What we witnessed yesterday was arguably the biggest upset of the season so far. Aston Villa thrashed the champions of England, Liverpool by a mind-boggling score of 7-2. Which was one goal shy from being their greatest defeat ever. This fixture proves the fact that football indeed is one of the most unpredictable sports of our time. After their victory against Arsenal last week, Liverpool was in a stunning form. They were expected to replicate the same dominating performance against a relatively weaker opponent on-paper. But as the match commenced, the horror began for Liverpool. The champions were being dominated by the underdogs throughout the entirety of the match. They were shaky in the possession, and were losing the ball very easily. Let’s dissect the crucial moments of the match and analyze what went wrong for the champions.
In our latest edition of weekly FPL squads, we recommended keeping Alisson in the squad for the fixture against Aston Villa. He absolutely bossed the Arsenal attacking last week. But football showed us its unpredictability when Klopp announced that the Brazilian keeper was ruled out of the squad due to a pre-match training injury.
When the half time whistle blew, the score was already 4-1. Aston Villa broke the deadlock in just 4 mins after a howler from keeper Adrian. He gifted Jack Grealish the ball in a very dangerous position who passed it onto Ollie Watkins. Who then scored in no man’s land. Multiple defensive errors contributed to the goal. Adrian was already panicking after the misplay and failed to hold his position. All in all, the goal could’ve been avoided had the defense stepped up.
The second goal was a wonder. Aston Villa holding the ball in the midfield caught the champs by surprise. An amazing through ball by skipper Jack Grealish cut through the entire midfield and defense. It provided Ollie Watkins with a perfect setup who then sprinted towards the penalty back and thumped it into the top corner. It was another sloppy man-marking from the Liverpool defense who pocketed every Arsenal attacker last week.
Liverpool made an effort to reduce the goal deficit as they somehow managed to bag one goal in a Villa penalty box. A wonder ball to Naby Keita inside the penalty box saw Villa defense crowd the Guinean midfielder who made an attempt to score but got blocked. Mo Salah capitalized and reduced Villa’s lead to the half.
But just 2 mins after Liverpool scored, Villa scored their third goal as a result of another defensive error by Liverpool. This time it was the captain himself. Midfielder John McGinn took an ambitious shot towards the goal but a big deflection from skipper Virgil Van Djik saw Adrian dive in the wrong direction and they restored their 2-goal lead.
Within 3 minutes, Villa restored their lead with Ollie Watkins netting his third for the night. A long freekick from Ross Barley to Trezeguet saw the Liverpool defense shift from the middle to the left but the Egyptian chipped the ball over everyone. This provided Watkins with another open goal opportunity from a point black range which he would never miss. After the whistle blew, Watkins already had a hattrick of goals, Grealish assisting 2 of them.
Expecting them to make a comeback similar to Chelsea last week against West Brom, Liverpool continued their horrendous form as they conceded another goal in the 55th min. Aston Villa maintained a decent possession as if they were trying to protect their lead for the remainder of the match when in the blink of an eye. Grealish provided an extraordinary pass to the debutant Ross Barkley who made an optimistic effort from shooting from a far range, only for the ball to get inside the net via a deflection, this time from Trent Alexander-Arnold. A debut to remember for the ex-Evertonian who recently joined Villa on loan from Chelsea. Salah got a goal back in the 60th for the Reds as a consolation.
Just when you thought that the game has settled. Villa launched another attack. This time it was Watkins, the hattrick hero, assisting Grealish who himself had 3 assists under his name. And to their utter dismay, Liverpool conceded this goal via another horrific deflection, this time from Fabinho.
The final goal of the match was again an ambitious effort that paid off. In the 75th minute when the entire Liverpool team was on an all-out attack. Villa gained back the possession after and wasted no time counterattacking when John McGinn passed on to skipper Jack Grealish to give him an open field to sprint on to. It was a one-on-one finish for the skipper who sealed his side’s victory after bagging a brace of goals and a hat-trick of assists.
All-in-all, Aston Villa shockingly outplayed Liverpool. As they along with the leaders, Everton, are now the only 2 teams in the PL to have remained unbeaten. As the international break starts this week. There will be a massive shakeup in the morale of players and that might affect their consistency. Nonetheless, it has only been 4 games out of 38 .
So , it is important to be patient and see how the Reds retaliate.
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