Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Reds Fall to Early Strike

After an International break that resulted in injuries to Daniel Sturridge and Emre Can, Liverpool gave debuts to Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic while Mario Balotelli made his Anfield debut as the Reds hosted Aston Villa.

Liverpool started brightly with Lazar Markovic shooting over the bar in the third minute and the Serbian forward had another good chance four minutes later as he connected to a cross from Javier Manquillo but could only aim a header wide of the target.

Aston Villa looked tho cause a threat from a corner in the ninth minute ans the Liverpool defence failed to clear the ball which allowed Phillipe Senderos to head down into the path of Gabriel Agbonlahor who hit past Simon Mignolet to open the scoring.

Villa could have gone two up in the 13th minute as Phillipe Senderos found himself unmarked in the Liverpool box but headed an effort over while Steven Gerrard denied a powerful shot from Andreas Weimann with a strong headed clearance.

Liverpool looked to level in the 32nd minute when Adam Lallana hit for goal but saw his chance blocked by strong defence by Phillipe Senderos with the former Southampton midfielder having another good chance just before half-time as he arrowed a shot at goal which went narrowly past the post.

One last chance came for Liverpool before the interval as Alberto Moreno and Adam Lallana combined but the Villa defence held firm to keep them out and break the move down but the hosts could have levelled just three minutes into the second when Adam Lallana swept in a dangerous corner which found Mario Balotelli but the Italian striker headed over the bar.

Steven Gerrard drew a good save from Brad Guzan with a powerful free-kick in the 63rd minute while Raheem Sterling looked to beat Guzan after latching onto a through pass in the 77th minute but the American goalkeeper collected the ball safely.

Liverpool should have claimed a point late on as Phillipe Coutinho arrowed a superb effort at goal only to see the ball canon back off the post and it seemed that it just wasn't to be Liverpool's day as Aston Villa held on for the win.