Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 6: Philippe Coutinho claims star man award in rout

ANALYSIS: He might not have scored, but Coutinho was the stand-out player at Villa Park 

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The Independent Football


Philippe Coutinho: The midfielder pulled the strings at Villa Park and the hosts could not get close to him. His inch-perfect cross set up Daniel Sturridge for the opener and his brilliant pass sent Divock Origi clear to make it 4-0 and open the floodgates. Liverpool have rarely been allowed to play their preferred front three this season due to injury but with Coutinho, Sturridge and Roberto Firmino they have class and potency.


Daniel Sturridge: Had not started in the Barclays Premier League since October and could not have wished for a better way to announce his comeback. He was given all the time he needed to head in Countinho's cross after splitting Jores Okore and Joleon Lescott.

The England striker is unlikely to be given better gifts by other teams but the goal was a timely reminder to Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson ahead of Euro 2016.


Villa are going down with a whimper after a shocking display. Last week's 2-0 win over Norwich - a side as poor as Villa - proved a false down as they reverted to type and offered little resistance. Their defending was slapdash and they gifted Liverpool a 2-0 lead at the break before buckling completely.

Three goals in seven second-half minutes saw Villa crushed and there is little they can do to stop relegation and their fans walked out with over half an hour left. The ones who stayed at least tried to rally their side.


How Remi Garde lifts his broken Aston Villa players from this latest defeat will take all of his man management skills. There were no positives as Villa were humilated as Garde watched helplessly from the touchline. Jurgen Klopp will be delighted with how his side dispatched the hosts but he will be under no illusion they won't face many sides as bad as Villa this season.



Stoke City v Aston Villa (Barclays Premier League, Saturday 27 February)

FC Ausburg v Liverpool (UEFA Europa League, Thursday 18 February)