Saturday, 18 January 2014

Gerrard Rescues Reds In Villa Draw

After the eight goal thriller against Stoke last week, Liverpool looked to continue their fine home form but had to settle for a points after a  fightback against Aston Villa.

Sturridge made his first start since returning from injury in place of Lucas but it was the visitors that made the best start as after only 45 seconds, Agbonlahor latched on to a header and faced Mignolet one-on-one but hit past the wrong side of the post. 

Villa looked to be the better side as they attacked menacingly again as Weimann picked out Westwood with a cross but the resulting shot drew a comfortable save from Mignolet. Sturridge responded for the hosts as he hit a curler that narrowly went over but Villa went even closer as Westwood swung in a corner and Clark connected to head against the post.

Liverpool's setup meant the counter attack was theit main tactics and but it served a cost as Agbonalhor raced down the left and past Toure to sweep a cross to the far post and saw Weimann convert after ghosting in front of Gerrard.

Sterling tested Guzan after being found by Suarez but it was Villa scored next and Agbonlahor was again the creator as he hit a threatening cross which was achingly missed by Mignolet and headed into the open net by Benteke as thoughts cast to Villa's 3-1 win at Anfield last year in which the scorers were replicated.

 As the half-time interval neared Liverpool got themselves back in the game as the Sturridge made it two in two after being expertly setup by Henderson from the edge of the area and the striker hit past Guzan to a raucous cheer from the home fans.

Rodgers made a change and Lucas came on in place of Coutinho as the formation reshuffled and eight minutes later, Liverpool were level as Guzan conceded a penalty after looking to have fouled Suarez and Gerrard coverted from the spot to rescue Liverpool yet again with his 22nd successful  Premier League penalty.

Villa had to push to regain the lead and came very close as Delph hit a powerful effort which narrowly missed the target and Guzan was soon forced to deny Liverpool twice in a couple of minutes as Johnson picked out Suarez who tested the American and then he denied Henderson after the SAS combined.

Suarez looked to put Liverpool in front with one of his trademark set-pieces but sadly he hit it wide and as both teams pushed for a winner it was to no avail as they had to settle for a point apiece.