What seems to be a heart-break for the outgoing Liverpool Captain and millions of Reds fans around a globe, Liverpool – for the 2nd time this season, have been knocked out of the competition after reaching the Semifinals. While they took a long journey reaching this far playing 2 replays in the process, today’s effort seemed to be a reminiscent of their average season. On the other hand for Aston Villa who would be surely jubilant
with their progress, Tim Sherwood is turning out to be a messiah for the Villains.
Here are 5 things we learned: –
Aston Villa cannot perform better than this
Progressing into the Final at the expense of 5-time European Champions is palatable, however, doing it after going 1 goal down takes the pleasure to an even higher level for the Villains. While they were always the 2nd favorites to clinch a victory today, their performance defied every logic that was used in the buildup of this match to downplay their chances. And while they will be obvious underdogs in the Final come end of May, Villa have shown enough today to force Arsene Wenger to give them a respect.
Liverpool looked more like a team from the opening half of this season
Losing a match 2-1 and the extra time is about to start, you know your chances are slim when Rickie Lambert is preparing to come on. No disrespect to the former Southampton striker, but Brendan Rodgers was more naïve than anything else today.
Cutting out the utility of Lazar Markovic at the half-time break and sending in an immombie player in Mario Balotelli, Liverpool’s soon-to-be under-fire boss helped himself in no way with his tactics throughout the 90 minutes.
Steven Gerrard was nowhere near his Wembley form
When the four best moments of the Liverpool Captain’s career will be written someday, his Wembley magic against West Ham would be their somewhere. However, slide the blame on his increasing age or maybe his fitness levels, the Liverpool Legend was nowhere near his best today. Starting in that hole behind Raheem Sterling in a position which favors him more, Gerrard looked set to create havoc before the first whistle.
However, just like a tamed horse who is counting out his days, the Liverpool skipper – bar his late header that was blocked on the line, made no effort to see Liverpool through.
Future of Brendan Rodgers looks in doubt
For a manager that was under-fire for the most part of this season, the current scenario might seem as return to normalcy for the Liverpool boss. However, unlike his early season theatrics where Liverpool had the time to come back – and they nearly did that, this defeat might go a long way in deciding his Liverpool career.
While he plays a style of football that is certainly more pleasing than any of his recent predecessors, Brendan Rodgers can become a piece of history as soon as this summer for Liverpool football club. And with FSG notorious for setting high standards of its employers, the future of the Irish manager looks certainly in doubt now.
Fabian Delph was the best player on the pitch
With a match that could be easily tagged as the Championship play-off referring to the quality of football being played, Delph was the best of the lot tonight at Wembley. Ironically enough, for a team that looks set to be his next destination in the summer, Delph gave Liverpool a taste of his abilities with a scintillating display. With a match-winner to his name before which he helped Benteke to open the scoring for Villa, Delph certainly has did no harm to his price tag tonight.
Full time: Aston Villa 2 – 1 Liverpool FC