Villa started the game on the front foot with a couple dangerous crosses sent into the box, but none of them were able to find their target, Gabriel Agbonlahor. They were causing plenty of trouble for the Liverpool midfield, but their quality and confidence went out the window after Daniel Sturridge’s opener.
After leaving the ball for Coutinho, it was Alberto Moreno’s off the ball run that opened up the space for the Brazilian to cross in to Daniel Sturridge, who finished smartly with his head. This was Sturridge’s first league goal since scoring against Aston Villa at Anfield back in September, and on his first start since returning from injury.
The hosts were on the backfoot from then on as Liverpool’s counter-attacking play caused plenty of problems for the Villa midfield, letting them see little of the ball.
With frustration building, Jores Okore conceded a free kick on the outside of the box that Liverpool capitalised on. James Milner’s ball in somehow evaded every head in the box as Villa goalkeeper Mark Bunn failed to track the ball, letting it find the net untouched. A fortunate goal, but the visitors couldn't care less how they scored.
Four goals sink Villa in the second half
The second half did not look any brighter for the home side as Liverpool’s quality on the ball denied Villa any footing in the match. Despite coming close from Leandro Bacuna’s curling effort, Liverpool’s solid defence denied the hosts any further chances as four second half goals took the game far out of the reaches of the relegation favourites. Villa weren't helped any by Agbonlahor's exit from the match due to injury either.
The third came soon after half-time. After winning the ball off of Bacuna, Emre Can powered forward to receive the ball at the top of the box and slam it home with a low effort that curled into the side netting for Liverpool’s third. One again, it was the heavy pressing style of Liverpool causing all the problems leading to the goal.
Divock Origi would be the next to join the score sheet, only a mere 37 seconds after replacing Daniel Sturridge from the bench. Coutinho’s pass was just right as Origi split the defenders, going clear on goal. Mark Bunn certainly should have done better after getting a hand to the shot, but he didn’t as the ball nestled into the back of the net.
With four goals to their name, Liverpool did not let off steam. The Reds ruthlessness was in full display as they continued to attack the Villa goal. It was Nathaniel Clyne that would strike next after making a smart run on the overlap. While his initial attempt was stopped by Bunn, the keeper failed to corral the ball in amongst the chaos that was the Villa defense. With the ball still loose, Clyne got back up to his feet to hit the ball home.
Liverpool capped off their evening with a rare Kolo Touré goal as the league veteran did well to nod home a later corner. It was a complete dismantling of the league bottom feeders that Liverpool could draw confidence from. Villa, on the other side, will be left wondering if there is any hope left to survive as they suffered their worst home loss since before the Second World War.