Steven Gerrard makes bold claim about Aston Villa's FA Cup semi-final win

The former Liverpool captain feels his side would have beaten Villa in any other setting.

Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool would have beaten Aston Villa in any setting other than the FA Cup semi-final last season, according to his column in the Daily Telegraph.

Despite Villa's troubles this season - and their 6-0 home loss to the Reds recently - Tim Sherwood gave fans a memory they won't forget in the form of a run a to the FA Cup final.

But Gerrard feels Villa's semi-final win over Liverpool was very much a case of nerves stopping the better team.

Gerrard told the Telegraph: "I have been in the biggest games where we’ve felt fully prepared mentally and physically but the team has frozen. Aston Villa in last season’s FA Cup semi-final is an example of that.

"I am convinced had we played Villa in any other venue, in any other round last season, we would have been more relaxed and beaten them comfortably."

From a Liverpool point of view, you can certainly see what Gerrard is saying.

Aston Villa, as much heart as they showed on the day, were a poor side that - only a month later - were thrashed 6-1 at St Mary's, while also being battered 4-0 by Arsenal in the final.

It all came down to Brendan Rodgers' lack of big-game management. Gerrard's column is quick to praise the winning mentality of Rafa Benitez, Gerard Houllier, Kenny Dalglish and even Phil Thompson. But Rodgers doesn't have that.

Then again, Villa fans will argue they won that FA Cup semi-final as much as Liverpool lost it. The Reds took the lead and Aston Villa fought right back.

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