ASTON VILLA 0 – 2 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool have done it again! Three more points and this time, we claimed them against a team who have previously managed to cause us some upsets in the past, this was never going to be an “easy win”. We battled from the first whistle to the last and came out victorious.
The starting 11 was to be without two key players… Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard. Sturridge had been rumoured to have recovered (which may be true, in the way that he is no longer injured – but that doesn’t mean he’s 100% ready to return to the first team just yet). The cup game we have against Chelsea is likely to be his “comeback game”, so resting him for this fixture probably was smart, he wouldn’t want to get injured 1 game before playing against his former club. Steven Gerrard has also recently had an injury, his hamstring was pulled in a recent game and he was forced to sit this one out, not even getting his name on the substitute list. Also not in the squad was Mario Balotelli, who seems to also have been affected by a minor injury at the moment.
Danny Ward is still filling in as “substitute goalkeeper” while Brad Jones is injured and Rodgers continues to make use of up and coming Academy stars such as Jordon Ibe and Jordan Williams. Williams would not make an appearance on the pitch in this game, but Ibe (who has just been recalled from his loan at Derby County) spent about ten minutes playing after Raheem Sterling was brought off by the manager near the end of the game.
The first half did not have any major upsets for Liverpool, the referee wasn’t showing any signs of being too strict or unfair in his decision, the match officials were doing very good jobs.
We didn’t really “dominate” the half (there was attacking football from both sides) but we did our best to make sure Aston Villa did not score first. Liverpool would manage to claim the lead within the first half hour when around the 24th minute, Jordan Henderson would whip a cross into the box and Fabio Borini would stretch out his right foot to strike a shot from very close range into the bottom left corner of the net. We would hold our lead until the half time break, with the score Villa 0 -1 Liverpool as both teams went into the changing rooms.
Borini did his “hand bite” celebration after he scored and I think the fans all bit themselves too, to check if we were dreaming. If it hurts when you bite your hand, you’re NOT dreaming!
Thankfully, this was not a dream and we all were very happy to have seen Borini score his first Premier League goal of the season.
The manager must have been fairly happy with the first half performances from everybody as no changes were made to the line up at half time, the second half would start and Brendan Rodgers would keep faith in the same team that had taken the lead already.
Quite early on in the second half, Jores Okore (Aston Villa) was shown the yellow card for a bad foul on Raheem Sterling and the game would be slightly delayed as Sterling received medical treatment. He would not be brought off the pitch just yet however and he got up to continue playing for most of the second half.
Villa had their chance again, it was not a one sided game at all. There was dangerous play from both sides and either could have scored but Simon Mignolet was on particularly good form as he continued to keep a clean sheet once again. I think Emre Can also deserves some credit for contributing to the solid defence that did not concede any goals, Emre’s been thrown by Rodgers quite recently into a role which he is fairly new to, he is a natural midfielder playing in a defender’s position – and doing a fine job of it! He deserved to be a part of the wild celebrations at the away end of Villa Park, the travelling Reds fans all showed their appreciation to the players for the goals and good performance.
The game was not over yet and Liverpool looked to be trying not just to hang on to a one goal lead, but to increase it. Around the 70th minute, Brendan Rodgers decided to take our only goalscorer of the game off the pitch and replace him with another striker, Borini left the pitch and Rickie Lambert would replace him. This would prove to be a critical change in the line up as it would only be less than ten minutes before Lambert had scored Liverpool’s second goal of the game, the winning goal of the game.
Well done Ricky! Trust me when I say that I KNOW that this is a “DREAM COME TRUE” for a local lad. Lambert is from Kirby, Liverpool and he will have dreamed of playing for and scoring for Liverpool before he even joined our squad. Now it’s REAL and I am happy to be celebrating a Scouser scoring for Liverpool once again. It really doesn’t happen very often nowadays, with so many foreign players being a part of the Liverpool squad.
Lambert’s goal was assisted by Raheem Sterling, just less than ten minutes before Sterling was replaced by Ibe, but Raheem had played his part in the goal already by then and the game was nearing the end. I still felt nervous as he left the pitch though, with fears that Aston Villa may yet score at least one goal and by the time the referee would blow his final whistle I felt relief that it was all over and happiness at our achievement, victory with no goals conceded against this team which had scored against and even beaten us before in Premier League fixtures.
Now, we have another important battle to face soon. Liverpool will come up against Chelsea in the first game of what will be a two-leg cup tie which if we can win, will see us reach the League Cup Final for a chance to lift the trophy for the 9th time in our history since 1892.
Until then, just keep walking on with hope in your hearts. You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet