Liverpool player ratings vs Villa: Salah below-par, Fabinho calm

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Divock Origi, Liverpool

Divock Origi, Liverpool (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Here are the Liverpool player ratings for FA Cup Third Round win over Aston Villa.

Liverpool beat Aston Villa 4-1 at Villa Park, which, on paper, looks like a magnificent result. It was against the Villains academy side, and for a long period, it looked as if Liverpool were going to be embarrassed with their strong starting eleven.

It looked as if it would be a comfortable night for the Reds early on, as Curtis Jones whipped on to the head of Sadio Mane to nod past former Liverpool trialist Akos Onodi.

Villa’s youngsters defended resiliently for the rest of the first half, until a wonderful through ball found it’s way to Louie Barry.

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The boyhood Villa fan outmuscled a physically superior Rhys Williams to bear down on Caoimhin Kelleher’s goal – to tuck home emphatically. It wasn’t just an equaliser for Aston Villa, but a memory created for the former Barcelona man’s life. Fair play Louie, lad.

Barry’s delight was as good as Liverpool’s tempo was slow. Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum in particular slacked in the first half.

After the introductions of Xherdan Shaqiri, Thiago and Roberto Firmino, Liverpool spared any embarrassment and ended up comfortable winners. Gini Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah tucked home within five minutes to secure swift passage to the fourth round.

Wijnaldum, who’d had a poor game before, finished consummately after excellent work from Salah and Minamino. Mane looped in a header to double his tally, with Salah finishing his first of the new year on the spin.

Here are the Liverpool player ratings, starting with Kelleher:

Liverpool

Caoimhin Kelleher, Liverpool (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Goalkeeper: Caoimhin Kelleher – 5/10

The Irish youngster had little to do, but didn’t cover himself in glory for Villa’s goal.

You can’t criticise him or praise him for tonight, except for the fact he got more minutes under his belt ready for the next round.

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