Gerrard rocks Villa’s foundations.

Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool
0-1 Benteke (31), 1-1 Henderson (47), 1-2 Gerrard (60) pen

A cold, miserable Easter weekend which eventually, despite a good start, chilled Aston Villa’s survival hopes more than saying anything about how we’ve improved.

For us of course there was a little warmth in the manner in which we eventually go back into the game after going one down, eventually looked reasonable value for the win and bounced back from the horror show at Southampton but…..

It may sound grossly disingenuous but let’s be honest this was ordinary and at times naive Villa side who we should be expected to beat. By more than we eventually did I guess one has to make allowances for Villa fighting for their Premiership lives however, any headlines of “comeback Kings” would ring hollow? This was one of the many bog standard wins we’ve had this season against teams below us in the table, nothing more nothing less. At the end of the seasons BR and his team wouldn’t be judged on this sort of win, it is the minimum standard? No offence to Paul Lambert and his team but it will on performances, or lack of them, against better sides than Villa. “Christ, what more do you want, you won?” I hear you say yes, and noted, but also I hope you know what I’m getting at?

BR made four changes from the Southampton game two weeks ago. Jose Reina returned from injury, Martin Skrtel (who had a mere at St Mary’s) was replaced by the fit again Jamie Carragher. Allen out with shoulder injury and Sturridge, for no apparent reason, were replaced by Lucas and Henderson. The decision to leave Sturridge on the bench will no doubt have people asking questions. Was there some doubt over his fitness or was BR trying to shore up the midfield that was pummeled at St Mary’s?

The start was promising with Suarez, due to absence of Sturridge going into “solo mode”. His first two chances were typical using his low centre and gravity and speed to winkle out chances which were dealt with easily by Guzan in the Villa goal. The third summed up our pre Sturridge story Suarez after excellent work fashioned a shot which was palmed away by on to ball to bounce away apologetically across the Villa goal area with not a black shirt in sight to follow up.

In between Villa should have gone ahead. Lowton’s cross flatfooted our back four leaving Agbonlahor with the ”simple” task of beating Reina from six yards. Reina just stood there and psyched him out as a result was the only hurt we felt was to Jose as the ball was slammed into his chest. Despite that Villa were to open us up again exposing the lack of organisation and general tightness in our defence that has been a consistent factor in recent performances. Westwood’s long ball found Agbonlahor who let it run through to Benteke giving the Belgium the easy task of smacking it home on the half volley past a helpless Reina. Gerrard tried to make amends with a good effort but that was it for the first half nothing of note to blow Reds fan’s socks off which was just as well given the temperature!

In the second half we finally woke up. After only two minutes the increasingly impressive Coutinho picked up the ball on the left and threaded a slide rule pass to the on running Henderson who won the one on one with Guzan by clipping it past his right shoulder for the equaliser. Minutes later Suarez returned the favour putting the Brazilian through this however Guzan won the day as the ball rolled agonisingly wide of his right post.

The incident seemed to spur us on. Johnson, via a deflection, rapped the post and after that Baker fouled Suarez in the area. No doubting this penalty even if Suarez had decided to dive he couldn’t have as he was about four feet in the air as result of the challenge! Gerrard turned everything around by making no mistake from the spot.

Villa, perhaps sensing the enormity of situation, rallied Delph had a shot blocked and it was left to Gerrard (it you want something doing do it yourself) with the back four nowhere, to head Benteke’s effort off the line. However, there was more from us, Suarez nearly made it three with a mesmerising run that saw him off balance with the goal open. By the time he’d regained it Villa had recovered. It remains to be seen if same can be said for their Premiership survival hopes or our “end of term” report.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Vlaar, Bennett, Baker, Lowton, Westwood Booked, Sylla (El Ahmadi – 76′ ), Bannan (Delph – 62′ ), Agbonlahor, Benteke, Weimann (N’Zogbia – 62′ ), Substitutes: Given, Lichaj, El Ahmadi, N’Zogbia, Delph, Dawkins, Bowery

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Carragher, Gerrard Booked, Phillippe Coutinho (Sterling – 77′ ), Henderson, Downing, Lucas, Suarez Substitutes: Jones, Coates, Skrtel, Sterling, Shelvey, Sturridge, Suso

Att: 42,037

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2 Responses to Gerrard rocks Villa’s foundations.

  1. liverbird says:

    As i watch liverpool losing here in anfield 1-2 to chelsea i start to question BR’s judgement in the last few games…he has been starting the same lineup of players for the last few matches…why are we still insisting on starting carra at the back?i understand we win more games with him than when we start skertel but shouldnt we already be thinking of next season? why arent we starting coates at least with agger? next question is why johnson is starting every game?what happened to wisdom?? johnson is always a liability…and he is so so wasteful in attack,,wisdom though in attack is still inmature but he is neat and tidy at the back plus strong too..i love leiva but shouldnt we rotate him with allen..leiva does seem to have lost direction in the last few games..good at breaking up play but poor in participating in attack,,compare him with ramires for chelsea and you will understand what i is why are also starting with downing in every game??so he was good for a couple of games..why are we not playing sterling anymore??at least mix and rotate…next is henderson over shelvey.hendo is hardworking and willing to learn but in terms as an attacking midfielder he has a long way to go..he is more of an utility player than anything else….we should also alternate these 2 players…coutinho is a beautiful player but he is either an aimar in central midfield initiating attacks or as a close up and front 2nd striker…i dont know where BR’s balls has dissapeared too…he is not taking chances with the younger players anymore…

    we need a great striker,a new goalie and central defender…all rock solid ones…this season is ending like a smelly fart..dissapointing.

  2. liverbird`!! says:

    i want to add suarez was magnificent finally..he scored the goal because he and sturridge never gave up..the other players should look to suarez who gives 110% every game..

    so he bit someone..did ferguson want to get rid of cantona when he kungfu kicked a fan? are you crazy?? did he sell keane when he ended another players career with a vicious foul?

    suarez has anger issues..granted..thankfully the FA are trying to help by offering anger management classess instead of the usual ‘lets get the stake and start the fire’ witch hunt..

    i would be most dissapointed if we sold suarez..we would be the biggest idiots because i love suarez,his passion for soccer and liverpool and also for our causes like hillsbrough..

    he is just a misunderstood child working hard for the affection of his adoring fans..yes he bites..but he comes from a background where it was basically the streets and where one had to look after their own back..

    he is brilliant..but there is no doubt he is prone to getting crazy on the pitch..please dont ever sell him..he is the only thing right about liverpool at the moment…

    no other club wants him after this..and he is not the kind who is crazy on money and trophies..he just wants a home…and theres no greater home than anfield..for once let us keep our flawed genius and not sell them..we have sold enough before with the likes of torres,mascherano,alonso,owen ..

    let us keep suarez..he will be a hero for us in the coming years..

    things happen on the pitch..moments where in the passion and heat of the game people get carried away…let him go for counselling and get a grip on the anger thingy..

    by putting an arm around him,and helping him along liverpool will get returns they never imagined from suarez in the coming years…napoli was built around maradona,barcelona around messi,juventus around zidane…let the liverpool we love be built around suarez..

    please dont sell him..please..

    YNWA redfloyd.

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