Liverpool earned their second 1-0 victory in the space of a week as they held firm against a resilient Aston Villa team.
Aston Villa went into this match in good form as they beat Arsenal in a stunning 3-1 display last Saturday and they battled Chelsea to a narrow 2-1 defeat where they deserved a point. Liverpool’s task was to stop a firing Benteke who had scored 3 goals in 2 games against top opposition.
Liverpool named an unchanged line-up from the team that beat Stoke City 1-0 comfortably, with new signing Aly Cissokho starting on the bench.
Liverpool were aiming to make their best start to a season since the 2008-09 season by getting 2 wins from 2.
Liverpool certainly made a positive start to the match as they dominated possession and dictating all the play, but chances were coming hard to come by for Liverpool. Countinho’s 15th minute curler was the closest Liverpool came in the opening 15 minutes of the game.
However just after the 20 minute mark the deadlock was finally broken, and deservedly, broken by Liverpool.
It was a well worked team goal as Enrique looked for Coutinho, who got a shout from Sturridge to dummy it, which he obliged and the ball ran into Sturridge’s path who showed nimble footwork to dance beyond several challenges and slam the ball into the roof of the net.
Sturridge breaks the deadlock
The visitors kept control of the game for the rest of the half, but with four minutes until half-time Simon Mignolet was called into action with a full stretch save from Christian Benteke’s curler.
Moments after Villa continued their first good spell in the match as Andres Weimann had a powerful shot deflected just over the bar for a corner.
Liverpool introduced new signing Aly Cissokho to the match for Iago Aspas, as they looked to close off the match.
Cissokho makes Liverpool debut
Villa continued to pressurise the Liverpool defence as Kolo Toure’s headed clearance found its way invitingly for Gabriel Agbonlahor who volleyed the ball agonisingly wide.
Toure challenges Benteke
Then, on 86 minutes, a bouncing ball was latched onto by Christian Benteke in the box who lashed a powerful strike towards goal, with Liverpool’s Belgium stopper turning the ball round the post brilliantly.
Liverpool had a late penalty appeal turned down as Sturridge rounded the keeper, with Brad Guzan making contact with Sturridge with the ref turning down a certain penalty.
Liverpool held on for a well worked three points as Liverpool make it two wins from two in the league so far.
Gerrard celebrates Liverpool’s second successive win