Aston Villa fans were over the moon with the side's win over Liverpool, and our community player ratings certainly reflect that. So far this season, no player has earned a rating over an 8; in this game, two Villa players reached that mark. Given the nature of the game it wouldn't be shocking to see Villa's non-defensive players taken down a peg, but our readers appear to have understood the gameplan and rated accordingly; this was a full-team effort in the defensive phase, and everyone played their part brilliantly.
Brad Guzan - 6.81
Brad didn't have much to do until very late on-when he preserved all three points for Villa-but he was there when called upon. Given the heroic efforts required from Guzan against Liverpool the past few seasons this was likely a welcome respite for Villa's #1; Brad's got the chops, but it's always a lot more comfortable when he doesn't have to use them.
Alan Hutton - 7.15
Another great performance from the former castoff, and though it's still early days it's becoming a matter of routine to feel fully comfortable with Hutton's ability to do his job and do it well. This is weird, guys, but I think I might like it.
Nathan Baker - 8.28
When lineups were announced and Baker was in Ron Vlaar's typical spot, the reaction of Villa fans ranged from disappointed to apoplectic. So what did the (still very young!) defender do? He went out and put in arguably the best performance of any Villa player all season. Those that voted in this poll certainly felt that way, as Baker's 8.28 is the single-highest rating received by any Villa player so far this season. Baker's got a ways to go before erasing the memories of seasons past, but if you weren't incredibly encouraged by this performance-especially considering that he's still a few years before the typical peak of centerbacks-you're far too cynical for your own good.
Philippe Senderos - 8.05
Thanks to the stormer turned in by Baker Senderos couldn't quite notch the highest rating on the day, but he can certainly console himself with the fact that he turned in the second most highly-rated performance of the season for any Villa player. The central defense was absolutely impenetrable in this game, and though Baker may have edged Senderos in the end, this was a world-class performance from one of the summer's most-maligned signings.
Aly Cissokho - 7.24
Speaking of much-maligned signings, Cissokho was outstanding once again. The quality that this back line has shown through the first four games has been astounding, and Cissokho has been arguably the most dependable and steadfast performer all season.
Kieran Ricahrdson - 6.53
I'm still not entirely sure what Richardson's role is, but whatever the hell he's supposed to be doing he's doing very well. Every performance is disciplined, tireless, and effective. He's not been the flashiest player, but he's done everything that's been asked of him at a level far higher than would have likely been expected.
Tom Cleverley - 6.78
Villa's newest signing didn't set the world on fire in his debut, but he was quietly very effective in a midfield whose contributions to their team's success were likely overlooked on the day. Though Cleverley didn't have much of an opportunity to show what he could do in the attacking phase, he was brilliant on the other side of the ball, showing excellent positional discipline and applying pressure without any recklessness. Not the most exciting debut, but an extremely encouraging one.
Ashley Westwood - 7.29
I know that I've harped on the team nature of Villa's defensive performance in this game quite a bit, but Westwood's effort is exactly what I'm trying to highlight when doing so. Ashley is growing quite nicely into the role of shut-down defensive midfielder without being much of a physical specimen, which is one of the most enjoyable players to watch in all of football. He just knows where to be at all times, and poses enough of a threat as a deep-lying playmaker that Liverpool were kept on their toes all day long thanks to well-placed long balls. Ashley is a somewhat unassuming figure, but he continues to impress week-in and week-out, and it's beginning to appear as though the sky is the limit.
Fabian Delph - 7.05
What else is there to say about Fabian Delph? He's a shuttler, a destroyer, a creator, a tactical weapon, and adorable as all get-out to boot. This was another measured but supremely confident showing from Villa's newest breakout star, and priority numbers one through ten need to be getting him locked up to a long-term deal.
Andreas Weimann - 6.35
No matter the overall quality of his performance, Andi's ability to run like hell until he collapses is an ever-present. Thankfully, that's exactly what this game required. No one was especially active in the attacking phase past the half-hour mark, but Andi was a pesky little gnat all day long, and he was quite effective in that role.
Gabby Agbonlahor - 7.52
The goal was massive, of course, but Gabby ability to give the Liverpool defense second thoughts all day long despite Liverpool having nearly 372% of the possession overall was quite impressive. Bunker-and-counter works a whole lot better when the opposition is genuinely concerned about the counter, and Gabby's clever runs and unmatched workrate kept the Reds on their toes just enough to keep things stretched to a manageable degree.
Charles N'Zogbia - 5.70
Zogs worked his butt of while he was on the pitch, and it was a solid showing.But this wasn't the kind of game that really plays to his skillset, and it showed to some extent. Still, credit for putting in so much work in the defensive phase and making a nuisance of himself; this isn't exactly the type of situation in which N'Zogbia has shone so far in his career, but he did everything that was asked for him
Carlos Sanchez - 5.86
I was a bit surprised at this mark, as I thought Sanchez did quite well considering the game state. Not a bad mark though, and it won't hurt his chances of breaking into a midfield that suddenly has a pretty solid level of quality and quite a bit of competition for places.
Darren Bent - 4.9
Having access to the raw numbers I can pretty safely say that this rating is largely due to a very small sample size - the large majority of voters gave Bent an incomplete - so best not to put much stock into this number. Bent wasn't good, he wasn't bad, he was just kind of there for a few minutes. Which, given the state of things, was about all that was required.