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Played
May 22, 2011 8:30 PM IST
Villa Park — Birmingham
Referee:‬ L. Probert‎
Attendance:‬ 42785‎
 
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Aston Villa 1-0 Liverpool

Downing's strike ensures that Kenny Dalglish's side will miss out on European football next season

By Matt Monaghan at Villa Park

  • Brad Friedel
    2
    2
    3.50

    Brad Friedel Top of the Match

    Crowned his 400th Premier League start with a fine piece of sweeping play to clear off Suarez’s feet. Produced remarkable save from the onrushing Meireles in the 62nd minute to prove enduring quality.

  • Luke Young
    2
    2
    3.00

    Luke Young

    Inches away from cross that eventually went to Downing for opener. Kept Kuyt quiet.

  • Richard Dunne
    2
    2
    3.00

    Richard Dunne

    Kept it simple against Suarez and company. If ball was there to be cleared, he ensured it went to safety.

  • James Collins
    2
    2
    3.00

    James Collins

    Similar no-nonsense approach bore fruit against Liverpool’s anaemic attack. Should have doubled lead but shinned volley wide of goal in second half.

  • Kyle Walker
    2
    2
    3.00

    Kyle Walker

    The Tottenham Hotspur loanee’s probable final Villa appearance passed off without note. Rarely stretched legs and showed attacking endeavour of previous weeks.

  • Stewart Downing
    1
    1
    3.50

    Stewart Downing

    Took advantage of Flanagan’s inexperience to wait on back post and half-volley home opener. Seemed moist likely on an afternoon of few chances.

  • Stilian Petrov
    1
    2
    3.00

    Stilian Petrov

    Mixed it with opposite numbers and won more than fair share of battles. Shot straight at Reina after one-two with Agbonlahor.

  • Ashley Young
    3
    2
    3.00

    Ashley Young

    Wouldn’t have added anything to watching scouts’ notebooks. Flitted in and out of the action against team linked with his signature in the summer. Seemed to wave goodbye to the Villa Park faithful when he was removed at the death for Bradley.

  • Nigel Reo-Coker
    2
    2
    3.00

    Nigel Reo-Coker

    Snapped in a number of challenges. One in particular left its mark on Spearing. With his contract up in the summer and no agreement in place, the ex-West Ham man played a pivotal role in disrupting Liverpool’s midfield on his probable last Villa Park outing. Boos audible as he made way for Agbonlahor. Booked.

  • Fabian Delph
    2
    2
    3.00

    Fabian Delph

    Youngster lasted until just the 28th minute before injury forced him to be removed for Albrighton.

  • Darren Bent
    1
    2
    3.00

    Darren Bent

    Starved of chances and possession. A £24 million club record signing shouldn’t be forced to feed off scraps. Criminal under use of best poacher in division.

Substitutions

  • Michael Bradley
    1
    2
    0.00

    Michael Bradley

    On loan American was given little chance to impress after he was thrown on in the 89th minute.

  • Marc Albrighton
    1
    2
    3.00

    Marc Albrighton

    Took only five minutes after he came on in the 28th minute to produce cross that set up Downing for only goal.

  • Gabriel Agbonlahor
    1
    2
    3.00

    Gabriel Agbonlahor

    Brought on in the 68th minute on the left wing rather than up front with Bent. Was inches away from Bent centre before he teed up Petrov for chance.

  • Pepe Reina
    3
    1
    3.00

    Pepe Reina

    Only action of note was to pick Downing’s half-volley out of his net. Not stretched by any other Villa effort.

  • Fabio Aurelio
    3
    0
    2.50

    Fabio Aurelio

    Asked real questions by Albrighton and didn’t come up with the answer. Years of injuries seemed to prevent Brazilian from bombing forward, too

  • Jamie Carragher
    2
    0
    3.00

    Jamie Carragher

    Liverpool skipper’s warrior attitude was exemplified by the ‘Rambo’ style bandana he wore for the majority of the match.

  • Martin Skrtel
    3
    0
    3.00

    Martin Skrtel

    Continued run of playing every minute of Premier League football this term. Will be disappointed he allowed Albrighton’s cross through to Downing.

  • Jon Flanagan
    2
    0
    2.50

    Jon Flanagan

    18-year-old showed his age as he was at fault for Downing’s opener. The youngster didn’t know whether to push inside or stick to his man.

  • Raúl Meireles
    5
    1
    2.50

    Raúl Meireles Flop of the Match

    Seemed more interested in trading questionable tackles with Reo-Coker and feigning injury rather than finding a way through the Villa defence. Booked.

  • Dirk Kuyt
    5
    1
    2.50

    Dirk Kuyt

    May as well have not bothered travelling down to the Midlands. Run of nine goals in nine games ended with a damp squib.

  • Joe Cole
    1
    1
    2.00

    Joe Cole

    Mystery to everyone bar Dalglish why he chose to reinstate the uninterested Cole. Barely got a kick and never showed for the ball. Hooked for Ngog.

  • Lucas Leiva
    3
    2
    3.00

    Lucas Leiva

    Forced Ashley Young to clear off his line in 14th minute. Bossed early stages of midfield battle but faded away with team-mates.

  • Jay Spearing
    5
    1
    3.00

    Jay Spearing

    Clattered into by Reo-Coker in the seventh minute and lasted five minutes more before he was forced off for Shelvey.

  • Luis Suárez
    4
    0
    3.00

    Luis Suárez

    Never got close to his electrifying best but still looked dangerous. Friedel had to use all his 40-years of experience to steal from his toes.

Substitutions

  • Jonjo Shelvey
    4
    1
    2.50

    Jonjo Shelvey

    Matched seemed to ebb away from Liverpool from the moment Spearing was forced off in the 12th minute.

  • David Ngog
    5
    1
    3.00

    David Ngog

    Replaced the terrible Cole in the 68th minute. Looked lively but lacked service to make difference.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0