1-0 Loss Rounds Up Liverpool's Season
Gerrard watches on with the fans...
Well, it wasn't the brilliant end we expected but nevertheless i think looking back to last August and our position in the league in December, all the ups and downs, we can't complain with our 6th place finish.
Entering the game still with a possible chance of gaining that Europa League spot it was all to play for. Villa who really only wanted to win to get one over Liverpool however were the ones who set out with the right mindset.
It was a strange end of season and a strange match altogether, the travelling fans were in good voice as always but it would be a lie to say that half the stadium weren't more concerned with rival results elsewhere than the final whistle at Villa Park.
Dalglish fielded a slightly different eleven, Joe Cole was given a start and Fabio Aurelio was back from injury with another chance at playing left back before the end of the season. Andy Carroll was also missing from the line up.
An early tone was set by Villa when they got stuck in, a Reo Coker challenge on Jay Spearing eventually saw the local lad having to come off. Jonjo Shelvey was the replacement.
Marc Albrighton - also a substitute played his part in the only goal of the game after setting up Downing. A lovely strike from the unmarked England international sent Villa 1-0 up.
For Liverpool i wouldn't describe it as a terrible performance but there was certainly an element of lethargy. Meireles and Suarez were probably our most lively and it was the pairing of those two that saw Liverpool's best chance.
Some clever work from Suarez into the box saw him set up Meireles who with a stinging shot was prevented by Friedel who made some great saves throughout the 90minutes.
Martin Sktrel has played every minute of every league game this season for Liverpool and i think although clumsy at times the big man needs to be applauded. Also in defence John Flanagan had another great game, fans will surely hope he's in the plans for next season when Liverpool look to mount a title challenge.
Joe Cole was subbed at 70minutes and on came David Ngog. Both players i feel unfortunately could be on their way in the transfer window. Cole although clearly putting the effort in just hasn't justified his wage packet and Ngog although i feel is a good player seems like he'll be making way to help balance the books despite money not being that much of a problem anymore, these owners work properly and efficiently, there will be no buying for the sake of it without selling too.
Villa collected all three points and finished the season in 9th, a respectable ending considering their start to the season and managerial change.
For Liverpool all thoughts are towards the future in what will surely be the best summer transfer window for the Reds in years, the excitement in the ranks is ever growing.