Sunday 25 September 2016

Liverpool v Aston Villa Player Ratings

Published 19/04/2015 | 17:39

Football - Aston Villa v Liverpool - FA Cup Semi Final - Wembley Stadium - 19/4/15
Aston Villa's Shay Given celebrates at the end of the match
Reuters / Stefan Wermuth
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Football - Aston Villa v Liverpool - FA Cup Semi Final - Wembley Stadium - 19/4/15 Aston Villa's Shay Given celebrates at the end of the match Reuters / Stefan Wermuth Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Jack Grealish produced a stunning display as Aston Villa beat Liverpool 2-1 to march into their first FA Cup final in 15 years. Grealish and Benteke were the pick of the bunch and here all of today's player ratings from Wembley.

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ASTON VILLA:

SHAY GIVEN: The deflection off Jores Okore gave him little chance to stop Philippe Coutinho's opener but the veteran had little else to do as Villa kept Liverpool at a safe distance. 7/10

LEANDRO BACUNA: Not a natural right-back and had to be aware of Raheem Sterling but kept him quiet in the first half and was bailed out by Ron Vlaar when needed in the second. 7

RON VLAAR: The Holland international could now end his Villa career with an FA Cup winners medal as the out of contract star remained firm against Liverpool. 7

NATHAN BAKER: The defender was rarely troubled in his 26 minutes before suffering an injury which forced him off, adding to Villa's defensive injury problems. 5

KIERAN RICHARDSON: He missed a fine second-half chance with Villa on top and managed to hold his own defensively and cleared off the line from Steven Gerrard late on. 7

TOM CLEVERLEY: Scrapped and battled as he continues to earn plaudits under manager Tim Sherwood and win over the doubters. 8

FABIAN DELPH: His driving run and cross was perfect for Christian Benteke to equalise for Villa and he grabbed a brilliant second to put Villa into dreamland and cap a forceful performance. 8

ASHLEY WESTWOOD: Recalled in the absence of the suspended Carlos Sanchez and helped keep Villa ticking in the middle. He is still looking to prove himself under Sherwood. 7

CHARLES N'ZOGBIA: Tested Simon Mignolet early on and linked well with Benteke but was often let down by his final ball after getting into good positions although remained a danger. 7

CHRISTIAN BENTEKE: Expertly finished his sixth goal in four games to level and was a constant threat for Villa - playing a huge part in Delph's second-half strike. 9

JACK GREALISH Just his fifth senior start, the 19-year-old began brightly and never looked overawed by the occasion. Set-up Delph with an excellent pass after linking with Benteke. 9

Subs:

JORES OKORE (for Baker, 26): At fault for Coutinho's opener as he first failed to clear and, when Sterling found Coutinho, his shot deflected in off Okore. 5

SCOTT SINCLAIR (for N'Zogbia, 75): Helped Villa across the line in the later stages. 5

JOE COLE (for Grealish, 84) Little time to make an impact as Villa held on. 5

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LIVERPOOL:

SIMON MIGNOLET: Blameless for either of the goals and made a good save from N'Zgobia early on. 6

EMRE CAN: Looked uncomfortable when played at right-back and was caught out of position for both of Villa's goals. 4

MARTIN SKRTEL: Run ragged by Benteke, who won the battle both on the floor and in the air. 4

DEJAN LOVREN: Allowed Benteke too much room to shoot home the equaliser and was turned too easily by Delph for Villa's second. 4

LAZAR MARKOVIC: Failed to make an impact either as a right wing-back or when pushed further forward. Replaced at half-time. 5

ALBERTO MORENO: Squandered some good crossing opportunities down the left but saved his side with a last-ditch challenge on Benteke in the second half. 6

JORDAN HENDERSON: Typically energetic performance in the first period but faded as the game progressed. 6

JOE ALLEN: Quiet. Failed to influence the contest before being taken off in the second half. 5

STEVEN GERRARD: Disappointing. Anonymous in the first half and struggled to dictate possession when moved deeper in the second. Saw a late header cleared off the line. 5

PHILIPPE COUTINHO: Weaved his way through brilliantly before scoring the first goal but far from his usual creative self. 6

RAHEEM STERLING: Struggled for service as a lone-striker in the first half and could only provide glimpses of his attacking threat. 6

Subs:

MARIO BALOTELLI (for Markovic, 45): Offered a physical presence up front but never really troubled Villa's defence. 6

GLEN JOHNSON (for Allen, 78): Added some much-needed stability on the right of the Reds defence but made little impact going forward. 6

RICKIE LAMBERT (for Moreno, 90) - Too little time to make an impact. 5

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