As it happened: LFC 2-0 Aston Villa

Premier League
Sunday 05 July 2020 - 4:30 pm
Anfield
Liverpool2
0Aston Villa
Show Match Events
Robertson21'
36' McGinn
Origi off, Henderson on ↔️60'
Oxlade-Chamberlain off, Wijnaldum on ↔️60'
Fabinho off, Firmino on ↔️60'
⚽️ Mane71'
74'↔️ El Ghazi off, Samatta on
74'↔️ Davis off, Jota on
Keïta off, Jones on ↔️84'
85'↔️ Trézéguet off, Vassilev on
⚽️ Jones89'
Robertson off, Williams on ↔️90'
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Liverpool return to Anfield for the first time since being crowned Premier League Champions.

And they face Aston Villa, the opponents in one of the pivotal games in Liverpool's campaign earlier in the season.  Back in November the reds trailed 1-0 for most of the game at Villa Park before two goals in the final 8 minutes of the game turned the game around and gave the reds another big win in the march to the title.

Villa were also responsible for a heavy league cup defeat of the reds - whilst Liverpool's senior team were overseas in the World Club Cup.

After last week's title celebrations, the reds headed to Man City - already the toughest away game of the season - but after a decent start the reds failed to produce in front of goal and a few defensive errors allowed last years Champions to run out heavy winners.

Aston Villa - desperate to cling on to a place in the Premier League, whilst Liverpool's campaign is effectively over - with mere pride and determination still to play for.  It should make for a decent challenge for Liverpool's players.

A win today for the reds would move them on to their third ever highest league points total - and there would still be five games left.

As it happened...

15:28 UK
Anfield awaits

15:32 UK
Confirmed LFC Team - Three changes

Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita and Origi all back into the starting XI.  Firmino, Henderson, Wijnaldum make way.  Shaqiri back on the bench.

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Origi.

Subs: Adrian, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Henderson, Minamino, Shaqiri, Jones, Elliott, Williams.

15:40 UK
Pepe Reina returns

Obviously he would have received a fine welcome back from the crowd - sadly not to be today.

Here's how Villa line up

Reina, Taylor, Ngoyo, Hause, Mings, Luiz, McGinn, Grealish, Trézéguet, El Ghazi, Davis

Subs: Nyland, Guilbert, El Mohamady, Lansbury, Nakamba, Hourihane, Jota, Samatta, Vassilev

16:22 UK
Villa boss pre-match

Dean Smith, Aston Villa boss, is pitchside:

'The game plan is score one and concede one', he laughs.

'Listen we know this is going to be difficult.  We're facing the newly crowned Premier League Champions - the World Champions, the European Champions.

'They started well against Man City but they didn't take their chances against a very good team and got punished.

16:27 UK
Aston Villa give guard of honour

The Villa players line up to give the reds a guard of honour at Anfield.

16:30 UK

16:30 UK
KICK OFF

Liverpool kick off.

16:35 UK

5' Early penalty shout for the reds after Salah tumbles in the box but nothing given.

Liverpool do not receive many penalties.

16:54 UK

23' Aston Villa doing very well so far.  Liverpool still struggling with that extra motivation.

And now we have a drinks break.

Robertson on a yellow card.

17:02 UK

30' Story of the first half hour is essentially plenty of LFC possession, Aston Villa going for their traditional counter-attacks, but no real opportunities yet for the reds.

Divock Origi's got a lovely dyed blonde hair cut.

Not a lot more to add.  Real pre-season vibe about this game, certainly from Liverpool at least.

17:03 UK

33' Powerful hit from Douglas Luiz but it's straight at Alisson.

17:07 UK
Villa yellow

36' Yellow card for John McGinn.  He scythed down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain there.

Alexander-Arnold free kick from the wing is collected by Pepe Reina.

17:12 UK

41' Jack Grealish is down again and is now heading off the pitch.  He seems to have been struggling a few times in this half.

17:20 UK
HALF TIME

HT: Liverpool 0-0 Aston Villa

Not a classic at Anfield.  Winning the league with 7 games to go clearly not great for your mojo.

17:25 UK

17:35 UK
Second half

We're back underway.

Despite the fact that Anfield is empty, and Liverpool have won the league, Liverpool do have a 23 game win record here at Anfield to continue in the league.

17:37 UK

46' Oxlade-Chamberlain lays the ball to Trent who whips in a cross - it just beats both Salah and Mane.  Positive opening.

17:41 UK

50' Jack Grealish gets a shot away that Alisson saves, but it was flagged offside anyway.

And now a chance from El Ghazi that Alisson beats away for a corner. 

Villa in the ascendancy.

17:51 UK
Triple sub

60' Henderson, Firmino and Wijnaldum are all on.  Fabinho, Origi and Oxlade-Chamberlain make way.

18:01 UK
GOAL

FINALLY!

71' Keita threads the ball through to the onrushing Sadio Mane who fires that past Pepe Reina.

We have a goal and it's Liverpool who lead 1-0.

18:06 UK
Chance

76' Nice interplay here from Liverpool.

That one falls to Firmino who tries a shot at the edge of the box - Reina just gets a hand on it.

18:13 UK

83' Liverpool famously turned around the game at Villa Park earlier this season.

Villa themselves will be going gung ho now.  They could really do with a point and it will be worth risking losing more goals to do so.

Could be a frenetic end.  Liverpool leading and aiming for a 24th consecutive home league win.

18:14 UK
LFC Sub

84' Curtis Jones, who signed a 5 year deal with Liverpool a couple of days ago, replaces Naby Keita.

18:20 UK
GOAL

YESSS!!

89' He's going to deserve his Premier League medal.  Robertson with the cross, Salah with the head down and Curtis Jones fires that into the net.

It's 2-0 and Liverpool are moving on to 89 points.

18:21 UK

90' Alisson turns a Jack Grealish effort past the post.

18:23 UK
LFC Sub

90+3' Neco Williams on for the last few minutes to replace Andy Robertson.

18:28 UK
FULL TIME

Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa

Sluggish performance but Liverpool improved in the final 30 minutes. 

Sadio Mane latching on to an incisive Naby Keita pass, and Curtis Jones scores his debut LFC goal just hours after signing a 5 year contract.

The reds move on to 89 points with 5 games remaining.  A 24th consecutive home league win.  50 something home league games without defeat.  All very mad stats.

18:53 UK
Sadio Mane: 'We were patient, and waited for the gaps.'

Sadio scored Liverpool's opening goal of the game and here's what he had to say to the broadcasters at the final whistle.

"We pushed as a team until the end and created some chances. It wasn't an easy game but at least we deserved these three points.

"I think sometimes you can't expect always to score five or four against a good opponent. They were really organised and we were playing patiently until the gaps opened and we scored the two goals.

"For us right now it is most important to win games, then you can think about records.

"We have important games and we will try to play game by game. It won't be easy but that is the Premier League - it is always difficult."

19:03 UK
Updated League Table

Monumental lead.  Southampton have just kicked off against Man City.

Updated Premier League Table

19:37 UK
Klopp: 'No chance of setting records if you only think about that'

Here's the thoughts of the Liverpool boss:

"A very difficult game for different reasons. Villa are obviously organised and made it tricky for us. The wind made it tricky for both but it was really hard to play normal football.

"We had to stay on track and do the right things and in the second half we had more of the good moments. You could see we needed time to get used to it. Two situations could have been penalties, we were unlucky but I'm fine - we are where we are because we win difficult games."

Jurgen was also asked about how hard the reds would go at the records available across the rest of the season.

"The only thing I can say is there's no chance to win records if you constantly think about records.

"We don't want a record we want the three points. We don't think about these things, three points is difficult enough. Today Aston Villa was fighting with all they had and it makes life uncomfortable. I like it, it was not a brilliant performance but it was a good performance that gets us three points."



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