Sloppy Liverpool exposed and embarrassed by brilliant Aston Villa – Andy Dunn

Now this was what you call sloppy, Roy. A few other things as well – remarkable, brilliant from Villa, truly bizarre.

But when Jurgen Klopp gave Roy Keane a live dressing-down for the mildest criticism less than a week ago, he could not have envisaged this.

He could not have envisaged one of the most slapdash performances a Liverpool team has produced during his entire tenure.

First of all, proper acclaim for Aston Villa and Dean Smith – a team set up brilliantly by its manager, exposing and embarrassing Klopp’s high line.

Proper acclaim for Ollie Watkins for a hat-trick that was stamped with the hallmark of a natural scorer.

Proper acclaim for the absolutely sublime contribution of Jack Grealish, for the drive of Ross Barkley, for the energy of John McGinn.

Acclaim all round for everyone at Villa Park, not least those above who have trusted Smith.



Liverpool were left stunned by Aston Villa

But this was a simply shocking display from a Liverpool, a team whose success has been built on their defensive foundation.

The conspiracy theory doing the pre-match rounds was that Alisson’s shoulder injury was a ‘convenient’ one, ruling him out of pesky international duty.

It did not take long for that nonsense to be debunked. There is no way Klopp risks Adrian in a Premier League match if Alisson is fit.

The stand-in has an unhappy knack of passing to the opposition, this time finding Grealish with a slide rule number and England’s newest midfielder was a model of composure in setting up Watkins for a tap-in that started the madness.

It was the same combination that unstitched the champions for a second time midway through the first half, on this occasion without any assistance from an opponent.

Grealish’s cute pass will be registered as an assist but Watkins still had a mountain to climb.



Thiago Alcantara blew fans away on his Liverpool debut – but he came close to signing for rivals Arsenal

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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.

In terms of transfers the Reds have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara and Wolves’ Diogo Jota has arrived too, in a shock deal worth a potential £45million.

Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is set to head to Wolves in a £10million deal, while Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There’s a lot to keep track of.

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He simply slalomed inside Joe Gomez and finished with rising aplomb.

The long-awaited international recognition has given Grealish a lift, clearly. He was at it again, threading through a beauty for Ross Barkley to waste and that looked significant when Mohamed Salah tucked a loose one home.

But amidst this behind-closed-door chaos, there is no way of knowing what will happen next.

You certainly would not have predicted John McGinn’s volley, via a Virgil van Dijk deflection, restoring Villa’s two-goal advantage and you certainly would not have envisaged some dire set-piece defending allowing Watkins to head in Trezeguet’s drilled cross for his hat-trick.

Klopp stomped early to the half-time team-talk but his words made little difference.




After Barkley’s performance got its reward, Salah neatly collected his second but that was merely a prompt for Grealish to emboss his display with the gold of two finishes.

One fortunate, via a deflection, the other a causal expression of his class, a sign of a player at the peak of his game.

He was a joy to watch.

His second wrapped up the scoring, Villa taking pity on the champions and declaring on a truly magnificent seven.

Only joking but there will be no pity shown by Klopp when these players return from their international breaks.

They do not lose many games, they do not have many off-days, they almost always have the right attitude.

Not on this occasion.

This was shocking, this was startling.

This, as even Jurgen and Roy might agree, was more than sloppy.

source.



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