Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughAston Villa 0 - 2 Liverpool Match report and reaction - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Aston Villa 0 - 2 Liverpool Match report and reaction - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Aston Villa 0 – 2 Liverpool Match report and reaction

Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool side gave Aston Villa a lesson in pass and move football this afternoon on their own patch. Goals from Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel gave Liverpool a comfortable away win to remain in the hunt for the Premiership fourth spot.

Kenny Dalglish’s selection was much as expected with the only surprise being the inclusion of Jonjo Shelvey in place of Maxi Rodriguez in the midfield. Craig Bellamy got a start playing behind Luis Suarez who it must be said had a quieter game than of late with the exception of yet more Liverpool goal-bound efforts hitting the woodwork. Dirk Kuyt  cut an unimpressed figure on the bench at the beginning of the game but Dalglish’s selection proved to be spot on.

The first half display from Liverpool was near faultless as they passed and moved and kept possession intelligently and cleverly. A shot from Stewart Downing on six minutes signalled the visitors’ intent which was well turned away by Bradley Gazun. Minutes later the reward came for Liverpool who took the lead following some tidy play between Shelvey and Downing on the latter’s return to his old stomping ground. Downing’s ball into the area was met with apparent wonder from the static Villa defence and Bellamy was on hand to poke the ball past the stranded home keeper.

Liverpool were in total control and restricted the home side to just a couple of efforts in the first half when Charles N’Zogbia’s effort hit the side netting and a header from Reds old boy Emile Heskey. That was it for Villa who went further behind following more industry from Bellamy who was, Liverpool’s best player. Although to be fair this wasn’t a stand out performance because the whole team was playing on song. On 15 minutes, Bellamy’s cross from the left found the head of Skrtel who rose to nod in Liverpool’s second in the space of five minutes. Aston Villa went in completely deflated when the half time whistle went. The frustration and anger was clearly etched across Alex McLeish’s face, his defence having contracted some kind of “ball-o-phobia”

The second half saw Villa coming out and looking as if they actually wanted play and the defensive ailment cured. It turned out, however to be too big a mountain to climb. The introducton of Barry Bannan on 56 minutes for the anonymous Heskey did inject some urgency into McLeish’s side but the Liverpool rearguard stood firm and never really looked like conceding. Liverpool’s counter-attacking play was working well and Suarez again hit the bar with a clever effort on 59 minutes. Charlie Adams also went close with a deflected shot to stamp further intent from the visitors.

So, 17 times the woodwork has now denied Dalglish’s men. In the hyperthetical league Liverpool would have moved above Arsenal on goal difference had those two gone in, but alas in the real world, they move up one place to sixth after overtaking Newcastle.

The late introductions of Jamie Carragher, Kuyt and Andy Carroll merely served to ensure Liverpool crossed the line at a canter.

Ben Green @Koptimes

Football Friends bring you the latest football news and opinion from football fans around the world.
Football News