Aston Villa managed to secure a point at Anfield against a Liverpool side that had a lot of the possession. The game finished 1-1 but both teams had appeals for penalties turned down with Liverpool’s best appeal was fell to Luis Suarez whose link-up play got him into the Aston Villa penalty area and was brought down by Alan Hutton.
Aston Villa’s best appeal for a penalty came from Villa academy debutant Samir Carruthers who made an impression on the game from the time he was brought on. Carruthers twisted and turned Steven Gerrard who stuck out a leg; Mike Oliver decided to punish Carruthers and issued a yellow card for diving.
Before a ball was kicked the pre match preview was talking about Pepe Reina’s red card and Aston Villa’s injury hit squad. The match of the day phrase that was used – well it’s a meeting of two clubs that don’t know what winning feels like.
Liverpool started the game pushing Villa backwards but it was Aston Villa who struck first with Stephen Warnock intercepting with a leaping header to out jump the Liverpool player and found himself in acres of space on the far left-wing his cross was over hit. The ball went across the penalty area and found Barry Bannan who coolly laid off the ball to Chris Herd who directed the ball first time toward the goal. Chris Herd hit the ball with his right foot across his body the ball drifted into Alexander Doni’s far left corner.
Chris Herd’s goal was his first Premier League for the Midland’s club this is something which is hard to believe that 18 months ago he was playing in the reserves. This is a tribute to his development and desire to succeed
Alexander Doni was the Liverpool stand in keeper following Pepe Reina being sent off last weekend against Newcastle, Reina had an impressive 183 consecutive starts for Liverpool.
Liverpool’s best chance of the half fell to Dirk Kuyt who skied his shot from 2 yards in-front of Shay Givens goal just before half time, Aston Villa held on and went into the half-time interval.
Aston Villa found themselves thankful of Liverpool inability to convert chances on goal and was aided by Shay Given’s split second reactions and the goal frame. Liverpool hit the woodwork on 4 occasions.
Liverpool finally got their goal 8 minutes from full-time and was scored by Luis Suarez who headed from close range. Aston Villa felt hard done by following Samir Carruthers being brought down just inside the Liverpool penalty area as they claims fell on the death ears of Mike Oliver (Editors Note: There were multiple appeals declined from the Liverpool too).
Next Page: Match stats…
Liverpool dominated the game with 69.5% compared to Aston Villa 30.5% and found themselves asking how they didn’t win yesterday with far superior attempts at goal with 22 shots but only were on target on 5 occasions.
This has been the story of Liverpool season to date failure to convert shots from crosses. With Liverpool’s possession dominance they were able to complete 504 passes out of an attempted 611 giving them a total 83%.
Aston Villa stats are dwarfed by Liverpool stats only managing 64% pass completions from 261 attempted passes and able to successfully completed 167 passes. Even though Liverpool had more possession and completed more passes Liverpool only managed to get 13 crosses into the box. Liverpool had attempted nearly 4 times that’s amount with 48 crosses. Shay Given was pretty much involved in the game and the fact he was made to take 24 goal kicks. Liverpool were sloppy at times as Aston Villa were able to intercept on 32 occasion 3 of which were in the box and the other 29 occasions were interceptions in passing.
Aston Villa only managed to get near Liverpool’s goal of 5 occasions even though they got a goal they only managed to get another shot on target with 2 chances blocked and one off target.
Aston Villa’s season has been hard hit by injuries this week with notable absences from Richard Dunne, Darren Bent, Stiliyan Petrov, Nathan Delfouneso, Carlos Cuellar, Charles NZogbia, Fabian Delph and Ciaran Clark. Aston Villa’s squad yesterday consisted of 7 academy players being drafted into the game this shows how bad the squad has been hit.
This season has disappointed Aston Villa fans; with the appointment of Alex McLeish to the fans disgust the team has also been blighted by injury. Aston Villa find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being dragged in to the relegation zone at 15th position just 6 points ahead of the drop zone.
Aston Villa managed to get themselves a point at Liverpool yesterday which will help them physiologically ideally needing 6 points from the remaining 7 fixtures but they haven’t been blessed with a decent end of season run-in.
On Monday Aston Villa welcome Stoke City to Villa Park which will be an interesting game a point would be duly welcomed as Stoke are a tough side to break down. Stoke City have a very physical squad with most players average 6 ft and play a very direct game.
Aston Villa remaining fixtures:
- Stoke City (H)
- Man Utd (A)
- Sunderland (H)
- Bolton Wanderers (H)
- West Bromwich Albion (A)
- Tottenham Hotspurs (H)
- Norwich City (A)
It’s going to be a nail-biting run in for Villa – they need to get their main players back fit as soon as possible.