Aston Villa picked up a surprise victory over Liverpool on Saturday that continued their unbeaten start to the season and saw them rise to second in the Premier League table.
Gabriel Agbonlahor struck an early goal in the ninth minute to pick up the three points. A scramble for a corner kick resulted in the ball falling at the feet of the English forward and he then blasted it beyond Simon Mignolet for the only goal of the game.
Liverpool then struggled immensely to break-down Aston Villa’s well-marshalled defence, and the likes of Mario Balotelli and Adam Lallana, both of whom were making their home-debuts, failed to get into the attacking groove that is expected of Brendan Rogers’ side. Balotelli was especially disappointing, and the $25 million signing from AC Milan has now failed to score in both of his games for Liverpool, but it will be the fact that he was anonymous throughout that will worry Rodgers the most.
Liverpool didn’t even really create a clear goal-scoring chance for an equalizer, while Aston Villa even looked the more likely to score another goal as the game wore on. Philipe Senderos had an excellent chance to score from a free-kick when he was left unmarked, and they continued to to look dangerous on the counter-attack.
Paul Lambert’s side have had a brilliant start to the Premier League season. They have now picked up 10 points from their first four games, and have only been bettered by Chelsea’s imposing beginning to the campaign.
Their Scottish coach was clearly overjoyed with the victory, per his chat with the BBC.
“It’s one of the toughest places to come in Europe, let alone Britain, but I think we deserved the win. There is a lot of momentum on and off the pitch at this club, the players have been excellent as a group and the supporters have stuck with it and now our young guys are turning into men.”
Meanwhile, Rodgers was a lot more damning with his assessment of his own team.
“We were slow in our pressing and passing early on and gave away a bad goal, but then we upped it,” he declared. “It was a frustrating day but I think it was a combination of Aston Villa defending well and us failing to find that wee bit of quality. We had enough of the ball but could not find the penetration in the final third.”
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