Much to the delight of Steven Gerrard, Aston Villa’s latest Premier League match was a different affair from their 2-2 draw against Manchester United last weekend, with the Villans securing a 1-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park this afternoon.
A single goal from Emiliano Buendia earned the travelling side all three points in a cagey affair against the Toffees.
Although Gerrard can be pleased with his team securing a win and keeping a clean sheet in the process, it will be hard for him not to be disappointed with the performance of one Villa player who started today.
After arriving from Barcelona on loan earlier this month, Philippe Coutinho made a big impact on his Villa debut by coming off the bench to score the equaliser which earned Villa a point against the Red Devils last weekend.
However, with Gerrard putting enough faith in the 29-year-old to start against Everton, the Brazilian failed to repay that faith from his manager and former Liverpool team-mate, letting him down as they returned to Merseyside today.
Before being replaced by Carney Chukwuemeka on 74 minutes, Coutinho had only 38 touches of the ball and completed just 15 of the 26 passes he attempted. The 29-year-old also failed to complete any of his three dribbles, showing that it just wasn’t a good day for him on the ball, losing it on 18 occasions in total, as per SofaScore.
Things weren’t great for him off the ball either, with Coutinho winning just two of his 11 duels. This performance ultimately earned the Villa loanee an overall match rating of 6.4/10, making him the lowest-rated player to start the game for the away side according to SofaScore.
Birmingham Live also highlighted the 29-year-old’s “disappointing” display by saying that he “is still struggling and looked off the pace”.
Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see if Coutinho will now keep his place in the starting XI after this display or whether Gerrard decides to put him back on the bench.
Either way, the Villa manager will be hoping that the Brazilian doesn’t produce another performance like the one today, as will the club’s fans.