After taking the lead through Coutinho, Villa sent Liverpool crashing out of the FA Cup semi-finals, virtually ending any chances of redemption in this horrible season for the Reds. The race for fourth looks all but over, and it’s another season without a trophy. The performance on the day was awful and has led to mass cries for Rodgers out. Things aren’t looking good, that’s for sure- here’s how I rated our players.
Simon Mignolet – 6/10
Not to blame for either Villa goal, and other than conceding twice by no fault of his own, he was relatively untroubled throughout the match and didn’t have to make any significant saves of note.
Emre Can – 4/10
Playing a confusing combination of right centre back and right back, Can looked uncomfortable throughout and was targeted by Villa. His positioning was suspect on multiple occasions, leaving his flank exposed which resulted in the equalising goal.
Martin Skrtel – 5/10
It would be harsh to criticise him directly for either goal, but perhaps he could have done more to be in a position to intervene on both occasions. Other than that he was one of the better performers in this dismal team display.
Dejan Lovren – 3/10
It’s been a torrid first season for the Croatian and already many fans are doubting whether he has a future at the club. He made one superb interception in the first half, but could have been more authoritative on both Villa goals, like Skrtel. With Liverpool desperately searching for a late equaliser, Lovren killed the game off with a wasteful, wild 40 yard effort hopelessly over the bar.
Alberto Moreno – 6/10
To be fair to Moreno he was one of the few Liverpool performers who could come away with any credit. He got forward well in support of the attack, and made one magnificent last ditch sliding tackle to deny Benteke a clear goal scoring chance. He wasn’t to blame for either goal.
Steven Gerrard – 3/10
Starting for the first time in 2 months in place of the injured Lucas, Gerrard struggled massively. He couldn’t impose himself in the attacking third in the first half, whilst he offered virtually no defensive cover in the second half. His set piece delivery was also poor, and it was a nightmare way to end his final match at Wembley.
Joe Allen – 5/10
After his excellent display against Newcastle, Allen was far less effective here and along with Henderson, he struggled to gain control of possession in midfield, also leaving the defence exposed at times. Badly lacked the defensive assurance of Lucas alongside him.
Jordan Henderson – 5/10
Henderson has been inspirational recently, but he was almost anonymous on this occasion, hardly affecting the game whatsoever, although he didn’t do anything drastically wrong. It often seems to be the case that he cannot express his own considerable ability when overshadowed by Gerrard on the same team.
Lazar Markovic – 5/10
Markovic offered pace and direct running, but wasn’t able to conjure any meaningful end product. He was decent in the first half and closed down the Villa defence well in the build up to the opening goal. Was harshly substituted for Balotelli at half time.
Raheem Sterling – 5/10
He provided a perfect through ball to assist Coutinho’s goal, but other than that his involvement was largely peripheral and ineffectual. His shooting was also disappointing, missing the target several times from promising situations. Unable to step up to the plate on the big occasion.
Philippe Coutinho – 6/10
Bagged his 7th goal of the season to open the scoring, capping off a slick team move with the help of a fortunate deflection. Otherwise he was relatively quiet and couldn’t rescue Liverpool this time round, yet whenever he got the ball he was positive and the most creative attacking threat we had on the day.
Mario Balotelli – 5/10
Replacing Markovic at half time, Balotelli found himself offside on too many occasions due to positional laziness. However, he was strong and direct on the ball, winning several free kicks in dangerous areas. He also scored a late equaliser which was wrongly disallowed due to a terrible decision from the linesman, despite Balotelli being a couple of yards onside.
Glen Johnson – N/A
Replaced Allen for the final 15 minutes to allow Can to move into midfield but was hardly involved.
Rickie Lambert – N/A
A final throw of the dice in stoppage time but couldn’t make an impact.