EPL Match Report: Liverpool beat Aston Villa 1-0
Liverpool continued their perfect start to the new season with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Aston Villa thanks to an individual brilliance from Daniel Sturridge.
The England international showed fine foot-work to open the scoring in the first half and despite periods of Aston Villa pressure especially in the second-half, as Brendan Rodgers’ men held on under considerable pressure to pick up three points for the second time this season. This is first time in five years that Liverpool won the opening two matches of the season.
Philippe Coutinho made a mockery out of Villa defence with a wonderful dummy that left Sturridge with the ball on his feet from 15 yards, but the striker had plenty of work left to do from there. He had to elude one defender, which he did easily. Then Brad Guzan tried to close him down but England striker rounded off the Villa goalkeeper before finishing from a sharp angle with two men on the line for a terrific individual goal.
Liverpool then dominated the midfield for the rest of the half, overwhelming Aston Villa at times, but it would be unfair to say they dominated the matchas the second-half witnessed the Reds struggled to create chances and were fortunate to get away with all three points in the end.
Aston Villa were completely transformed team in the second half and things began to even out. The home side grabbed had more of the clear-cut chances, mostly through Christian Benteke.
The Villa forward’s strength was too much for the Liverpool defenders to handle and when he quickly turned and fired at goal, it looked like the home side would equalize, but Mignolet made an unbelivable save to deny him. Later on, he found himself free and hit an absolute rocket, but once again Mignolet was there to deny him. A week after saving a penalty to earn the Reds a win, Mignolet once again earned his trade with a win to make his transfer look like one of the better bargains of the summer.
Liverpool had an opportunity to extend their lead in stoppage time when Sturridge got in behind the Aston Villa defense, but Guzan got off his line to knock the ball away just before taking the striker out. The Reds appealed for a penalty and while the referee waved play on. Liverpool were on their way to another win and six points from two matches to start the year.
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