A late strike from Suarez ensured Liverpool got at least the point deserved after an improved performance at Anfield.
Going in to this game, Aston Villa had the worst form record in the Premier League. Only marginally better were Liverpool. In retrospect therefore a draw seemed the most likely outcome, but Liverpool can consider themselves the more unfortunate team, having the majority of the main chances, penalty appeals and a goal that wasn’t given.
With Pepe Reina missing his first competitive game for the reds this season following his 3 game ban for a red card – Liverpool’s Brazilian reserve keeper Alexander Doni was named between the sticks.
Liverpool thought they had opened the scoring when Kuyt’s shot was saved by Given. Replays appeared to suggest the ball had already crossed the line for a goal before Given pushed the ball away – the ref was unmoved however. Moments later and Villa had opened the scoring themselves – Doni making a mess of dealing with a cross and Herd firing in to the top corner.
Goalscorer Herd was then involved in an area of controversy when he handled Suarez’ cross, but nothing was given.
Suarez was shortly after tripped in the penalty area, but yet again the referee, Michael Oliver waved away the appeal.
If those failings of the referee weren’t enough, Kuyt made the biggest error of the game, firing over from 2 yards out just before half time.
Suarez then saw a header come back off the crossbar, after a Gerrard cross – and the reds were denied their third potential penalty when Lichaj handled the ball following a twisting run by Dirk Kuyt in to the box.
Bellamy and Carroll were sent on – and Bellamy himself found the post, before eventually Liverpool’s pressure was finally rewarded.
Gerrard sent in the cross, Agger headed it on to the crossbar but luckily Suarez was on hand to bundle the ball in.
The reds pushed for the winner, but at the other end Agger brought down Carruthers running away from goal, but the referee didn’t give Villa their shout for a penalty either.
Liverpool were good for three points, but like on so many Anfield appearances this season had to accept just the one. Liverpool have six games left of the league campaign. Strikers and midfielders capable of finding the net are an overwhelming urgency.» Forum post match discussion on this game
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