ASTON VILLA 0-6 LIVERPOOL

YES, you read that scoreline correctly. Liverpool managed to get a 6 goal away win at Villa Park as the Premier League fixtures continued.

Not being able to get victory over Leicester, Sunderland or West Ham (in the FA Cup) recently may have impacted on their performances being raised to the next level and now, they’re making up for it in abundance as six different players became goalscorers in our latest game.

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The manager would make a significant change to the Liverpool starting lineup as a fan favourite made his way back, with quite an impact. Daniel Sturridge was fit enough to start a game for the first time since 2014. Welcome back! We’d have Kolo Toure in the starting lineup also as defender Martin Skrtel still is fighting his way back into the squad after being injured earlier this year.  Coutinho started after recently only making a return from injury and we got to see Divock Origi, as a substitute. Klopp would say “”It makes a difference having both Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge are on the pitch, You can only play them when they are fit and available.” He’s right, it does make a difference.

The first half would see two goals from Liverpool and the first was very special. It took Liverpool just over quarter of an hour before we took a lead as in the 16th minute, Daniel Sturridge would receive a perfect cross from Coutinho and strike a header past the Aston Villa goalkeeper and into the net.

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Daniel would do THAT dance for the Liverpool fans and it was so wonderful to see him back and scoring for us again.

We saw the Sturridge dance after Daniel scored!

We saw the Sturridge dance after Daniel scored!

I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for him to sit on the sidelines as he recovered to full fitness, slowly. It was hard for the fans not to have him in the squad. We’re all glad he’s here and part of a winning Liverpool side once again. The fans lost their minds, with love for the returned from injury player as he scored for us. Even at Villa Park with just several thousand Liverpool fans in the away stands, he still will have felt like the Reds around the world are glad to have him back. Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool

Less than ten minutes later, there would be another goal. Of course, not for Aston Villa. They wouldn’t score even once in this game at their own stadium.

Liverpool would win a free kick on the left hand side of the edge of the penalty area. James Milner has taken over a lot of set piece duties, taking corners and free kicks for us. Steven Gerrard used to take care of all this at during his time as captain, of course. Sometimes I’ll notice Gerrard isn’t taking a free kick or corner and for a split second wonder why and then… remember that Stevie’s gone. I’m not forgetful, but it just happened so much that it sticks in your mind. For years, Liverpool fans would think or say (about set pieces) “Stevie will be taking this”. But no more. We miss you, Stevie.

Steven Gerrard used to take all our set pieces including free kicks and corners

Steven Gerrard used to take all our set pieces including free kicks and corners

Still, Milner did a great job of taking this set piece as the free kick was curled inwards from the left side into the far right corner of the net. Gerrard would have been proud and it gave Liverpool a two goal lead, which we’d keep until half time. Aston Villa 0-2 Liverpool

Liverpool had a two goal lead from Sturridge and Milner by half time

Liverpool had a two goal lead from Sturridge and Milner by half time

Liverpool came back out and played just as they had in the first half, there wasn’t any letting up and they didn’t look like they were going to just sit back and defend, until full time. They wanted more than just to defend and not concede, they looked ready to prove just how many they could score and went out to get more goals. It wasn’t too long in the second half before we’d see the next goal.

Around the 56th minute, Aston Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor would be injured by a hard tackle from a Liverpool player and be replaced by Scott Sinclair after spending a couple of minutes down on the pitch. Just after his substitution and the Villa free kick they had been given, the ball was won by Liverpool. Roberto Firmino had run past a defender and into the box, but he had more players in front of him so passing it away made more sense than a shot which would likely be blocked. Emre Can would get the ball from Firmino and head quickly towards the edge of the Villa penalty area, look up at goal (you could see him deciding upon where he’d be putting his shot), then he struck it with his right foot, powerfully and accurately placing it into the far left side of the goal. The defenders had been busy marking Firmino just a moment earlier so they weren’t in Can’s way and their goalkeeper never stood a chance of reaching it before it went into the net. It was going in from the moment you noticed him looking up and choosing his spot. Liverpool weren’t done scoring yet. Aston Villa 0-3 Liverpool

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Liverpool continued relentlessly attacking and it was obvious that we were not going to just sit back and wait for the referee to blow his whistle for full time, as we’d win 3-0. The game still had at least 30 minutes left to play and we were going to use that half hour to get more goals.

Liverpool were still looking strong and Sturridge had been running about and working hard for the entire game. He’d played for at least an hour in our FA Cup replay that went into extra time recently and had now played to the hour mark (although with a half time 15 minute break) in this game. However Klopp had perhaps decided that he was going to not exert him beyond this hour of play and brought on Divock Origi to replace him. But you all know how Klopp’s substitutions have big impacts on the game. When he makes a change, the game gets better more often than not. This change would quickly bring us a goal. VERY quickly.

Coutinho had been running down the left wing with the ball just after the substitution was made. Divock Origi made a run into a dangerous position and Coutinho hauled the ball from almost directly on the half way line over a couple of Villa defenders and just in front of Origi. It was timed and placed perfectly, with Origi only needing to run forwards with the ball, make a couple of touches to just keep it moving with him as he went to the edge of the penalty area and placed the ball past the goalkeeper into the left hand side of the net for his goal.

Origi scored 37 seconds after being brought on by Klopp

Origi scored 37 seconds after being brought on by Klopp

It had been placed in almost the same spot that Can had placed his shot into when he scored. This goal happened THIRTY SEVEN SECONDS after bringing on Divock Origi. We were all still saying our goodbyes to Daniel Sturridge, thanking him for his contribution to the game and thinking that it would have been nice to see him play a bit longer and maybe score another goal but DO NOT question the manager when he decides to make a substitution because his changes usually impact the game for the better, proven by this goal at least (and more occasions from other fixtures). Aston Villa 0-4 Liverpool

Liverpool didn’t stop here. We generally dominated the game and on the occasion that Villa made their way to the Liverpool penalty area, our defence and goalkeeper did very well to stop all attacks. Simon Mignolet wasn’t extremely busy but on the few times we needed him, he made vital saves that saw him keep a clean sheet by the end of the game. Well done, Simon. Credit to you for that.

Mignolet has kept yet another clean sheet for Liverpool

Mignolet has kept yet another clean sheet for Liverpool.

Liverpool could be confident in defence and attack. We didn’t look like conceding and we did look like scoring. We would score twice more by the end of the game, in fact.

By the 65th minute, Liverpool had seen Roberto Firmino making dangerous runs with the ball again. Unselfishly (as he very much is in all his play), Firmino would supply Nathaniel Clyne with a ball as Clyne ran into the box around the penalty spot area. There was multiple defenders around Clyne, but the well placed ball from Firmino met Clyne’s feet. He would run forwards a little, take a first shot and this was saved and the goalkeeper had dived down to his left hand side but the ball had rebounded away from him. The goal was “empty” with the Villa keeper already having committed himself to diving and saving the first shot and he was still down on the pitch. If Liverpool could collect the ball quickly and shoot from such close range, there’d surely be another goal. That’s what we tried to do and would succeed at.
However there was a moment where defenders scrambled for the ball and at least two of Liverpool players were fighting to win it (I think Firmino was in there with Clyne still helping him and Origi too), a second attempt on goal (by Origi) was blocked by the goalkeeper who hadn’t even been able to stand up yet (he was still down on the pitch after having dived down there) and then eventually the rebounded ball from Origi’s shot came to Clyne’s feet and he’d put it into the net from within the 6 yard box to the delight of the Liverpool fans. Aston Villa 0-5 Liverpool

defender Nathaniel Clyne scored from close range.

defender Nathaniel Clyne scored Liverpool’s 5th goal against Aston Villa from close range.

Liverpool were now winning by a 5 goal lead and it was only the 66th minute. There was plenty more time and we’d shown ourselves to be extremely dangerous in any of our offensive plays when going forward with the ball. We could get another goal, there was plenty of time to do it in still.

Many Aston Villa fans were shown on live TV, leaving their stadium. It looked empty apart from the Reds fans who were still there at Villa Park and loving the game. Alright, you know by now that you’re not going to get a victory or even a draw from Liverpool. But I’ve stayed and watched many of Liverpool’s draws and defeats at Anfield, right to the end of the game. I once watched Stevie G score a goal at the Kop end (I was sitting in the Kop) in a 1-3 defeat. I didn’t leave that game early, either. I don’t leave any games early. My support is there with Liverpool, no matter what.

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As Bill Shankly said, “if you can’t support us when we lose or draw, don’t support us when we win”. It’s wisdom from a Liverpool legend of our glorious history which I have long believed in and I have given my full support to Liverpool during our drawn and lost games because of these words. I’d hope Villa fans could do the same, but they’re unlikely to be as moved by Shankly’s words as Liverpool fans are.

The game continued. Shortly after the Clyne goal, Klopp would make another change to our lineup. Coutinho would be brought off (don’t worry he wasn’t injured, it was just a tactical change) and Academy youngster Kevin Stewart would replace him. Coutinho had worked hard for us, with assists including the Sturridge goal which many fans appreciated. Thanks to the Brazilian for his efforts. We hope to see much more brilliant football from you this season.

Just after the 70th minute, Aly Cissokho had conceded a corner. The corner was taken long by Jordan Henderson and Kolo Toure was waiting on the penalty spot to head an accurate shot past the goalkeeper and into the net for Liverpool’s 6th and final goal. I am amazed by this guy and love to watch him. He’d worked hard in defence and worked hard in our offensive plays too. His header was wonderful and fans watching were all singing his name, as I was too. We hadn’t conceded any goals (partly) thanks to Toure and now he was providing goals for us too. He’s contribute at both ends of the pitch and I want to officially thank him for it. Thanks, Kolo. We love you.

toure-goal

Ivory Coast's Kolo Toure has been a part of Premier League and Europa League victories with Liverpool and it's always good to watch him play

Ivory Coast’s Kolo Toure has been a part of Premier League and Europa League victories with Liverpool and it’s always good to watch him play. He’s earned our love and praise with hard work.

Liverpool were definitely going to win this game and it was only the 72nd minute of the game. In the 74th minute, Christian Benteke would replace Roberto Firmino and I want to praise Firmino for all his efforts. He’d been a part of assisting goals (more than 1) and if he wasn’t so UNselfish, he might have even scored one himself. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want him to be selfish (that doesn’t go down well with fans, Raheem Sterling used to be very selfish and I disliked him for it). I’d like him to have a goal for himself if he can, though. Often he passes the ball off to a teammate even when he can shoot himself and that’s just his style of play. We appreciate his efforts to the Liverpool team and even when it’s not his name on the score sheet, he was still involved in the build up to the goals we’d scored. It happens a lot, not just in this fixture but in all games I’ve seen him play in. He’s a team player and officially, the Man Of The Match. Thanks and well done, Firmino.

Man of the Match was Roberto Firmino... again!

Man of the Match was Roberto Firmino… again!

It’s hard to describe what happened for the rest of the game and how we didn’t score any more when we’d clearly done so well inside of the time we’d already had. We didn’t turn very defensive, but it seemed like we may have eased up a little and just accepted that we’d already done enough to earn ourselves an emphatic victory. Maybe it was also because we’d brought off both Coutinho and Firmino, who had been vital parts of our offensive plays.

Benteke was increasingly frustrating to watch as he was presented with opportunities did not score chance after chance in this game

Benteke was increasingly frustrating to watch as he was presented with opportunities which he did not score

Christian Benteke used to play for Aston Villa and I’d hoped he score against his former club, releasing any frustrations he may have had with them with his goal. However, he did not score in the time he spent on the pitch (about 20 minutes), which is getting a little frustrating now as it’s not the first time I’ve said this. I want this player to show us why he’s worth £32M. I want him to score at every opportunity he’s given, to prove himself to be a dangerous striker that is feared by defences around Europe. He’s got potential and I want him to fulfill that potential, turning into a player that could one day possibly be called a “Liverpool Legend”. But you’ve got to EARN that title, it’s not given away freely. He’s not one of our club’s Legends just yet.

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Jurgen Klopp commented after the game that “today is a day for the soul”. There was so many positives he named as being a part of the game, not just the goals either. He was happy that hard work had paid off and that we have made some important steps and improvements in the squad. He was very happy and I hope you all were just as happy too, Reds.

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So, Liverpool will continue with our fixtures and are soon to play our next Europa League game as we continue in the competition that is in the “knock out stages” now. We must win the

 

Europa League games we play now as losing will stop our progress and we want to reach the Europa League Final just as much as we’d hoped to reach the League Cup Final. It’ll take some hard work, but I believe we can do this, under our new manager. Hope and believe it in your hearts and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

[written by] Stuart Drewery.

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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.

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