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Aston Villa: Leon Bailey let Unai Emery down vs Liverpool

Aston Villa failed to extend Unai Emery’s winning run in the Premier League to three matches as they lost 3-1 to Liverpool on Boxing Day.

The Spanish coach won his first two league games in charge of the Villans prior to the World Cup break, beating Manchester United and Brighton, but was unable to maintain his 100% record.

Jurgen Klopp’s team did not take long to get off the mark and there was almost nothing that Unai Emery’s team could do to prevent it as the Reds showcased their quality.

Trent Alexander-Arnold produced a world-class pass to find Andy Robertson in a wide right position and the Scotsman’s measured pass found Mo Salah for a tap-in.

The away side found their second before half time as Virgil van Dijk’s left-footed shot deflected off Ezri Konsa’s hip and nestled into the bottom corner of Robin Olsen’s net.

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Ollie Watkins pulled a goal back in the 59th minute as he peeled off the back of Joel Matip and guided a header in the far corner to get the hosts back into the match.

Despite a spell of pressure from Villa after that goal, Liverpool reacted well and went on to make it 3-1 with ten minutes left to play as Stefan Bajcetic brilliantly rounded Olsen and slotted through Tyrone Mings’ legs.

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Whilst you could lay the blame with the defence for conceding three goals, Villa’s attack let them down on Boxing Day as they failed to make the most of the chances that came their way and were unable to capitalise on the periods of dominance they had over the Reds.

One player who let Emery down badly was Jamaican international Leon Bailey as he struggled out wide throughout the match. His performance personified the team’s display as he showed flashes of quality but ultimately lacked the composure to provide the final shot or pass.

As per Sofascore, he only completed five of his 13 attempted passes (38%) in the match and did not create a single chance for his teammates, despite attempting six crosses.

The lightweight also had three efforts on goal and missed one ‘big chance’, racking up 0.43 Expected Goals in the process, which shows that he did not have the quality to punish Liverpool in the final third.

Bailey also left a lot to be desired out of possession. As per Sofascore, the 25-year-old lost 75% (3/4) of his individual duels as he failed to make a single tackle, block, or interception.

This shows that the attacker struggled off the ball as he was weak and allowed himself to be bullied by the opposition defenders, with Robertson and van Dijk dealing with him with ease.

Therefore, he let Emery down badly as he did not showcase his attacking quality on the ball and did not do enough defensively to help out his team on the other side of the game.