Liverpool ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Aston Villa as Dominik Szoboszlai scored his first goal for the club. Here’s our stats report for the game.
A Trent Alexander-Arnold-inspired Liverpool brushed aside Aston Villa to mark Jürgen Klopp’s 300th Premier League game in charge with a comfortable win. New signing Dominik Szoboszlai opened his Liverpool account with a rasping left-footed half-volley, before Matty Cash saw a Darwin Nunez shot ricochet off the post and bounce off him into the net. Mohamed Salah added a third in the second half as Liverpool comfortably eased past Unai Emery’s side. The Reds remain unbeaten this season, and this win sees them moves into third place.
But this game was all Liverpool’s stand-in skipper, Alexander-Arnold.
Inverting from right-back into central areas, he had an absolute field day spotting passes over the top of Villa’s high defensive line. Twenty of his 69 successful passes were ones that went over the top of the Villa back four, who remained high despite not the rest of the team not applying much pressure on the ball at all.
Given the level of Alexander-Arnold’s performance, Klopp will be hoping that the injury he appeared to suffer in the second half isn’t too serious.
It was a corner from his captain that saw Liverpool take the lead. Alexander-Arnold’s outswinging delivery from the right was missed by everyone and found its way to Szoboszlai on the edge of the box. The summer signing rifled home emphatically on the half-volley with his left foot to become the fourth Hungarian to score in the Premier League, after Zoltán Gera, Tamás Priskin and Ákos Buzsáky.
That was Alexander-Arnold’s 10th Premier League assist in 2023, making him just of three players (after Leandro Trossard and Mohamed Salah) to hit that mark this year. It’s the third time he’s assisted 10+ league goals in a calendar year, after 2019 (17) and 2021 (13).
Midway through the first half, Alexander-Arnold fired another ball in behind that found Mohamed Salah racing through. The Egyptian squared for Darwin Núñez whose shot came back off the post and bounced in off an unfortunate Matty Cash.
It summed up a fairly chaotic first half of football where it felt like Liverpool should have got in on goal multiple times, but deflections and the bounce of the ball didn’t quite fall their way. Núñez clipped a shot onto the bar and a free-kick from Alexander-Arnold found the head of Joël Matip who really should have done better with a header.
That was one of five chances that Alexander-Arnold created in the first half, as he pulled the strings from the middle of the park.
If it wasn’t for some profligacy in front of goal – Núñez, in particular, had five shots without hitting the target with any of them – the 3-0 scoreline could and should have been bigger.
As it was, though, it didn’t really matter. Villa started the second half a little more brightly, with Cash almost making amends with a header at the back post that was palmed away by Alisson. But overall, they were disappointing, threatening sporadically on the counter-attack without ever really creating many clear-cut opportunities. They were second-best of all over the pitch and were dominated in a way we’ve not seen often under Emery. They saw just 34.8% of the ball, which was their fifth-lowest in any league game under their current manager.
Salah – subject of heavy interest from Saudi Arabia – made it three after 55 minutes, tapping in at the back post after Núñez flicked on an Andy Roberston corner. It was yet another goal involvement for Salah, who is now the first player to score or assist in 10 consecutive appearances in the Premier League since he achieved that feat himself between August-December 2021 (15 games in a row). If Liverpool do end up letting him go, he will be a massive, massive loss.
Aston Villa are now winless in their last six league visits to Anfield (D1 L5), and head into the international break in 11th place. They seem to have alternated between the sublime (wins over Everton and Burnley) and the unremarkable (big defeats to Newcastle and Liverpool). Emery will be hoping for much more consistency going forward.
Below is the Opta match centre for the game, which includes team and player stats, a passing network, an Opta chalkboard and more. Everything you need to do your own analysis following the Liverpool vs Aston Villa Premier League match.
Underneath the match centre you can find the official Opta stats on the game as well.
Liverpool vs Aston Villa Opta Stats
- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is the first player to score or assist 10 consecutive appearances in the Premier League since Mohamed Salah himself between August-December 2021 (15 games in a row).
- Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has won 188 of his first 300 games as a manager in the Premier League; in the competition’s history, only Pep Guardiola (201 wins from 270 games) and José Mourinho (189) have won more games as of that milestone.
- Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold registered his 55th assist in the Premier League in his 202nd appearance, going one assist clear of Mesut Özil (184 apps), Eden Hazard (245 apps), Juan Mata (278 apps) and Jordan Henderson (431 apps).
- Aston Villa have won just one of their last seven away games in the Premier League (D2 L4) and have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last eight games on the road.
- Since defeating them in the Europa League final in 2016 with Sevilla, Aston Villa boss Unai Emery is since winless in nine meetings with Liverpool (D3 L6), conceding 26 goals in the process.
- Liverpool’s Dominik Szoboszlai became the fourth Hungarian to score in the Premier League, after Zoltán Gera, Tamás Priskin and Ákos Buzsáky.
- Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold became the third player to assist 10+ goals in the Premier League in 2023, after Leandro Trossard and Mohamed Salah; it’s the third time he’s assisted 10+ league goals in a calendar year, after 2019 (17) and 2021 (13).
- Matty Cash’s own goal was the fifth to be scored in Liverpool’s favour in the Premier League since the start of last season, the most own goals any side has benefitted from during this time.