Steven Gerrard has enjoyed his start to life as a Premier League manager after swapping Rangers for Aston Villa last month, with his side winning three of their first four league games under the 41-year-old.
Game number five was a return to Anfield for the former Liverpool captain, for whom the Villa boss made more than 700 appearances as a player.
Despite a resolute performance from the Midlands outfit, the Villans lost out to Jurgen Klopp’s side as Mo Salah’s 67th-minute penalty proved the difference on Saturday. Defensively the visitors looked solid, but one player in particular who stood out was Douglas Luiz.
The 23-year-old was a real presence in the middle of the park for the visitors, completing 84% of his passes as well as having 65 touches. Furthermore, the Brazilian had a 100% long ball accuracy and also completed all of his attempted dribbles whilst winning 75% of his duels.
According to SofaScore, Luiz’s fellow midfielder John McGinn struggled to replicate similar numbers to his teammate. The Scotsman had a 72% passing accuracy whilst also having fewer touches (56).
The Scotsman has been one of Gerrard’s standout performers since the 41-year-old took charge of Villa last month, averaging a performance rating of 7.95 prior to the Liverpool contest, according to SofaScore. However, the midfielder could only manage a 6.3/10 rating against the Reds, making it his worst performance under the new manager by some margin.
As for Luiz, it’s certainly promising to see the Brazilian getting a run of matches under Gerrard after endured a mixed start to the season, missing games against West Ham, Southampton and Brighton.
Alongside McGinn and Marvelous Nakamba, it appears that the 23-year-old is part of the Villa manager’s preferred midfield trio, with that particular combination now starting the last three games. Today’s performance suggests that Luiz is making the most of the chances being handed to him by Gerrard.