A. Villa vs Liverpool Player Ratings

Liverpool came away with three easy points from Villa Park after goals from Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel secured the Reds a 2-0 win over Aston Villa.

Not a happy return for the former Villa man.

Aston Villa
Brad Guzan - 6
Guzan was let down by his defenders for both goals and couldn't do much about it. The stand-in keeper did well to deny Johnson's cracking shot in the second half though.

Richard Dunne - 6.5
He was one of the few Villa players that actually turned up for the match, managing to keep Suarez under wraps for most of the 90 minutes.

James Collins - 6.5
A hardworking performance from Collins saw him put in some desperate tackles that denied Liverpool several chances.

Stephen Warnock - 4.5
Easily troubled and beaten by Glen Johnson several times in the match

Alan Hutton - 6
Hutton managed to keep a hold of Bellamy's speedy antics, leaving the Welshman to put his skills on display only on set pieces.

Fabian Delph (Off 80') - 5
Delph's performance was a tad naive. Dawdled too long on the ball and often lost it via careless touches.

Stiliyan Petrov - 5.5
A pretty quiet outing for Petrov. His usual role in front of defense was rendered useless by Liverpool's tendency to pump the ball up and over the midfield.

Charles N'Zogbia - 5.5
Showed glimpses of his dangerous side with a few bursting runs but could not bring anything to fruit. An inconsistent performance, considering his excellent game against Bolton last weekend.

Marc Albrighton - 5.5
Way below his usual promising self. He did come up with a few decent crosses but must do better to fulfil his potential.

Nathan Delfouneso - 5
Should have done better in bringing the ball to the Liverpool defence, but he chose to waste possession by going for goal from range.

Emile Heskey (Off 56') - 4
Lacked the speed to outrace Agger or Skrtel and was matched by the duo physically as well. Looked like an awkward block he usually is stereotyped to be, only less efficient. Brought off for a more efficient Bannan.

Barry Bannan (On 56') - 6.5
Brought more control to the Villa midfield but was outclassed by the Liverpool defence and failed to create chances with his usual runs.

Andreas Weimann (On 80') - N/A


Pepe Reina - 6
Hardly had anything in the match.

Martin Skrtel - 7.5
Spectacular in the air at both ends. He managed a fine header to nod home Bellamy's cross and kept Heskey quiet at the defensive end.

Daniel Agger - 7
Hardly troubled by the non-existent Villa attack since Delfuenso didn't even dare to try run at him. Might have been because of his fierce look.

Jose Enrique - 6.5
Enrique had little to do in this match since he stayed behind to deal with any threats coming from Albrighton.

Glen Johnson - 7
Went on several marauding runs forward to great effect and was unlucky to have his sliced shot saved by Guzan.

Charlie Adam - 5.5
Tried to fill in Lucas' ball-winning role in midfield with only a yellow card to show. He could have done better in attack as well. Adam chose to go for goal himself despite Shelvey being in a more open position. Needless to say, he didn't score.

Jonjo Shelvey (Off 83') - 7.5
The highly-rated youngster returned to his club after a loan stint at Blackpool looking a more mature player. Shelvey linked up the midfield and attack well with his passes and timely runs. 

He could have had a couple of goals too, if not for his teammates who chose to shoot instead of squaring the ball to him.

Jordan Henderson - 4.5
Finally, Henderson has a game back in his preferred position in the middle of the park but he was as convincing there as he was out on the flanks. Conspiracy theory has it that he may be lowering expectations of himself so that he can set easier New Year resolutions.

Craig Bellamy (Off 88') - 8
Once again, Bellamy showed that he still has the legs to be the winning factor for Liverpool. First, he was quickest to react to chaos in the box to score Liverpool's first goal. Then, his inch-perfect corner was headed into the net by Skrtel.

Stewart Downing - 6.5
To quote a certain Linkin Park song, "I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesn't even matter."

That was the story of Downing in this match. Tried too hard to prove himself after his big-money switch but couldn't really come up with the goods. In the end, it didn't really matter. 

Not a happy homecoming for Downing, but full marks for trying.

Luis Suarez (Off 73') - 7.5
Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is under pressure for not being able to hit an open goal from yards out but it's quite the opposite for Suarez. The Uruguayan striker manage to strike the woodwork twice in the second half and almost achieved a hat-trick when his long shot went inches wide.

Suarez had a few dangerous moments in front of goal but was largely anonymous in the match other than that.

Andy Carroll (On 73') - N/A

Jamie Carragher (On 83') - N/A

Dirk Kuyt (On 88‘) - N/A

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