Liverpool’s top-four hopes were effectively ended with a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa on Saturday, despite some late Roberto Firmino drama. At Anfield on May 20, 2023, Jacob Ramsey opened the scoring for the visitors in the 27th minute before Firmino equalized in the 90th minute.
Alisson was one of Liverpool’s strongest performers, making one big save to deny Douglas Luiz and his sheer presence arguably played a part in Ollie Watkins missing a penalty. Trent Alexander-Arnold switched off at the back post, allowing Ramsey to score, and his passing radar wasn’t as inch-perfect as usual. Ibrahima Konate clumsily conceded the penalty that Watkins missed and generally didn’t look as composed and dominant as he has of late. Virgil van Dijk was largely good, doing his job in effective and unruffled fashion, while Andy Robertson struggled to make an impact against a well-drilled Villa side. Fabinho committed several early fouls that affected Liverpool’s rhythm, but he also timed some tackles well. Jordan Henderson had no creativity to be seen on the ball and his relationship with Luis Diaz down the left flank didn’t click. Curtis Jones couldn’t have the same influence at Anfield, while Mohamed Salah looked to make things happen but too often it was to no avail. Luis Diaz ran down blind alleys and lost the ball, with his general touch not quite there currently. Cody Gakpo failed to link with those around him and it was hard to think of a genuinely telling attacking contribution.
Substitutes Diogo Jota, James Milner, Roberto Firmino, Kostas Tsimikas, and Harvey Elliott all made appearances but none of them could get going. Jurgen Klopp, sitting in the stands as he serves a touchline ban, will have been frustrated with what he witnessed. Not only were Liverpool flat, but the refereeing performance of John Brooks was abysmal, with Tyrone Mings avoiding a red card and Gakpo’s goal mysteriously ruled out for offside. Klopp failed to get a good display out of his team, as they ended their home campaign in a disappointing manner, and the boss will just be wanting the campaign to end now.