamberlain but struggled to make an impact.

Published 09 Jan 2021, 08:16 IST
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