Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Reds Extend Villa's Woes

After a narrow win away to Sunderland last weekend, Liverpool were on their travels again as they journeyed south to face Aston Villa who have failed to score in eight hours of play which gave the Reds confidence of continuing their good form.

Both sides made a bright start with Alberto Moreno looking for an early threat after a set up from Philippe Coutinho before drifting a shot wide via a defection while a dangerous cross from Alan Hutton at the other end drew a vital block from Martin Skrtel.

Christian Benteke looked to bring an end to Villa's barren run in front of goal in the 17th minute but could only power a header straight at Mignolet, Liverpool had the ball in the net just seconds later through Alberto Moreno but his effort was chalked off due to offside in the build-up.

After the disallowed effort sent a warning to the Villa defence, they failed to learn from it as they shipped the opening goal just seven minutes later. A quick throw in allowed Jordan Henderson to find space on the edge of the box before sweeping in a dangerous cross which Fabio Borini connected to superbly to fire past Brad Guzan for 1-0.

Aston Villa came close to levelling just before the interval as a clever attacking move resulted in a shot from Tom Cleverley but to his dismay, the ball travelled over the cross bar ensuring Liverpool would remain in front into half-time.

Liverpool looked to double their advantage early in the second half and came achingly close when an in-swinging corner found the head of Martin Skrtel and gave Fabio Borini a shooting chance which led to a superb stop from Brad Guzan which cannoned back off the post.

The home side came just as close to levelling just after the hour mark with a close range chance from Christian Benteke drawing a superb stop from Simon Mignolet with the Reds 'keeper forced to deny a rebounded effort from Andreas Weimann. Christian Benteke continued his pursuit to end his sides scoring drought when he advanced on goal in the 68th minute but a vital challenge from Martin Skrtel quelled the danger.

Liverpool looked to wrap up the points with just over ten minutes to go as Lucas swept a curling shot towards goal which saw Brad Guzan tip the ball past the post. The Reds attacking threat paid off a minute later as a pass from Raheem Sterling found Rickie Lambert who slotted past Guzan for 2-0 to surely end any hopes of a point for the home side. The only further effort from Villa came seven minutes from the end as Fabian Delph swept an effort over the bar as Liverpool extended their unbeaten run which in turn sees Villa still without a league goal in 2015.