Villa dent Pool’s title hopes

by Adam - August 24th, 2009. Filed under: Premier League.

Aston Villa got their first points of the season against title contenders Liverpool. Villa’s away from last year was very good and this was continued against Liverpool at Anfield.

The match finished 3-1 to Villa with goals an own goal from Lucas, a Curtis Davis and Ashley Young from the spot. Liverpool’s goal was scored by Fernando Torres.

In the opening exchanges it was Liverpool doing all the pressing but they couldn’t find a way past the Villa defense and Brad Friedel. Benayoun nearly scored in the first minute but couldn’t get his header on target.

There was a goal mouth scramble after about 10 minutes but Liverpool couldn’t find the net. Gerrard, Torres, Benayoun and Gerrard again couldn’t score as Aston Villa defenders hurled themselves infront of the ball.

Villa were awarded a free kick just to the left of the goal and Ashley Young stepped up to take the free kick. Brazilian Lucas headed into his own net from the free kick.

Villa’s second came just before half time. Defender Curtis Davies at the front post  glanced Nicky Shorey’s corner into the net.

After the break it was predominately Liverpool on the attack, Steven Gerrard coming close with a deflected effort and Dirk Kuyt seeing a diving header come back off of the woodwork.

Liverpool’s persistance was finally awarded when Fernando Torres scored following Emiliano Insua cross. The spaniard directing the ball first time into the roof of the net.

Two minutes after Torres handed Liverpool a life line, the red’s talisman Steven Gerrard losses the ball in midfield and rushes to get it back, he stupidly took out Nigel Reo Coker to give Villa a penalty.

Ashley Young stepped up to take it and the young winger sent Pepe Reina the wrong way as Villa restored their two goal cushion.

The rest of the match was Liverpool searching for a way back into the game, Torres should have scored a header and Ryan Babel wasted a couple of opportunities.

It was a deserved victory for Villa and a fantastic display, especially at the back not giving Torres too much and limiting the enigmatic Gerrard.

For Liverpool though it will be disappointment at a second loss in three games, matching their losses for the whole of last season. For me, this puts them out of the title race at this early stage.

Liverpool only lost two games the whole of last year and they still didn’t win the title. They’ve lost two games already and without Alonso seem to be lacking the crucial pass.

For Liverpool to have a hope from now they will have to win all encounters against the big four and turn draws into victories.

Another cause for concern for Liverpool is that two of the goals came from set pieces and now they have conceded three goals from set pieces.

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