Liverpool kept the pressure on in the title race by coming from behind to beat Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa 2-1 away from home.
Villa took the lead in the third minute when Douglas Luiz bundled home from inside the six-yard box. But Liverpool equalised just as quickly when Joel Matip prodded in.
In the second half, Liverpool went ahead when Sadio Mane headed in a cross from Luis Diaz.
It proved to be the winning goal, meaning they move level on points with leaders Manchester City, having played a game more.
It wasn’t their finest performance but the points are all that will count as the end of the season approaches.
As for Villa, it was just a matter of pride – and some of their players gave a decent account of themselves; others less so.
Candidates for man of the match instead mainly came from the winning side. Mane, Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk particularly stood out.
Emiliano Martinez: Generally commanded his area well, coming off his line when necessary. 6
Matty Cash: Got forward on occasion and looked to cross when he could. Made a goalline clearance within the last 20 minutes, even if the effort may not have been on target. 6
Ezri Konsa: Misjudged a couple of things in the opening exchanges of either half before settling somewhat in composure each time. 5
Tyrone Mings: Failed to deal with a ball into the box for Liverpool’s first goal. 5
Lucas Digne: The former Everton man was in the thick of the action against his old rivals, even if not every duel went his way. Put in a good cross to help contribute to the first goal. 7
Marvelous Nakamba: On his first start since an injury in December’s reverse fixture, didn’t cover himself in glory when Liverpool scored via Matip. Settled down a bit after but carelessly lost possession in his own defensive third to give Jones a chance towards the end of the first half. Bit of a mixed bag. 5
Douglas Luiz: Showed good reactions to pounce on the rebound of his own shot when giving Villa the early lead. Looked after the ball well in midfield throughout. 8
ASTON VILLA LEAD! 😮
Douglas Luiz slams the ball home from close range and what a goal this could be in the race for the title! pic.twitter.com/JSozF374ZS
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 10, 2022
John McGinn: Opened up useful avenues with long-range passing or crossing. 7
Philippe Coutinho: Up against his former club, began to grow in influence on the ball as the first half progressed. Showed some skills after the break but didn’t have many clear-cut opportunities to create. 6
Danny Ings: Another ex-Liverpool member of the lineup, should have hit the target with a header in the first half but failed to do so. Produced a good finish late in the game but was offside. 6
Ollie Watkins: Put himself about well but didn’t quite have enough breathing room to pounce on chances. Set up a decent one for Ings with a slide-rule pass but his strike partner couldn’t capitalise. 7
Carney Chukwuemeka (on for Nakamba, 62 mins): Looked calm on the ball and unfazed by Liverpool’s stature. 6
Emiliano Buendia (on for Coutinho, 70): Got on the ball a fair bit in the midfield areas, assisting Ings’ offside goal. 6
Bertrand Traore (on for Watkins, 81): N/A
Alisson Becker: Couldn’t hold on to Luiz’s initial header before Villa took the lead. Almost gave away a huge chance by passing the ball straight to Watkins midway through the first half. Did better to close down Ings to stop a one-on-one midway through the second half. 7
Trent Alexander-Arnold: His passing was generally accurate and with a good range. Went relatively close with a free kick early in the second half. Covered a lot of territory, not just down the flank. 8
Joel Matip: Ended up on the floor just before Villa took the lead but made amends by finishing at the other end soon after. 6
Virgil van Dijk: Picked the right option to play the ball back across goal for centre-back partner Matip to score. Beaten by one Coutinho dribble in the second half before recovering and winning the duel. Also caught up with an Ings one-on-one after Liverpool had gone ahead. Very tough to get past. 8
Kostas Tsimikas: Making a rare start in the absence of Andy Robertson, fell over as the ball came in for the opening goal. But impressed with his delivery when creating a big chance for Mane in the 20th minute. Made a good defensive intervention early in the second half. 7
Fabinho: Looked uncharacteristically uncomfortable in the first half, giving away some fouls and losing possession. Had to go off with a hamstring injury inside half an hour. 4
Naby Keita: Failed to deal with a cross in the buildup to the opener. Squandered a big opportunity in the first half when failing to connect cleanly with an Alexander-Arnold cross along the ground, despite being unmarked in the box. Saw a decent amount of the ball but was a bit wasteful with his passing sometimes. 5
Curtis Jones: Took aim with one effort from outside the box in the first half, but it was comfortable for the keeper. Fairly quiet otherwise. 6
"Mané does what Mané does best!" 🔥
Liverpool turn things around at Villa Park! pic.twitter.com/un417b3GKn
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 10, 2022
Sadio Mane: Had a good chance with a header after being set up by Tsimikas but just missed the target. Was more effective with that part of his anatomy when putting Liverpool ahead beyond the hour mark. 8
Diogo Jota: Instinctively kept play alive in the moments before Liverpool’s first goal. Also played his part in the second goal by dinking Diaz on his way before the assist. 8
Luis Diaz: Not quite as effective when starting from the right. Did better when switching to the other side, setting up Mane’s goal with a delicate cross, but didn’t have too long there before going off. 6
Jordan Henderson (on for Fabinho, 30): Helped Liverpool get their foot on the ball. 7
Thiago Alcantara (on for Jones, 62): Also tried to make use of possession better. 6
Mohamed Salah (on for Diaz, 72): Got up to the pace of the game quite quickly but his finishing was a bit cold. 6