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Tactics Talk: Don't overblow the Liverpool game

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Yes it was terrible. A stinker of a performance that stamped on what fragile hope any Villan still had, like a bully grinding your ice-cream cone under his heel after taking a big old lick in front of your teary eyes.

And what came after the match was ugly and stupid and infuriating. My colleagues here at 7500toHolte have already written excellent pieces about Joleon Lescott, fans being unfairly thrown out or the feeling of apathy around the club. I agree with many of their points and recommend you go read them.

But from the tactics point of view, purely what happened on the ground, losing 0-6 was, well...unlucky. Not necessarily undeserved - Aston Villa were out of the match after 25 minutes - but at the extreme edge of what could have happened.

Have a look at Michael Caley's Expected Goals model (I've referenced Caley's work before, his statistical model shows the number of goals you might expect on average from the location of the shots a team took during a match):

Now let's be clear, the fact that Liverpool scored 6 when you might expect them to have scored 2 is strongly related to the fact that Villa offered all the defensive resistance of a faceless goon in an Asian martial arts flick running onto Bruce Lee's fist.

But still, 6 goals from 11 shots is the product of a simply improbable level of finishing. Villa should have had a bad loss, not their worst home defeat since 1935.

It was a bad time to face Liverpool, the first time in an age they could field Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho together. A bad moment for Jurgen Klopp's side to click into a higher gear and for their relentless pressing style to rip apart a Villa side who tried to play a possession game without the confidence or energy to pull it off.

It was a bad day for Joleon Lescott to forget to mark, or Mark Bunn to totally misjudge a ball, or Micah Richards to cheaply lose the ball. They will do that every couple of weeks and Villa will be relegated because of it, but normally it wouldn't have been punished quite so clinically.

Villa's confidence is at an all-time low and the quality of the squad is poor and injuries have weakened it further. Relegation is certain and there is a huge rebuilding job to do in the summer.

But this isn't the worst side in Premier League history, and it's certainly not the worst side in Villa's 142 year history.

That same back four put in a series of reasonable defensive performances before this match and probably will do again. When some of the strikers come back Villa will have an actual attacking plan again. Rémi Garde will hopefully start giving Jordan Lyden a few starting performances over the woeful Leandro Bacuna.

It was bloody terrible - but it was also unlucky, and it was probably the worst we'll see this season.