Aston Villa boss Dean Smith says Aston Villa “executed the gameplan to perfection” to beat Liverpool 7-2.
The champions slumped to a humiliating defeat at Villa Park as they conceded seven goals in a game for the first time since April 1963.
It means the Reds have now shipped 11 goals in the four matches played so far this term and it leaves them three points behind early pace-setters Everton, who they meet after the international break on October 17.
Smith labelled the match as the finest of his managerial career after a shock result that rocked a team who had lost just four across the last two full Premier League campaigns.
“It has to rank at the top,” Smith admitted when asked where the performance stood.
“To go and get a performance and a result like that against an exceptional team in Liverpool takes something special.
“I am extremely proud of my players, I thought they executed the gameplan to perfection.
“It wasn’t just the gameplan, it was the work ethic. If you get outworked by Liverpool you get beat. They are an exceptional pressing team.
“I am really proud. I like to think it was our quality runs [that exposed Liverpool’s high line].
“Many teams have tried to exploit but that is why they are a quality team. We have worked hard at a game plan and executed it really well.”
Asked if he thought about tightening up for the second half after taking a 4-1 lead into the break, Smith added: “No, not at all.
“It was 4-1 at half time against a quality team like Liverpool and that is a surreal experience, but we had to make sure it was a disciplined performance.
“With the talent they have got, I was relieved when we got the fifth and extra relief when we got the sixth.”