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Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 3


Just when you thought we were going to go on a bit of a run along comes a three goal battering at the hands of Villa. We left the ground stunned after our hopes of challenging for a top-four spot were hit hard. It was our second defeat in 12 games and a bit of a reality check to their growing optimism around Anfield.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers had even claimed he was looking higher than fourth place but those comments came back to haunt him after his side were beaten by an improving and youthful Villa, who extended their unbeaten league run to five games to move up to 14th place.

The match had got under way following a minute's applause for former Liverpool captain and manager Phil Taylor, who passed away recently aged 95.

We normally start controlling home games from the kick off, but Villa out of the blocks quickly and we were given a wake-up call when Benteke headed a Barry Bannan free-kick straight at Pepe Reina.

Lesson learned or so we thought as we started to take a grip of the game and passed and probed for openings, although with no real cutting edge in the final third. This was illustrated when Luis Suarez could have put Gerrard clean through on goal, only for the pass to go behind Stevie's surging run, the ball was quickly worked back to Gerrard, who sent his 12-yard shot straight at Villa keeper Guzan. The reds again had the Villa goal in sight when Luis Suarez robbed left-back Herd laid the ball off to Jonjo Shelvey, who had the ball nicked off his toes by a last-ditch tackle.

After 29 minutes Holman laid the ball off to Benteke who wasn't closed down quick enough, giving the Belgian striker plenty of time to fire a low shot in off the post. This was followed up by Weimann putting an effort onto the roof of the net after capitalised on a Glen Johnson's poor back-header. Weimann then combined with Benteke who's backheel allowed the Weimann to shot past Pepe Reina.

Joe Cole replaced Jonjo Shelvey at half-time and we should have had a penalty when Villa's Clark decided he wanted Daniel Agger's shirt before the end of the game. But we really didn't deserve that much, we were very poor and then to cap it all Joe Cole gave the ball away and Benteke waltzed through the gaping defence and slotted home from close-range.

A late consolation goal from Stevie from what looked more like a shot than a cross from Glen Johnson's was all too little, too late.

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