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Match Report

Barclays Premier League

Saturday, 17 January 2015,

Aston Villa
0
-
Full Time
Live
-
2
Liverpool
  • Kickoff: 16:00 BST
  • Stadium: Villa Park
  • Referee: -
  • Stadium: Villa Park
  • Attendance: 39,758
    • 24' Fabio Borini
    • 79' Rickie Lambert

    Aston Villa

    Half time

    Full time

    Liverpool

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    Guzan calls for Villa composure

    Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan has urged his team-mates to banish any nerves as they prepare to run the gauntlet at Villa Park.

    Villa fans finally turned on manager Paul Lambert at the end of last weekend's 1-0 defeat at bottom-of-the-table Leicester, demanding he be sacked.

    For Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool, three unofficial websites have called on fans in the famous Holte End to boycott the opening eight minutes of the game as a protest at the way the club is being run.

    With Villa failing to fire up front this season, scoring just 11 goals in 21 league matches and one in the last six, these appear edgy times for all at Villa as the club slides towards the relegation zone.

    But Guzan, speaking earlier this week, said: "It's not about being nervous.

    "It's the time of your life to be a professional footballer. We are very fortunate to do what we do.

    "So it's not about nerves, it's about relishing the challenges and accepting the responsibility as players, as staff and as a club.

    "We have to accept that challenge and find a way to fight through it, and that's what we're going to do.

    "There's not a lack of quality or belief as we're together from the start to the finish, and we're only halfway through the year.

    "There's no need to hit a panic button, no need to be worrying about relegation.

    "There are 11 other teams around us fighting relegation. That speaks volumes about the quality of the league - simple as.

    "It's just a matter of turning the corner, and hopefully we can do that this week."

    New signing Carles Gil goes straight into the Villa squad.

    Fabian Delph also returns to boost Villa after completing a three-match ban, but Ciaran Clark serves a one-game suspension following his dismissal in last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Leicester.

    Lambert remains without three injured players in Ron Vlaar (knee), Philippe Senderos (thigh) and Libor Kozak (leg).

    Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and fellow midfielder Adam Lallana have a chance of being fit.

    Gerrard was withdrawn at half-time of Saturday's win at Sunderland with a tight hamstring while Lallana is ahead of schedule in his return from a thigh injury sustained on New Year's Day.

    Forward Raheem Sterling is back in the squad after a being given a week off while youngster Jordon Ibe could join him having been recalled early from a loan spell at Derby.

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes his summer signings are finally emerging from an adaptation period and showing signs they can be a success at the club.

    Forward Lazar Markovic was first to shine with a number of impressive cameos, culminating in the 20-year-old's maiden league goal since a B£20million move from Benfica which beat Sunderland last weekend.

    Emre Can, whose disappointing first half of the season was disrupted by injury, has found a position for himself on the right side of a back three but has shown his versatility with occasional roles in midfield.

    The German, who turned 21 this week, is a product of Bayern Munich's youth system and arrived in a B£10million deal with high expectations after one season at Bayer Leverkusen.

    Rodgers believes keen Liverpool watchers are only now starting to see his potential.

    "He will need a bit of time moving to a new country as a young player," said Rodgers.

    "You have to remember he had only one full year of playing even though he had come through the system at Bayern Munich.

    "I think he has shown his value and I think there is no doubt he will prove to be a real bargain for us.

    "It was a lot of money for a young player but he is a wonderful talent, great footballer, his stature and power is well suited to the Premier League, he is two-footed, has great balance and good aggression in his game and for me is multi-functional.

    "He will prove to be a player who can play in a number of positions very well here and as you have seen since he came in here he has been outstanding.

    "He actually played in three positions against Sunderland: he started on the right side of a back three, we moved him up to play in the top of the midfield box and then put him back into a wide midfield role.

    "It was one of the reasons we brought him here.

    "He is a footballer and sometimes you find the very best footballers can play in any position and they are capable of working the game out."

    91'+4

    Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Liverpool 2.

    91'+4

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Liverpool 2.

    91'+3

    Attempt saved. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

    91'+3

    Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool) Blocked Pass at 94'

    91'+3

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 94'

    91'+2

    Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) left footed shot from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Jordon Ibe.

    91'+2

    Jordan Ibe (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 93'

    90'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 90'

    90'

    José Enrique (Liverpool) Throw In at 90'

    89'

    Attempt missed. Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Fabian Delph with a cross following a set piece situation.

    89'

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 89'

    89'

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 89'

    89'

    Foul by José Enrique (Liverpool).

    88'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Blocked Pass at 88'

    88'

    Attempt missed. Emre Can (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

    88'

    Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 88'

    88'

    Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by José Enrique.

    88'

    José Enrique (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 88'

    87'

    José Enrique (Liverpool) Throw In at 87'

    87'

    José Enrique (Liverpool) Corner Kick at 87'

    87'

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Alan Hutton.

    85'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 85'

    85'

    Substitution, Liverpool. Jordon Ibe replaces Raheem Sterling.

    84'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 84'

    83'

    Attempt missed. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Christian Benteke.

    83'

    Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 83'

    82'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 82'

    81'

    Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) Free Kick at 81'

    81'

    Rickie Lambert

    81'

    Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

    81'

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 81'

    80'

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

    79'

    0 - 2

    Goal! Aston Villa 0, Liverpool 2. Rickie Lambert (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

    79'

    Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 79'

    79'

    Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) Blocked Pass at 79'

    78'

    Lucas (Liverpool) Corner Kick at 78'

    78'

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Brad Guzan.

    78'

    Attempt saved. Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by José Enrique.

    78'

    José Enrique (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 78'

    78'

    José Enrique (Liverpool) Throw In at 78'

    78'

    José Enrique (Liverpool) Throw In at 78'

    77'

    Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) Free Kick at 77'

    77'

    Offside, Aston Villa. Nathan Baker tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

    76'

    Carles Gil (Aston Villa) Throw In at 76'

    75'

    Attempt blocked. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Rickie Lambert with a headed pass.

    75'

    Rickie Lambert (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 75'

    74'

    Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool) Free Kick at 74'

    74'

    Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

    73'

    Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Carles Gil with a cross following a corner.

    73'

    Carles Gil (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 73'

    73'

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

    73'

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) Corner Kick at 73'

    72'

    Jores Okore (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 72'

    72'

    Jores Okore (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

    72'

    Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool) Free Kick at 72'

    71'

    José Enrique (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

    71'

    Substitution, Liverpool. José Enrique replaces Alberto Moreno.

    71'

    Substitution, Liverpool. Rickie Lambert replaces Fabio Borini.

    70'

    Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Alan Hutton with a cross.

    70'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 70'

    69'

    Attempt blocked. Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

    69'

    Attempt blocked. Carles Gil (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

    68'

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

    68'

    Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Fabian Delph.

    68'

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 68'

    68'

    Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) Corner Kick at 68'

    67'

    Attempt missed. Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Fabian Delph with a cross following a corner.

    67'

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 67'

    66'

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Jordan Henderson.

    66'

    Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) Corner Kick at 66'

    66'

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) Throw In at 66'

    66'

    Attempt blocked. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

    65'

    Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) Throw In at 65'

    65'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 65'

    64'

    Attempt missed. Fabio Borini (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Alberto Moreno.

    64'

    Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 64'

    64'

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) Blocked Pass at 64'

    63'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 63'

    62'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 62'

    62'

    Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) Free Kick at 62'

    61'

    Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

    61'

    Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nathan Baker with a headed pass.

    61'

    Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 61'

    60'

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Emre Can.

    60'

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) Corner Kick at 60'

    60'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 60'

    60'

    Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) Blocked Pass at 60'

    59'

    Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 59'

    59'

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Carles Gil replaces Ashley Westwood.

    59'

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Andreas Weimann replaces Tom Cleverley.

    58'

    Hand ball by Lazar Markovic (Liverpool).

    58'

    Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) Throw In at 58'

    57'

    Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) Throw In at 57'

    55'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 55'

    52'

    Emre Can (Liverpool) Free Kick at 52'

    52'

    Jores Okore

    52'

    Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

    52'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 52'

    52'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 52'

    51'

    Offside, Liverpool. Alberto Moreno tries a through ball, but Philippe Coutinho is caught offside.

    51'

    Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 51'

    50'

    Offside, Liverpool. Martin Skrtel tries a through ball, but Fabio Borini is caught offside.

    49'

    Fabio Borini (Liverpool) Corner Kick at 49'

    49'

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Nathan Baker.

    48'

    Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) Free Kick at 48'

    48'

    Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

    48'

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Lazar Markovic.

    48'

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) Corner Kick at 48'

    47'

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Lazar Markovic.

    47'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Corner Kick at 47'

    46'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 46'

    46'

    Second Half begins Aston Villa 0, Liverpool 1.

    46'+1

    First Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Liverpool 1.

    46'+1

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 47'

    46'

    Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 45'

    45'

    Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

    44'

    Lucas (Liverpool) Free Kick at 44'

    43'

    Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

    43'

    Attempt missed. Tom Cleverley (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

    43'

    Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 43'

    42'

    Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 42'

    42'

    Hand ball by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).

    41'

    Attempt saved. Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

    41'

    Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 41'

    41'

    Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 41'

    40'

    Foul by Lazar Markovic (Liverpool).

    40'

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

    40'

    Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) Corner Kick at 40'

    38'

    Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucas Leiva with a headed pass.

    38'

    Lucas (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 38'

    38'

    Attempt missed. Fabio Borini (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

    38'

    Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 38'

    37'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Free Kick at 37'

    37'

    Foul by Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa).

    36'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 36'

    36'

    Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) Throw In at 36'

    35'

    Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) Free Kick at 35'

    34'

    Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

    34'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 34'

    34'

    Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) Free Kick at 34'

    33'

    Foul by Jores Okore (Aston Villa).

    33'

    Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 33'

    32'

    Jores Okore (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

    31'

    Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lazar Markovic with a cross.

    31'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 31'

    31'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 31'

    31'

    Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) Blocked Pass at 31'

    30'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 30'

    30'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 30'

    29'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 29'

    29'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 29'

    29'

    Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) Blocked Pass at 29'

    28'

    Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 28'

    27'

    Offside, Liverpool. Raheem Sterling tries a through ball, but Philippe Coutinho is caught offside.

    27'

    Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) Blocked Pass at 27'

    27'

    Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) Blocked Pass at 27'

    26'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 26'

    26'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 26'

    26'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 26'

    24'

    0 - 1

    Goal! Aston Villa 0, Liverpool 1. Fabio Borini (Liverpool) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross.

    24'

    Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 24'

    24'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 24'

    24'

    Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) Free Kick at 24'

    24'

    Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

    23'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Blocked Pass at 23'

    23'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 23'

    23'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 23'

    22'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 22'

    21'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 21'

    20'

    Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) Throw In at 20'

    19'

    Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 19'

    19'

    Offside, Liverpool. Jordan Henderson tries a through ball, but Fabio Borini is caught offside.

    18'

    Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) Corner Kick at 18'

    18'

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

    18'

    Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 18'

    17'

    Offside, Liverpool. Fabio Borini tries a through ball, but Alberto Moreno is caught offside.

    17'

    Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Alan Hutton with a cross.

    17'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 17'

    16'

    Tom Cleverley (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 16'

    16'

    Tom Cleverley (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

    16'

    Lucas (Liverpool) Free Kick at 16'

    15'

    Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

    15'

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) Blocked Pass at 15'

    14'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 14'

    14'

    Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) Throw In at 14'

    13'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 13'

    13'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 13'

    12'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 12'

    12'

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Throw In at 12'

    12'

    Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) Free Kick at 12'

    11'

    Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

    11'

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) Blocked Pass at 11'

    10'

    Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa) Corner Kick at 10'

    9'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 9'

    9'

    Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) Corner Kick at 9'

    9'

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Carlos Sánchez.

    6'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 6'

    6'

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) Throw In at 6'

    5'

    Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) Throw In at 5'

    5'

    Attempt missed. Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ashley Westwood following a set piece situation.

    5'

    Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) Assists Shot at 5'

    5'

    Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 5'

    4'

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

    3'

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) Free Kick at 3'

    3'

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

    2'

    Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross following a corner.

    2'

    Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) Assists Shot at 2'

    1'

    Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) Corner Kick at 1'

    1'

    First Half begins.

    Show all commentary

    Possession

    48%
    52%
    • Aston Villa
    • Liverpool

    Shots

    15
    12

    Shots on target

    4
    5

    Fouls

    13
    11

    Corners

    9
    5

    Yellow Cards

    1
    1

    Red Cards

    0
    0

    Head to Head

    Aston Villa0 - 2Liverpool
    Liverpool0 - 1Aston Villa
    Liverpool2 - 2Aston Villa
    Aston Villa0 - 1Liverpool
    Aston Villa1 - 2Liverpool
    Liverpool1 - 3Aston Villa

    Aston Villa

    • 1Brad Guzan
    • 23Aly Cissokho
    • 21Alan Hutton
    • 2Nathan Baker
    • 5Jores Okore
    • 16Fabian Delph
    • 24Carlos Sánchez
    • 20Christian Benteke
    • 8Tom Cleverley
    • -> Andreas Weimann
    • 15Ashley Westwood
    • -> Carles Gil
    • 11Gabriel Agbonlahor
    • Subs
    • 28Charles N'Zogbia
    • 7Leandro Bacuna
    • 34Matthew Lowton
    • 18Kieran Richardson
    • 31Shay Given

    Liverpool

    • 22Simon Mignolet
    • 17Mamadou Sakho
    • 23Emre Can
    • 50Lazar Markovic
    • 18Alberto Moreno
    • -> José Enrique
    • 29Fabio Borini
    • -> Rickie Lambert
    • 31Raheem Sterling
    • -> Jordan Ibe
    • 37Martin Skrtel
    • 14Jordan Henderson
    • 10Philippe Coutinho
    • 21Lucas
    • Subs
    • 20Adam Lallana
    • 49Jordan Williams
    • 19Javi Manquillo
    • 52Danny Ward

    Fabio Borini on target as Liverpool see off struggling Aston Villa

    Fabio Borini scored his first Liverpool goal in almost two years as they comfortably despatched Aston Villa 2-0 in the Premier League.

    Rickie Lambert clinched victory as the Reds extended their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions. Martin Skrtel also hit the post while Christian Benteke and Nathan Baker missed decent chances for the powderpuff hosts.

    Villa's goal misery continued and they have now gone eight hours and 42 minutes without scoring.

    Paul Lambert's side have won just twice in their last 18 league games and are just three points above the drop zone, while Liverpool sit sixth.

    Steven Gerrard failed to recover from a hamstring injury with Raheem Sterling back after his planned winter break in Jamaica.

    Fabian Delph made an immediate return for Villa after suspension, replacing Joe Cole, and Nathan Baker came in for the suspended Ciaran Clark.

    Any planned protest from Villa fans - boycotting the first eight minutes to signify eight years under chairman Randy Lerner - flopped with few taking part.

    They missed little, though, aside from Alan Hutton's fine tackle to thwart the lurking Borini and Benteke heading at Simon Mignolet.

    Alberto Moreno did beat Brad Guzan - with a fine low shot in the 17th minute - but his celebrations were pulled back after he was correctly ruled offside.

    Liverpool were comfortable, patient and probing as they waited for a chance - and their persistence was rewarded on 24 minutes when Borini netted his first goal for the club since April 2013.

    Jordan Henderson was allowed time to cross and, after pulling away from Jores Okore, Borini volleyed in at the far post.

    Sterling should have made it 2-0 eight minutes before the break but blew a golden chance when Lucas' header put him clean through and he could only chip weakly at Guzan.

    Villa offered little going forward although the previously anonymous Tom Cleverley fired over after Ashley Westwood's pass.

    It was a rare chance and the hosts were fortunate not to be further behind five minutes into the second half.

    They relied on Guzan as the keeper turned Skrtel's header onto the post before he parried Henderson's fierce drive.

    Carles Gil was handed his debut after signing from Valencia on the hour with Villa struggling for ideas and they almost levelled a minute later when Mignolet parried Benteke's 10-yard volley.

    Borini blasted over two minutes later but Liverpool were being pinned back by a revitalised Villa as Baker headed over and then produced an air shot from just six yards.

    But the hosts were left to rue the misses when Lambert sealed Liverpool's victory with 11 minutes left.

    Sterling received the ball on the edge of the box and he found Lambert, whose fine touch took him away from Carlos Sanchez before he drilled into the corner.




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