Our 2016 FA Cup run was brought to a premature end on Tuesday night, as a last-minute West Ham winner sent us crashing out in the fourth round.
For the most part we acquitted ourselves well, with a young starting line-up once again proving themselves equally as capable as the first team seniors who have been struggling in the league recently.
Let’s take look at how our team performed on an individual basis:
GK: Simon Mignolet – 6.5/10
After being under the spotlight so much in recent weeks, it was largely an error-free performance from our number one. Made a great save in the first half and stopped well from Noble in extra time.
RB: Jon Flanagan – 6.5/10
Energetic as ever at full-back, Flanno looks closer to the player of 2013/14 with every passing minute of game time. Attacked well and defended resolutely.
CB: Lucas Leiva – 7.5/10
Lucas has looked well in control when deployed at centre back in recent weeks, and tonight was no different. Arguably harshly done-by for the foul which led to the winner.
CB: Tiago Ilori – 7.5/10
How Ilori didn’t see any game time at Villa is astonishing. Could well be a more regular starter for the rest of the season.
LB: Brad Smith – 7/10
Stronger at attacking than defending, but the exuberance of youth serves him well. The jury is still out on whether he has a long-term future at the club.
CM: Joao Teixeira – 7/10
Started well but faded as he got tired. Encouraging link up play with Coutinho in the first half. Replaced after an hour.
CM: Kevin Stewart 7.5/10
Possibly lucky not to see red after a studs-up lunge, but a great all-round performance nonetheless. Could be another player who sees league minutes as the season progresses.
CM: Pedro Chirivella – 6.5/10
A quiet performance from the Spaniard, but still got around the pitch and showed plenty of his creative potential.
AML: Philippe Coutinho 9/10
After missing nine matches through injury, the Brazilian would have been forgiven if he had turned in a rusty performance. Instead he turned in a masterclass, tucking in a lovely freekick and offering a splendid all-round game.
AMR: Jordon Ibe – 6.5/10
Ibe continues to blow hot and cold, but has to be given time to develop away from criticism. Gave the ball away from the first goal.
ST: Christian Benteke – 4/10
It was a better performance that we’ve seen in recent weeks, but three wasted chances in extra time (including another one-on-one) see him drop to a rating of just four.
ST: Daniel Sturridge – 7.5/10
He’s back! Could have won it in extra time and looked generally threatening.
ST: Divock Origi 7/10
Was well short of the form he showed before his injury, but that is to be expected.
CM: James Milner – 6.5/10
Was only on the pitch for a few minutes at the end.