Liverpool's miserable run of form continued yesterday in Anfield as a depleted Aston Villa side left the ground with a valuable point which lifts them further from the relegation zone. King Kenny is losing support game by game, with even the most patient of Liverpool supporters growing restless with their side's terrible run of form.
They couldn't have got off to a worse start either, with the unmarked Chris Herd powering into the Liverpool area to get on the end of Bannan's layback and smash it past replacement goalkeeper Doni. The Brazilian was not at fault for failing to stop the shot, but left a lot to be desired as he flapped aimlessly under Stephen Warnock's cross.
Indeed it was a tale of two 'keepers as opposite number Shay Given pulled off a string of acrobatic saves as the home side turned up the pressure. Liverpool were denied a penalty claim when Suarez appeared to be fouled by Hutton, but the referee dismissed the claims. Dalglish commented after the match that "Somebody would need to be assassinated for us to get a penalty kick."
Villa survived the first half, prompting Dalglish to revert to a 4-4-2 formation, with Gerard wide right. This almost led to the equaliser too, as the England international's cross was met by Luis Suarez, whose header bounced off the post, only to be batted away by Given in a superb reflex save.
Liverpool were doing all the attacking at this stage, but to no avail. Dalglish elected to bring on the cavalry with the introduction of Carroll and Bellamy, but neither succeeded in truly testing the Ireland goalkeeper.
However, on the 82nd minute, their breakthrough finally came as another cross from Gerard was headed onto the bar by Daniel Agger. Given, who was fully committed to saving the initial attempt, was left in 'no-mans-land' to leave an open goal for Suarez to header into on the rebound.
That was the sum of the action as the remainder of the match was played out without any huge scandal. After the match, McLeish praised the Villa “lionhearts” for a point which could well be the insurance point to fend off the parties below them in the battle for relegation. Liverpool, on the other hand, are sinking rapidly and if things don't improve, could well be looking at finishing outside of the top ten in the league for the first time since 1955.