Football Features

Critchley’s young guns put to the sword: Full player ratings as Aston Villa thrash Liverpool

By Ben Green

Published: 21:52, 17 December 2019

Aston Villa have booked their ticket in the Carabao Cup semi-final after thrashing a youthful Liverpool side 5-0 in the West Midlands.

The Villans were four to the good by half-time despite some initial promise from Neil Critchley’s side, but in the end experience prevailed as the hosts stepped off a gear in the second-half and preserved their cushion, with Wesley inflicting one final blow in the final minutes.

Here’s how the players rated at Villa Park:

Aston Villa

Orjan Nyland – 9 – An imperious performance from Villa’s deputy goalkeeper, who proved exceptionally busy in the opening exchanges and made some important saves throughout the match as Liverpool knocked on the door.

Ahmed Elmohamady – 8 – A buccaneering and adventurous display from the Egyptian who played his part in two of Villa’s goals tonight, first benefiting from a fortuitous deflection off the toe of Morgan Boyes as his intended cross looped into the Liverpool goal, while he later produced a pinpoint cross to tee up Kodjia.

James Chester – 7 – An imposing showing from the 30-year-old even when under siege in the opening exchanges, as Liverpool asserted an early control, but he kept his composure, stifled Longstaff and held the fort well.

Ezri Konsa – 7 – Formed a strong partnership alongside Chester as the Reds created chances and surged forward. However, the duo were equal to the young side’s efforts and they kept a commanding clean sheet.

Neil Taylor – 5 – A difficult evening but that was, predominantly, due to the brilliant partnership established between Elliot and Hoever, with the former pulling Taylor from side to side whenever in possession.

Henri Lansbury – 6 – Showcased fleeting moments of creativity and final third panache, functioning almost as the release valve in the middle of the park for Villa.

Douglas Luiz – 7 – Parked up just in front of the Villa back four and proved an exceptionally composed head in and among the madness. At just 21, Luiz was a similar age to a fair few of the Liverpool players on the pitch, but he looked levels above.

Conor Hourihane – 7 – Brought an aura of calmness to Villa’s midfield when Liverpool’s young guns upped the ante and looked to play with more urgency. He also managed to put in a wicked delivery to open the scoring as well.

Jota – 8 – A creative cog that kept the wheels spinning for Villa, Jota looked threatening whenever the ball found his feet and consistently worked well to find openings.

Trezeguet – 7 – Saw plenty of the ball and proved a real nuisance on the flank whenever Villa attacked. He was wasteful at times with his delivery but came through in the dying embers to tee up Wesley with an exquisite lay off.

Jonathan Kodjia – 8 – The out-of-form forward came into this match having not found the back of the net this season, but he quickly sort to rectify that unwanted statistic by netting for fun this evening and guiding his side to the semi-finals.

Substitutes:

Wesley (for Kodjia 73) – 7 – Brought on to score and he did just that at the death.

Korney Hause (for Chester 77) – 6 – Came on for the closing sequence of play and worked well to maintain Villa’s clean sheet.

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Liverpool

Caoimhin Kelleher – 5 – A tricky night for the young Irishman who simply didn’t have the same impact as his goalkeeping counterpart on the opposite side of the pitch.

Ki-Jana Hoever – 6 – An encouraging performance from the young and highly-regarded Dutchman who worked well in tandem with Elliot on the right flank.

Sepp van den Berg – 4 – Looked slick and tidy when playing out from the back, but defensively he has some way to go before he can make the step up to the first-team reckoning.

Morgan Boyes – 5 – Another who looked comfortable with the ball at his feet, and certainly Boyes, as well as Berg, made some vital challenges and got their shorts muddy, but Villa simply found openings far too easily.

Tony Gallacher – 5 – Surged forward and offered plenty of energy on the left flank, but Villa had a lot of joy down their right-hand side with Gallagher overwhelmed at times.

Isaac Christie-Davies – 6 – Looked slick, elegant and tidy in possession. His passion and overeagerness got the better of him at times as he rushed into challenges, but on the whole the 22-year-old had a very neat game in the middle of the park.

Pedro Chirivella – 6 – Sat in front of the Liverpool defence, playing almost as a metronome, spraying passes and dictating the tempo. On a difficult night for Critchley’s young side, the captain can hold his head high.

Herbie Kane – 5 – The midfielder offered plenty of tenacity and industry on the turf but squandered some big chances and failed to leave an imprint on this encounter.

Harvey Elliott – 7 – A real menace whenever the ball found his feet. It’s hard to believe Elliot is only 16 because he played like a Liverpool first-team regular tonight. There was a maturity and audacity about his play that perhaps indicates he has a long career on Merseyside.

Thomas Hill – 5 – Darted about the pitch looking to involve himself but was unable to produce the same influential performance as Elliot on the opposing flank.

Luis Longstaff – 5 – Never an easy task coming up against two Premier League centre-backs as a young forward, and that proved the case tonight as Longstaff struggled to really impose himself in the final third and unsettle Villa’s backline.

Substitutes:

Jack Bearne (for Longstaff 64) – 5 – Came on for the final 30 minutes and certainly offered a renewed urgency up-top but unable to breach Nyland’s net.

Leighton Clarkson (for Christie-Davies 77) – 5 – Brought on for the final 15 minutes or so and looked tidy enough in possession.

James Norris (for Hoever 82) – N/A – Substituted on for the final 10 minutes.

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