Aston Villa v Liverpool player ratings: Watkins 6, Bailey 4; Salah 8, Nunez 6

Reds claim a 3-1 win at Villa Park to close the gap on the top four in the Premier League table

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Liverpool beat Aston Villa 3-1 on Monday thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Stefan Bajcetic to go sixth in the Premier League after a game filled with chances.

Salah tapped in the visitors' opener in the fifth minute after a sublime passing move from marauding wing-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.

Defender Van Dijk bagged Liverpool's second in the 37th minute with a superb left-footed shot after being set up by Salah, who would have been proud of the finish.

Ollie Watkins put Villa back in the game with a smart 59th minute header across goalkeeper Alisson Becker, before 18-year-old midfielder Bajcetic squeezed in Liverpool's third - his first senior goal - to secure the win in the 81st minute.

Goalscoring opportunities came aplenty for both teams as they peppered each other with high balls over the defences. Liverpool's Darwin Nunez was a nuisance throughout, missing a string of chances including a well-saved volley after he plucked the ball from high over his shoulder.

The result left Aston Villa in 12th place on 18 points, while Liverpool are on 25 points, one behind old rivals Manchester United in fifth but a daunting 15 behind Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Adam Brown has provided the player ratings from Villa Park in the photo gallery above. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows or swipe if using a mobile device.

Updated: December 27, 2022, 3:19 AM