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Page last updated at 20:55 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 21:55 UK

Liverpool   1 - 3   Aston Villa

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Anfield

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard shows his frustration at Anfield

Aston Villa produced an outstanding defensive display to secure their first win against Liverpool in eight years as Rafael Benitez's side continued their stuttering start to the new Premier League campaign.

Villa had been heavily criticised after losing their opening home game to Wigan Athletic and slumping to defeat in the Europa League against Rapid Vienna - but they answered all the questions in emphatic fashion at Anfield.

Liverpool faded after a bright start, and have now lost as many league games as they did last season following losses against Spurs and now Villa.

Anfield was left frustrated as Liverpool wasted the opportunities that came their way, but ultimately they were reduced to running up blind alleys, and out of ideas, in the face of Villa's resilience.

Villa were set on their way after 34 minutes when Lucas deflected Ashley Young's free-kick into his own net, and they grabbed a second on the stroke of half-time when Curtis Davies headed in Nicky Shorey's corner at the near post.

Liverpool surged forward after the break, but met a white wall of resistance as Villa defended their precious lead, with Carlos Cuellar outstanding and goalkeeper Brad Friedel a commanding presence.

Fernando Torres gave Liverpool hope with a close-range strike after 72 minutes, but any hopes of a dramatic revival ended three minutes later when Steven Gerrard brought down Nigel Reo-Coker and Young scored from the spot.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill was elated - and rightly so as his side got their season up and running with a landmark victory.

For Liverpool, they will now simply have to produce better - and more creative - performances as they chase their first title in 20 years.

Liverpool were almost ahead inside the first 30 seconds when Yossi Benayoun beat Friedel to Torres' lofted pass but his header fell inches wide.

PHIL MCNULTY'S BLOG

Villa survived an even bigger scare after eight minutes when Torres' miscue fell invitingly into the path of Gerrard six yards out, but Friedel struck out a leg and diverted his effort over the bar when a goal seemed certain.

O'Neill's side then produced some stern resistance, with Torres growing increasingly frustrated at what he saw as the over-physical treatment being meted out by the Villa rearguard.

Villa slowly worked their way into the game - but it was still against the run of play when they went ahead in fortuitous fashion after 34 minutes as Lucas unwittingly headed Young's routine free-kick past a stranded Pepe Reina.

And they delivered another counter-punch seconds before half-time, in what Liverpool clearly felt were contentious circumstances.

Keeper Reina was so infuriated by referee Martin Atkinson's decision to award a corner when Steve Sidwell's shot was adjudged to have deflected off Martin Skrtel that he lashed the ball away in disgust and was given a yellow card.

Liverpool felt insult was added to injury when Davies stole in ahead of Torres and Jamie Carragher at the near post to head Villa's second.

The Kop urged Liverpool forward as they predictably lay siege to Villa's goal after the break - and Friedel was the hero with a magnificent diving save to turn away Gerrard's rising drive.

And as the pressure mounted, with Dirk Kuyt heading against the post after Carragher flicked on Gerrard's cross, Torres threw Liverpool a lifeline with 18 minutes remaining as he steered in a simple finish following good work from Emiliano Insua.

Hope was revived inside Anfield, but snuffed out inside three minutes when Gerrard's badly-mistimed tackle on Reo-Coker resulted in an inevitable penalty, which Young dispatched calmly.

It was the decisive blow and Villa held out in relative comfort, with Liverpool resigned to a damaging defeat long before the final whistle.

Live text and stats

 

Monday, 24 August 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa FT
(HT 0-2)
  • Torres 72
  • Lucas (og) 34
  • Davies 45+2
  • A Young (pen) 75

Liverpool

Substitutes

Aston Villa

Substitutes

Ref: AtkinsonAtt: 43,667
LIVERPOOL
ASTON VILLA

Possession

  • Liverpool 48%
  • Aston Villa 52%

Attempts on target

  • Liverpool 12
  • Aston Villa 4

Attempts off target

  • Liverpool 9
  • Aston Villa 3

Corners

  • Liverpool 10
  • Aston Villa 4

Fouls

  • Liverpool 15
  • Aston Villa 11
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:15 The referee ends the match.
  • 90:00+0:56 The ball is crossed by Glen Johnson, Curtis Davies manages to make a clearance. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Javier Mascherano, clearance by Emile Heskey.
  • 90:00+0:27 The ball is crossed by Javier Mascherano, clearance made by Steve Sidwell.
  • 88:19 The ball is crossed by Javier Mascherano, clearance made by Curtis Davies. Outswinging corner taken by Javier Mascherano. The ball is sent over by Javier Mascherano, Fernando Torres takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save. Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Emiliano Insua from the left by-line, clearance by Emile Heskey. Glen Johnson takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel. Shot from long distance by Ryan Babel misses to the right of the target.
  • 87:12 Booking The referee books Martin Skrtel for unsporting behaviour.
  • 87:04 Martin Skrtel challenges Gabriel Agbonlahor unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Nicky Shorey.
  • 83:29 Jamie Carragher is caught offside. Brad Friedel takes the indirect free kick.
  • 82:30 Shot from long distance by Ryan Babel goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 81:26 Close range shot by Dirk Kuyt goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 80:37 Emiliano Insua crosses the ball, Brad Friedel makes a save.
  • 79:15 Substitution (Aston Villa) makes a substitution, with Emile Heskey coming on for Ashley Young.
  • 77:38 A cross is delivered by Jamie Carragher, Carlos Cuellar manages to make a clearance. Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Blocked by Stiliyan Petrov.
  • 76:13 Booking Fernando Torres is cautioned by the ref for dissent.
  • 75:54 Jamie Carragher concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Young. Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
  • 74:59 Substitution Yossi Benayoun leaves the field to be replaced by Ryan Babel.
  • 74:18 Assist on the goal came from Nigel Reo-Coker.
  • 74:18 GOAL - Ashley YoungLiverpool 1 - 3 Aston Villa Penalty taken right-footed by Ashley Young and scored. Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa.
  • 73:34 Nigel Reo-Coker fouled by Steven Gerrard, the ref awards a Penalty.
  • 72:53 Free kick awarded for a foul by Emiliano Insua on Steve Sidwell. Free kick taken by Habib Beye.
  • 71:41 Assist on the goal came from Emiliano Insua.
  • 71:41 GOAL - Fernando TorresLiverpool 1 - 2 Aston Villa Fernando Torres grabs a goal from inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-2 Aston Villa.
  • 70:06 Ashley Young crosses the ball, free kick awarded for a foul by Steve Sidwell on Emiliano Insua. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.
  • 68:26 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
  • 66:55 Centre by Emiliano Insua, Curtis Davies manages to make a clearance.
  • 66:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Carlos Cuellar on Andriy Voronin. Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
  • 65:42 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Fernando Torres. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
  • 65:27 Substitution Andriy Voronin on for Leiva Lucas.
  • 63:21 Nicky Shorey takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Jamie Carragher manages to make a clearance.
  • 62:36 The ball is swung over by Gabriel Agbonlahor, save by Jose Reina.
  • 61:49 Gabriel Agbonlahor sends in a cross, clearance made by Glen Johnson.
  • 59:56 Glen Johnson produces a cross, Dirk Kuyt has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the target.
  • 59:05 Yossi Benayoun takes a shot. Habib Beye gets a block in.
  • 57:40 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Steven Gerrard. Headed effort from close in by Dirk Kuyt bounces off the post.
  • 56:59 Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Habib Beye makes a save. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Curtis Davies.
  • 56:34 Booking Nigel Reo-Coker receives a yellow card.
  • 56:08 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Blocked by Habib Beye. Glen Johnson fouled by Nigel Reo-Coker, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Javier Mascherano.
  • 55:13 Free kick awarded for a foul by James Milner on Fernando Torres. Free kick crossed by Steven Gerrard, save made by Brad Friedel. Corner taken by Leiva Lucas from the right by-line played to the near post, Stiliyan Petrov makes a clearance.
  • 54:36 Emiliano Insua produces a cross.
  • 53:58 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nigel Reo-Coker on Fernando Torres. Steven Gerrard delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Carlos Cuellar makes a clearance.
  • 53:20 Fernando Torres produces a cross, save by Brad Friedel.
  • 52:33 Glen Johnson delivers the ball, Carlos Cuellar makes a clearance.
  • 51:54 The ball is delivered by Steven Gerrard, save by Brad Friedel.
  • 50:04 Ashley Young is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Jamie Carragher.
  • 48:58 Unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Dirk Kuyt results in a free kick. Brad Friedel takes the direct free kick.
  • 48:07 Javier Mascherano gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Young. Direct free kick taken by Nicky Shorey.
  • 46:11 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Save made by Brad Friedel. Javier Mascherano takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
  • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:40 The referee blows for half time.
  • 45:00+1:42 The assist for the goal came from Nicky Shorey.
  • 45:00+1:42 GOAL - Curtis DaviesLiverpool 0 - 2 Aston Villa Curtis Davies scores a headed goal from close range. Liverpool 0-2 Aston Villa.
  • 45:00+1:02 Martin Skrtel gets a block in. The ball is crossed by Nicky Shorey,
  • 45:00+1:02 Booking Jose Reina is cautioned.
  • 45:00+0:49 Steve Sidwell takes a shot.
  • 42:22 Nicky Shorey takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.
  • 40:42 Javier Mascherano gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov. James Milner has an effort direct from the free kick.
  • 39:55 Javier Mascherano takes a shot. Save made by Brad Friedel.
  • 39:23 Unfair challenge on Martin Skrtel by Gabriel Agbonlahor results in a free kick. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.
  • 38:44 Effort from outside the penalty area by Nigel Reo-Coker goes wide left of the goal.
  • 38:08 Javier Mascherano crosses the ball, clearance made by Curtis Davies.
  • 37:28 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save made by Brad Friedel. Steven Gerrard takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Curtis Davies.
  • 36:09 Unfair challenge on Martin Skrtel by Ashley Young results in a free kick. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
  • 35:25 Glen Johnson delivers the ball, clearance by Carlos Cuellar. Emiliano Insua crosses the ball, save made by Brad Friedel.
  • 33:05 Assist by Ashley Young. Free kick awarded for a foul by Habib Beye on Yossi Benayoun. Javier Mascherano restarts play with the free kick.
  • 33:05 GOAL - Leiva LucasLiverpool 0 - 1 Aston Villa Leiva Lucas heads into his own net. Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa.
  • 32:10 Stiliyan Petrov fouled by Leiva Lucas, the ref awards a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Ashley Young.
  • 31:14 Unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Steve Sidwell results in a free kick. Javier Mascherano restarts play with the free kick.
  • 27:41 The assistant referee signals for offside against Nigel Reo-Coker. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 27:16 Dirk Kuyt concedes a free kick for a foul on Curtis Davies. Steve Sidwell takes the direct free kick.
  • 25:59 Glen Johnson crosses the ball, clearance by Carlos Cuellar.
  • 25:26 Steven Gerrard crosses the ball, Curtis Davies manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Steven Gerrard, Carlos Cuellar manages to make a clearance.
  • 25:03 Dirk Kuyt crosses the ball, clearance made by Carlos Cuellar.
  • 21:39 Free kick awarded for a foul by Fernando Torres on Nigel Reo-Coker. Brad Friedel takes the free kick.
  • 18:50 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 17:48 Leiva Lucas challenges Stiliyan Petrov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Nicky Shorey takes the direct free kick.
  • 16:23 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor by Javier Mascherano. Nicky Shorey delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, Jose Reina makes a save.
  • 14:59 Unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor by Emiliano Insua results in a free kick. Nicky Shorey crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, clearance by Jamie Carragher.
  • 13:41 Shot from just outside the area by Steven Gerrard goes over the bar.
  • 11:51 Steven Gerrard crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, Carlos Cuellar makes a clearance.
  • 11:51 Booking Ashley Young shown a yellow card.
  • 11:47 Ashley Young gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dirk Kuyt.
  • 11:03 Inswinging corner taken by Nicky Shorey from the right by-line, Jose Reina makes a save.
  • 10:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Fernando Torres on Stiliyan Petrov. Habib Beye takes the indirect free kick.
  • 8:55 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Blocked by Brad Friedel. Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Save made by Brad Friedel. Short corner taken by Steven Gerrard.
  • 7:38 Centre by Nicky Shorey, Curtis Davies takes a shot. Jose Reina makes a save.
  • 7:03 Corner taken by Nicky Shorey played to the near post, Fernando Torres manages to make a clearance.
  • 1:51 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Gerrard by Carlos Cuellar. Free kick crossed by Steven Gerrard, save made by Brad Friedel.
  • 1:29 The ball is delivered by James Milner, Jamie Carragher manages to make a clearance.
  • 0:35 Headed effort from deep inside the area by Yossi Benayoun misses to the left of the goal.
  • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 24 Aug 2009 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Tottenham 3 6 9
2 Chelsea 3 5 9
3 Arsenal 2 8 6
4 Man Utd 3 5 6
5 Man City 2 3 6
6 Sunderland 3 0 6
7 Burnley 3 0 6
8 Birmingham 3 0 4
9 Stoke 3 -2 4
10 Liverpool 3 1 3
11 West Ham 2 1 3
12 Aston Villa 2 0 3
13 Fulham 2 -1 3
14 Wolverhampton 3 -2 3
15 Hull 3 -4 3
16 Wigan 3 -4 3
17 Bolton 2 -2 0
18 Blackburn 2 -3 0
19 Portsmouth 3 -5 0
20 Everton 2 -6 0

see also
Title bid not over, says Benitez
24 Aug 09 |  Premier League
O'Neill hits back at Villa fans
25 Aug 09 |  Aston Villa
Monday football as it happened
24 Aug 09 |  Football



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