Aston Villa 1
So on the positive side it’s the end of our run of defeats but it’s still only one win in eight games.
The story was an all too familiar one, plenty of possession and plenty of chances and no one able to make it count enough to see us over the line for three points. As a result we were always leaving ourselves open to the retaliation from the opposition, the fact that Villa got theirs in first, after only ten minutes, is irrelevant. We should have hauled Aston Villa back and been comfortable winners however, well, you know the story it’s been told many times this season. So many “ifs” but now surely, as the season begins top wind down, it’s a question of “why”?
Kenny made three changes from the Newcastle game. Doni came in for the suspended Reina, Henderson and Kuyt replaced Spearing and Carroll. Before the game a minutes silence was held to remember the 23rd anniversary of Hillsborough, this is the last home game before 15th April.
We began positively as if we wanted to banish the memories of recent results. Kuyt went close from Downing’s cross when his shot, from a tight angle bounced off Given, in the Villa goal, onto the post however, we were soon knocked back. Doni perhaps understandably on his debut showing some nerves failed to deal with Warnock’s cross and Bannan, in plenty of space, pulled the ball back to the untracked Herd who made no mistake, it was all too easy.
After the goal Doni was peripheral figure as we set about Villa. Kuyt missed a sitter from about three feet out, Suarez rapped the post from Gerrard’s cross. Bellamy clouted the cross bar. Quite why it took us the best part of the game to score is anyone’s guess. Shay Given had a great game however, how many chances do we need to beat him? Lack composure in front of goal, lack of technique or, less convincingly given the number of times it has happened this season, just plain bad luck.
The fact that we had at least three decent penalty claims (handball by Herd, Suarez felled by Hutton and then a blatant handball by Lichaj) also ignored doesn’t help. The decision not to give the third one was particularly baffling as Kenny said
“He lifts his arms up and the referee says to Dirk he never gave it because he thought the boy was unlucky then we’ve no chance. Somebody would need to be assassinated for us to get a penalty kick.”
The deserved equaliser finally came after Suarez bundled it in after Agger’s knock back, from Gerrard’s cross, had hit the bar. Carroll could have set up the grandstand finish but headed Gerrard’s cross straight at Given. Gerrard and then had a stab from long range only to find Given in superb form. It was that sort of day and sadly an all too familiar sort of day! When will we finally reap what we sow?
Liverpool: Doni, Jose Enrique (Agger 76′ ), Carragher, Skrtel, Flanagan, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing (Carroll 65′ ), Shelvey (Bellamy 65′ ), Suarez, Kuyt Substitutes: Jones, Agger, Coates, Maxi, Spearing, Carroll, Bellamy
Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Warnock, Collins, Baker, Ireland, Bannan (Carruthers 86′), Lichaj, Herd (Weimann 73′ ), Agbonlahor, Heskey (Gardner 58′ ) Substitutes: Guzan, Stevens, Williams, Johnson, Gardner, Carruthers, Weimann