Benteke Summa That!
|Gerrard was influential in Sunday's fixture...|
Reina was back in goal for the Reds and up front was Luis Suarez supported by the skillful Phillipe Coutinho, there was no place in the starting line up for Daniel Sturridge this week.
The game didn't start brilliantly for Liverpool some half chances and a lot of possession being lost meant it was difficult for the Reds to really impose themselves on the game. Villa's routine was clear before kick off, get the ball and get it to Benteke. The big man is more than a problem in the box and in this case even just outside of it.
An assist from Agbonlahor allowed Benteke to put his full power behind the strike which flew straight into the bottom left of the goal and past Pepe Reina. It was hard to justify that this goal was against the flow of play because Villa had looked in control in certain parts of the first half themselves.
Liverpool were now very much on the back foot because as mentioned in the blog's preview for this game, the Reds have failed to win a game this season when they have conceded first, they've picked up some draws but never all 3 points in that situation.
A quick return ideally was what was needed but Liverpool failed to find the back of the net before the first half ended. Luis Suarez as always was putting in all the effort he could but unfortunately for the Uruguayan he didn't really have his shooting boots on.
Luckily for Liverpool though the second half began perfectly with a very early goal from Jordan Henderson. With Luis Suarez dragging some of the defence with him as he ran into space Phillipe Coutinho was then able to play the ball to Jordan who was free, a lovely finish from Henderson sent the away end crazy. It was nice to see Jordan remain composed because for me a lot of the time he becomes nervous or hesitates, this time however he remained very collected to find his side the equaliser.
Just under ten minutes later and Coutinho who had featured heavily in the game missed a great chance to give Liverpool the lead. He did everything right but his final strike flew inches past the left hand upright.
The Reds need not have worried though because some trickery in the box from Luis Suarez just before the hour mark caused Nathan Baker to make the wrong decision and take the Uruguayan down. The resulting penalty allowed Steven Gerrard to convert and finally give Liverpool the lead.
Minutes later Steven Gerrard was portraying his heroics once again. A shot off the corner from Benteke was destined to find the back of the net but a goal line clearance from the head of Steven Gerrard meant Liverpool still had hold of all 3 points. A kiss from Pepe Reina signified how important the moment was.
Liverpool made it through the rest of the game relatively untroubled but the second minute of extra time left everyone with their hearts in their mouths when Benteke looked as though he'd found Villa a very important equaliser, I've never been so happy to see the offside flag! The full time whistle was blown a minute later and the Reds had successfully collected the win from Villa Park.
It wasn't a perfect game especially not to start with but the lads showed real determination to come back from a goal down, considering it's the first time they've got all 3 points this season after the opposition have scored the first goal as well then I'd notch that down as improvement.
It's hard to guess what might happen come the end of the season because we still seem to have a consistency problem but it would be nice to keep our spot in Europe and then push on even more next season.
Next up for Liverpool is West Ham at Anfield.