Aston Villa are the worst team in the Premier League. In fact, Remi Garde’s relegation-destined rabble could even be the worst side in the history of the modern top flight.
Villa’s awfulness tells us that we should not get too carried away by Sunday’s 6-0 win at Villa Park.
Nevertheless, it was a game full of positives as Jurgen Klopp’s men controlled the match throughout, giving the boss a relaxed afternoon to help him recover from his recent appendix operation.
Some headlines will obviously go to Daniel Sturridge, who scored within 15 minutes of his first Premier League start of the season.
Sturridge was excellent and his latest comeback inevitably fills Reds with cautious excitement, especially after the
injury-cursed injury-defying England star linked up brilliantly with Liverpool’s Brazilian wizards.
Coutinho provided the cross which Sturridge headed into the back of the net early on. And the pair looked perfect for each other all afternoon, up until Klopp opted to withdraw the fragile forward on 61 minutes.
Roberto Firmino was also on the same wavelength as Coutinho and Sturridge, who – by leading the line as an out-and-out frontman – allowed the Samba boys more freedom to look for space in deeper positions.
James Milner scored our second goal and, while his 25th-minute strike was something of a fluke, it was the result of an excellent free kick, which was delivered into the perfect area – something that cannot be said of Milner’s set-pieces in general this term.
Our third goal, which came just before the hour, was perhaps the most encouraging. Emre Can ended the move with a fine drilled shot from long range, but it was the way he started it which was even more impressive.
Liverpool pressed Villa high up the pitch. It was gegenpressing at its finest. Can pinched the ball off Leandro Bacuna, before Firmino took over. He ran at the defence, then returned possession to Can, who finished brilliantly.
Can’s goal killed Villa and they collapsed horribly, allowing us to punish them with further strikes by Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne AND KOLO TOURE!
While Villa’s defence was shambolic, Liverpool’s stayed firm. Mamadou Sakho ran the rearguard show, with able support from Kolo The Goalo.
Simon Mignolet’s role was minimal. He made just one save all game.
Liverpool player ratings
Mignolet 6; Clyne 7, Toure 8, Sakho 8, Moreno 6; Can 8, Henderson 7, Milner 7; Coutinho 9, Firmino 8, Sturridge 8.
Origi (on for Sturridge on 61 mins) 7, Stewart (on for Coutinho on 65 mins) 6, Benteke (on for Firmino on 73 mins) 5.
*SFC = Sturridge, Firmino and Coutinho, obviously!