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Digging Deeper Into Liverpool’s Resounding Win Over Aston Villa

With a dominating win over the Birmingham side in the books, we take a closer look at what it all means for the Reds.

Liverpool FC v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images

It looked like a big test for Liverpool heading into the match, but Jürgen Klopp’s tricky Reds left no doubt as they absolutely dismantled the previously high-scoring Aston Villa. It was a complete performance from an incomplete side missing their top two central defenders as Liverpool controlled the ball and tempo of the match. An early goal by Dominik Szoboszlai set the tone as the Reds showed great energy and aggressiveness combined with some very smart play.

Below, we take a look at some winners and losers on the night, and attempt to disentangle narrative from fact.


Dominik Szoboszlai
Woof, talk about opening your Liverpool account in style! The Hungarian midfielder scored the first goal of the match with a sublime strike from his off-foot, seeming to defy physics after skipping it off the turf. Beyond the goal, Szoboszlai put in an all-action performance yet again, influencing the match at both ends of the pitch. It’s only four games into his Liverpool career, but it’s hard to overstate just how important Szoboszlai is to this team.

Trent Alexander-Arnold
It was a captain’s performance from the Scouser today. With Aston Villa not putting too much pressure on Trent as he tucked into the midfield, he went absolutely ham with his passing. He was 8/12 with his long passing, and was 2/2 with his crosses, finishing the day having completed almost 91% of his passes despite the aggressive balls he played. A full five of his passes were key passes leading to shots, including the assist for Szoboszlai’s goal. He now has 55 Premier League assists, surpassing the likes of Mesut Özil, Eden Hazard, and Juan Mata.

Trent was forced off with a tweak to his hamstring in the 71st minute. It sounds like it’s not too serious, but Liverpool fans will certainly be holding their breath until the severity is fully known.

Darwin Nunez
The chaos merchant was at it again against Aston Villa. He will technically be credited with just one assist, but he directly caused two goals for the Reds. Darwin drilled a shot off the base of the post and directly into the path of the unfortunate Matty Cash for an own goal before getting an official assist by flicking on a header to Mohamed Salah to tuck in from close range. Despite that, Darwin likely could have scored a couple goals of his own, crashing another shot off the crossbar from close range in the first half and then coming a whisker away from turning in his flying back post attempt in the second half.

Only Mohamed Salah
Mo has taken on a slightly different role over the past season, and hasn’t been the constant goal threat of past. The doesn’t mean he hasn’t still be extremely productive however. With his goal against Aston Villa, Salah is mounting a threat on a Premier League record for number of goals or assists in consecutive matches set by...Mohamed Salah.

Clean Sheets
Liverpool were without the services of their top two center backs Virgil van Dijk (red card suspension) and Ibrahima Konaté (injury), but somehow still managed to record their first clean sheet of the season. It was a fantastic effort from all involved, especially the much maligned Joe Gomez. The center back won both of his aerial duals, had a couple of key interceptions, and was very clean with his passing.


After putting together the most complete performance of the young season, and winning their third match in a row, Liverpool will now see many of their players disperse for the September international break.

Shilling for Saudi Arabia
For those watching the US broadcast of the match, you were subjected to non-stop insinuations from the commentators and the studio crew that Mohamed Salah would likely be leaving for Saudi Arabia. There has been no suggestion from Salah or his camp that he’s had his head turned, and quite the opposite as his agent put out an unequivocal statement that Mo would not be leaving. That, of course, didn’t stop them from doing body language analysis and continually stating that Liverpool supporters should cherish these last moments.

Talking Tactics

While many, myself included, have been hoping for a move away from the 3-box-3 formation while in possession, Liverpool made it look good against Aston Villa for the first time this season thanks to a couple tweaks. The inclusion of Curtis Jones on the left side of the midfield with Alexis Mac Allister sitting in the holding role gave the Reds much better balance in midfield. That, coupled with Aston Villa not committing to any real sort of press gave Liverpool a lot more time on the ball and a lot more possession. Those factors saw Trent Alexander-Arnold run the match and show off his elite passing ability.

What Happens Next

Sigh, an international break means no matches for a couple of weeks. As usual, we’ll be crossing our fingers that all of the Liverpool players will get through unscathed from injury. A trip to Wolves is on the books when the Reds return to action, followed by their first Europa League match of the season away to LASK.

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