Liverpool returned to winning ways to continue their 100% record at Anfield with a hard-fought 2-0 win against Aston Villa.
It took until the 71st minute for the Reds to break to deadlock. Prior to the goal, Liverpool had struggled and were particularly poor in the first half of the game.
This win now takes Liverpool to 89 points, with a potential to finish on 104 points should they win their remaining games.
Story of the match
It was a lacklustre first 45 minutes for Liverpool, as Jurgen Klopp’s side struggled to make any inroads into Villa’s goal.
Coming into the game, Klopp made three changes to his side that lost against Manchester City. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Divock Origi all came into the game.
However the overall tempo of the team meant that these changes failed to have their desired impact.
Aston Villa set up defensively, looking to beat Liverpool on the counter-attack. This was something that they executed very well and made it very difficult for the Reds to play with pace and create chances.
Though Liverpool were good defensively, their distribution to the attacking players were poor, meaning that attacks were often stopped before they even began.
Moving into the second, there was more pace and energy from both team. Both teams began to create some good chances, with Villa having the better of the chances.
Once Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino, Liverpool continued their intensity and were starting to cause Villa problems.
Sadio Mane broke the deadlock in the 71st minute. An incisive pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold to Keita allowed him to pick out Mane in the box with a hard-hit cross. Mane used the pace of the cross to direct his shot in off the crossbar.
After Liverpool got their first, they continued to show their quality and doubled their lead in the 89th minute. Curtis Jones scored his first Premier League goal for Liverpool with a well-timed volley, which had a slight deflection on it. Jones was involved in some nice build-up play prior to the goal and impressed in his short cameo on the pitch.
Takeaways from the match
- The need for another striker
Origi started up front for Liverpool today but unfortunately failed to impress. He constantly slowed play down and couldn’t find that piece of creative movement or play to give Liverpool the lead.
During the game, he was switching positions often with Mane and also with Mohamed Salah. Despite this, Origi then looked out of position on the wings and continued to fail to make the difference.
Although he wasn’t awful today, his lack of impact has been a recurring theme for him this season.
With Rhian Brewster impressing at Swansea, Origi’s position in the team could be in danger.
Reds back to winning ways
Although it wasn’t a complete performance, it was nice to see Liverpool return to winning ways.
They will now play Brighton next on Wednesday and will need another strong performance to get another win.
Brighton will enter the game in good form and a desire to beat the Champions of England.