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By Caroline Cheese
2222: What a night. Sunderland turn on the style to see off Norwich, and Aston Villa put their slow start to the season behind them with a stunning win at Anfield. See you tomorrow for a whole load of Carling Cup fun and games.
From AlexT91 on Twitter:
"Is very, very happy now!!! Could not see that coming at all - very, very good performance - best since the Emirates!!!"
From EDAVFC on 606:
"Great result for us but really it was down to Liverpool being poor rather than us being good. We are always a threat when we get the first goal because we're so good at countering. I just hope this doesn't stop MON from buying in the next two weeks cos we are still a little light on the ground despite this result."
More from O'Neill: "Brad Friedel just threw back the years again. He was fantastic. To come back to Anfield and play like that, he'll be delighted."
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill: "I'm delighted with the performance. I couldn't be more pleased. I thought they put absolutely everything into it in terms of effort, skill and ability. To come here and win against one of three championship favourites was a terrific effort."
From Gary, Solihull, via text on 81111: "Re 2159: You can say that again, Cheesy! One VERY happy Villa fan here!"
2207: Liverpool are at Bolton on Saturday, while Aston Villa will look to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday before hosting Fulham on Sunday.
More from Friedel: "When you write off athletes in any sport, top performers will eventually come good. We've got a lot of talent in our dressing room and we're looking forward to the season."
Aston Villa keeper Brad Freidel: "We've been getting a few bullets in the press for our performances recently. [This win] was the right time for us. We knew we would be under the cosh. Second half, we were under siege, but the penalty came at the perfect time."
2159: I'd imagine those disgruntled Aston Villa fans from earlier are feeling a bit better now. That's their first away win in the league in seven, and somewhat makes up for last season's 5-0 spanking at Anfield.
2157: Liverpool lost twice in 38 Premier League games last season. They've lost two in three so far in 2009/10.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Terrific defensive display by Aston Villa tonight that left Liverpool simply running up blind alleys. The questions asked about Martin O'Neill's side after a poor start to the season have been answered in the most emphatic fashion. Liverpool ran out of ideas - Alberto Aquilani cannot get fit fast enough on this evidence."
2156: Aston Villa beat Liverpool for the first time in 17 meetings. Their last win was at Anfield in 2001. The score? 3-1.
2154: FULL-TIME Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa
2153: Passing, passing, passing from Liverpool, but they're going nowhere. Eventually, Andriy Voronin chips it straight of play.
From Chasney on 606:
"Everything we have done tonight has been poor. Slow, light in the tackle, passing a yard behind the player and devoid of any ideas. 3-1 a little flattering for Villa but deserve the win regardless."
2150: Some magic from Ryan Babel perhaps? Er, no. Shoots 10 yards wide. Four minutes of added time to come.
2149: Free header for Fernando Torres, but Brad Friedel tips it over. Should have scored. Typical of Liverpool's night.
2148: Martin Skrtel is booked for pulling back Gabby Agbonlahor.
2146: Four minutes left now, and not much sign of a miracle comeback from Liverpool. The home fans are heading for the exits.
2142: Eight minutes remaining, Ryan Babel crosses from the left and Dirk Kuyt gets a foot to it - but the ball dribbles wide of the post.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Liverpool's hopes of a trademark comeback probably snuffed out in an instant - and the look of guilt on Steven Gerrard's face as he hauled down Nigel Reo-Coker for Villa's penalty told its own story. The Kop was ready to roar Liverpool forward for a late assault but Anfield is subdued now."
2140: Ashley Young limps off, but that doesn't stop the boos from the home fans. Emile Heskey replaces him.
2137: FULL-TIME Norwich 1-4 Sunderland
2137: Ashley Young riles the Liverpool players and fans by going down under a challenge from Jamie Carragher. The Villa winger stays down, as the whistles and boos ring out. Fernando Torres is booked for his complaints.
2135: Steven Gerrard's rush of blood to the head cancels out all that good work. The Liverpool skipper loses the ball in midfield and in his desperation to atone for it, he dives in very, very rashly on Nigel Reo-Coker. Ashley Young sends Pepe Reina the wrong way from the spot.
2135: GOALFLASH Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa (Young pen)
2134: PENALTY TO ASTON VILLA
Emiliano Insua pings the ball across goal for Fernando Torres to finish first time into the top of the net.
2132: GOALFLASH Liverpool (Torres) 1-2 Aston Villa
2126: RED CARD Norwich Sorry. Scrap that last entry, go with this one instead: Fraizer Campbell stumbled into Ben Alnwick after being pushed by Michael Spillane, who was sent off. Canaries keeper Alnwick can't continue and striker Cody McDonald takes the gloves for Norwich. Campbell's off as well to be replaced by Steed Malbranque.
2126: Rafa Benitez makes his first change: Andriy Voronin on for Lucas.
2123: Aston Villa break again and Martin Skrtel has to slide in on Nigel Reo-Coker, the ball coming off Jamie Carragher for a corner. Nothing from it. Looks like Andriy Voronin will be on soon.
2118: Another corner for Liverpool, this time from the left and Dirk Kuyt's diving far-post header comes off the post. Should have done better. Aston Villa break - and Nigel Reo-Coker is inches away from connecting with Gabby Agbonlahor's brilliant cross from the left.
2117: There he goes again. Steven Gerrard with the corner, Dirk Kuyt's header tipped over the top by Brad Friedel. Pressure really building from Liverpool.
2116: Brad Friedel is an immovable force at the moment, the big keeper stretching over a crowd of players to punch away Steven Gerrard's inswinging free-kick. The noise at Anfield is phenomenal.
2114: Almighty din from the Liverpool fans. If that doesn't inspire their team, nothing will. Steven Gerrard has a free-kick on the right - but Carlos Cuellar wins a vital header.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Aston Villa fans demand a wave from boss Martin O'Neill - but he pointedly refuses. Maybe he is locked in concentration, or he is remembering the jeers his team received during and after the opening day defeat at home to Wigan."
2111: Someone's just texted to tell me to "stick to the knitting". Didn't leave a name unfortunately. Meanwhile, back at the football, Steven Gerrard's wicked cross from the left flicks off a defender but Brad Friedel is on the end of it, much to the relief of the Villa fans.
Oh dear. Andy Reid's corner flicks off Gary Doherty's head, on to Owain Tudur-Jones's knee and loops into the net for a comedy own goal.
2107: The Kop end may not like Brad Friedel so much now. The American keeper pulls off a smart save from a fierce Steven Gerrard shot. Crucial 15 minutes for Aston Villa.
Cody McDonald's header comes off the post and falls perfectly for Wes Hoolahan to tap into the empty net.
2105: GOALFLASH Norwich (Hoolahan) 1-3 Sunderland
2105: Liverpool get the second half under way at Anfield. The Kop end gave Brad Friedel a standing ovation as he took his place in the Villa goal.
From Ashy07 on 606:
"The ref has been very poor tonight but there is still no escaping we defended two set-pieces very very poorly."
2057: Liverpool also unhappy about the awarding of the corner. Steve Sidwell's shot did appear to take a slight deflection on the way through, but Pepe Reina is so angry about the decision, he kicks the ball away and gets a yellow.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Not one sucker punch from Aston Villa but two. Liverpool were slack at that corner and Curtis Davies took advantage. Rafael Benitez's side specialised in comebacks and late wins last season and they will have to perform another escape act here. Villa resolute though."
2050: Well, well. The home fans are very unhappy with the referee because of the amount of added time at the end of the first-half, which allowed that corner to be taken.
2048: HALF-TIME Liverpool 0-2 Aston Villa
Nicky Shorey delivers the corner from the right and Curtis Davies attacks it at the near post, glancing in the header despite the presence of two Liverpool defenders. Almighty blow for Rafa Benitez's side.
2048: GOALFLASH Liverpool 0-2 Aston Villa (Davies)
2046: They're back under way at Carrow Road where Daryl Murphy replaces Kenwyne Jones for Sunderland.
2043: Aston Villa growing in confidence now and Steve Sidwell crosses from the left. Nicky Shorey's run has gone completely unnoticed by the Liverpool defence but the left-back heads straight at Pepe Reina.
2042: Aston Villa have another free-kick, about 40 yards out this time. James Milner slaps it into the wall. Lucas nowhere to be seen.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Ashley Young rushes away to take the congratulations but he will not be getting away with that - and neither will Lucas. A very obvious own goal and Villa ahead against the run of play. Liverpool have gone off the boil in the last 15 minutes and the goal will be just the lift Villa need after their early-season struggles."
2038: Glen Johnson goes on a driving run, cutting in from the right and slipping the ball through for Fernando Torres, whose shot is palmed away by Brad Friedel.
Ashley Young takes the free-kick from 30 yards and Lucas tries to head it clear but merely diverts it past Pepe Reina for a disastrous own goal. That's not going to make the much-maligned Brazilian any more popular.
Former Liverpool reserve-team midfielder and ex-Wigan boss Paul Jewell at Anfield on BBC Radio 5 live: "Villa are working very hard defensively and making it difficult for Liverpool. They are getting men behind the ball and succeeding in frustrating Liverpool at the moment."
2024: And while that goal was going in, Aston Villa had their first real chance to break after winning the ball on the edge of the area. Glen Johnson gets a massive cheer from the home fans as he times his tackle on Ashley Young to perfection to stop Villa in their tracks.
And that's a stunning goal. Steve Bruce may be re-thinking his first XI. A one-touch passing move involving Carlos Edwards, Teemu Tainio and Fraizer Campbell ends with Andy Reid sweeping in his second and Sunderland's third.
2021: GOALFLASH Norwich 0-3 Sunderland
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Dominant opening by Liverpool. Villa just cannot get enough possession to use the width of James Milner and Ashley Young and the pace of Gabriel Agbonlahor. Some concerned glances already from former Villa chairman Doug Ellis in the directors' box."
Former Liverpool reserve-team midfielder and ex-Wigan boss Paul Jewell at Anfield on BBC Radio 5 live: "Steven Gerrard is doing really well in his role behind Fernando Torres for Liverpool. Gerrard is playing so high up and, as soon as the ball goes into the final third of the pitch, those two really up the tempo."
That's why Andy Reid is a bit of folk hero for the Sunderland fans. Kenwyne Jones finds his run down the left but with the defender making ground quickly, the angle looks too tight for the shot - so Reid looks up and produces an exquisite chip over the keeper.
2015: GOALFLASH Norwich 0-2 Sunderland
2012: Villa winger Ashley Young picks up a stupid booking for blatantly pulling back Dirk Kuyt.
Kenwyne Jones leaves Gary Doherty on the ground and gallops down the right before cutting the ball back for Teemu Tainio to slot in for Sunderland. The visiting fans have started singing "we want seven". Cruel.
2011: GOALFLASH Norwich 0-1 Sunderland (Tainio)
2010: What a chance for Liverpool. They have four bites at the cherry but still can't finish. First Steven Gerrard, then Fernando Torres, then Yossi Benayoun and finally, with Villa's defenders throwing themselves in the way, Gerrard's shot is deflected over.
2009: Decent cross from Nicky Shorey from the right for Villa and Curtis Davies wins the header. Easy for Pepe Reina.
2007: George McCartney picks out Kewnyne Jones with his left-wing cross but the Sunderland striker heads wide. About a million chances in that game so far. No goals.
2004: All action at Carrow Road. Simon Lappin forces Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon into a decent save from 25 yards.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Peter Reid is on his mobile phone in the Anfield directors' box. Just saying his farewells to the Thailand FA before taking over as Tony Pulis' assistant at Stoke City?"
2001: Less than a minute gone and Liverpool are so close to going in front. Fernando Torres spots Youssi Benayoun's run and chips the pass, but though the Israeli beats Brad Friedel in the air, the header drops wide.
2001: Aston Villa get us off and running at Anfield.
1959: Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell lets fly with an instinctive hooked volley from just inside the box, and is so unlucky to see it come back off the bar. Brilliant hit.
1956: Chance for Sunderland now as Andy Reid delivers the corner from the left and Paulo da Silva makes the run to the near post, but heads wide.
From lewishowardavfc on 606:
"We need to remember that our season went downhill when we ditched this formation. Last season we went on a 13-game unbeaten run with this formation, winning six away games on the trot and beating the likes of Arsenal and Everton."
1952: A nice, rhyming move from Norwich, Simon Whaley escaping down the right and crossing for Luke Daley, who is outmuscled by Nyron Nosworthy.
From broken_boy on 606:
"I can't see Villa winning. Agbonlahor on his own up front has not much presence. Also Shorey is substandard and won't be able to cope with Johnson bombing up or Kuyt."
1946: Off they go at Carrow Road.
From Mark via text on 81111: "Frustrating that we have a good tactician but not a good businessman in O'Neill."
1944: Entertaining moment as Martin O'Neill is asked about his "poor" record against big four teams. He reels off a list of fairly decent results from last season. First battle won.
1942: Fernando Torres is sporting a shiner tonight - picked up in the win over Stoke last week. He needed a few stitches, but no anaesthetic.
1941: TEAM NEWS Liverpool v Aston Villa Liverpool make one change to the side that beat Stoke last week, with Martin Skrtel returning at centre-back in place of Daniel Ayala after recovering from a fractured jaw. Aston Villa include defender Curtis Davies, who has recovered from a shoulder injury sustained in Thursday's Europa League defeat by Rapid Vienna, and bring in Brad Friedel, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Stiliyan Petrov to replace Brad Guzan, Emile Heskey and Craig Gardner, who are all on the bench.
1936: TEAM NEWS Norwich v Sunderland Norwich boss Paul Lambert makes six changes from the side that beat Wycombe at the weekend, including four in midfield. For Sunderland, only Kenwyne Jones and George McCartney survive from the side that beat Blackburn on Saturday. New signing Paulo da Silva makes his debut.
1933: Don't worry Luke. The Carling Cup is very much on my mind. Norwich, in Paul Lambert's first game in charge, stuck five past Wycombe on Saturday. Sunderland came from behind to beat Blackburn - but Steve Bruce is not a happy chappy. His side have had to play four games in 10 days.
From Luke, avid City fan, via text on 81111: "Forget Gerrard, Torres and Liverpool. The real match of the day is Holt, Hoolahan and the mighty City! Five at the weekend, hopefully more to come tonight. Paul Lambert guided Wycombe to a magic cup run, here's hoping he does the same for us."
From anon via text on 81111: "I am Villa fan but not disgruntled. We are going to have a wobbly first 10 games or so this year but O'Neill knows what he is doing. Went to Wigan game and staggered to hear boos at half time. A draw tonight would be a decent result for us."
1924: Not sure who the £8m right-back 'anon' refers to is. From what I've read, Villa are after Steven Taylor from Newcastle, James Collins from West Ham and/or Stephen Warnock from Blackburn. Only Taylor plays at right-back as far as I know, and only occasionally.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Liverpool thrashed Aston Villa 5-0 here in March when Villa's season went into late meltdown. No signs of recovery since and the influential Gareth Barry has gone. Martin O'Neill is confident Villa will soon display the form that put them in Champions League contention for a spell last term - but this is a tough assignment."
From AlexT91 on Twitter:
"Disgruntled Villa fan here. The reason we are annoyed is because O'Neill has had three years to build a team and has failed to do so."
From anon via text on 81111: "Re 1909: Biggest pain at Villa at the mo is MON's frankly ridiculous transfer policy. One fit centre back at the club and we're spending £8m on a third right-back!?"
1916: TEAMS Liverpool v Aston Villa Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Insua, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Benayoun, Torres. Subs: Cavalieri, Voronin, Riera, Babel, Kelly, Dossena, Ayala. Aston Villa: Friedel, Beye, Davies, Cuellar, Shorey, Milner, Sidwell, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor. Subs: Guzan, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Delph, Heskey, Gardner, Lowry.
1912: So if you're a troubled Villa fan, give me a shout and share the load. Even if you're not a troubled Villa fan, I'd still like to hear from you. Usual rules apply: text 81111, get involved on
1909: Troubling times at Aston Villa. They opened the season with a home defeat by Wigan, continued with a Europa League loss at Rapid Vienna and now travel to Anfield. The fans, having watched a run of two wins in 18 (and the two were against Hull and Newcastle), have been booing, and upsetting Martin O'Neill. And yet: which club wouldn't like O'Neill as manager?
1900: Hello. Football just doesn't stop does it? Thank goodness for that. Tonight: Liverpool, whose title challenge ended and was reborn in all of four days last week, are hosting a rather gloomy Aston Villa. And the Carling Cup second round kicks off with Sunderland up against League One Norwich.
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