For Sale: 23, 8 & 9.
No doubt about it Aston Villa aided us in looking good but even after subtracting the offside goal there could be no arguments from anyone watching that game who felt Liverpool were below par.
With Torres a late missing piece after having to go to hospital to welcome into the world another mini Nando, Roy Hodgson was left to make a snap decision and started Ryan Babel up front with David Ngog.
To be perfectly honest i was sceptical as i always am when Babel gets a start but i was interested to see him in his official title i.e. "Centre Forward".
Before kick off Gerard Houllier was greeted with banners and chants from loyal Liverpool fans who are still thankful for his time at the club. However, the generous "hello" was not going to be matched with a happy goodbye for Houllier and his Aston Villa side.
Liverpool's first goal came within the first 15minutes. A corner whipped in was well attacked by Martin Skrtel who headed back into the danger area, a poised David Ngog connected with a lovely header and smashed Liverpool 1-0 up.
It didn't take much longer for the Reds to get themselves a cushion either when Ryan Babel with a superb finish managed to spin his body on the edge of the area and send home Liverpool's second.
Somewhat unfortunately for Babel his goal should have been offside but i don't think it takes anything away from a great goal by Mr.Potential so fair play Ryan.
For Villa it wasn't looking very good. A poor defensive unit, lack of urgency and practically none existent attack meant that Liverpool were free to roam around the pitch completing passes and even when failing to play the ball, regain possession with ease.
Albrighton, a shock inclusion for Villa after his operation to have his appendix removed was perhaps their most effective player.
In the second half Houllier made an immediate substitution welcoming Delfouneso on the field in an attempt to change things for the better for Villa.
The most important moment for Liverpool was when Reina had to make an instinctive save with his left foot. Firstly because the game poised at 2-1 could have taken a bad turn for the Reds but secondly because the man himself between the sticks was on route to being the fastest ever Liverpool keeper to reach 100 clean sheets.
Threat taken care of, it was almost instantaneous when Roy's boys decided to truly put the game to bed. A piece of play originating from Reina's distribution eventually saw the ball reach Maxi Rodriguez. A fantastic shot from a decent way out passed Friedel with some speed and sent the Kop End crazy. Yet another rendition of the heartbeat theme rang out and Maxi appears to be truly settling down at Anfield now.
A double change from Houllier saw Pires and Agbonlahor come on but neither of the two could add any really problems to a game that had been out of their sights from ten minutes really.
Some flashes from Glen Johnson towards the end were nice to see and Fabio Aurelio and Joe Cole both had chance to feature in the Reds win.
Reina's clean sheet was made official when the referee blew the final whistle and Liverpool are now up into 8th.
With things looking a lot more steady on the pitch i do feel a bit more comfortable of late with out performances so let's hope that this can continue. With the league so tightly packed it would be brilliant for us to get in and around the teams fighting for spots between 4th and 7th.