Aston Villa: Paul Lambert proud despite Liverpool loss

Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool: Paul Lambert pleased with progress

Paul Lambert said his Aston Villa players had been "brilliant" in a testing first week of the season.

Villa lost 1-0 to visitors Liverpool at the end of a seven-day period in which they have also played Arsenal and Chelsea away from home.

"I am proud of the team for what they have done," Lambert said. "I always knew it was going to be a big ask.

"If someone had said, 'would you take three points from these games?', I'd have taken it with the start we had."

After a 3-1 win at Arsenal on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, Lambert's team were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Back in front of their own fans, Villa appeared off the pace in the opening 40 minutes against a sharper Liverpool side, with Daniel Sturridge scoring on 21 minutes.

But a late flurry at the end of the first half set the tone for a second period in which the hosts dominated and could well have taken a share of the points.

Liverpool's new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who saved a late penalty in their opening-weekend defeat of Stoke, denied the in-form Christian Benteke with a superb one-handed stop.

Lambert added: "We have always been in the games. I can't be too critical of the lads because they have given everything. We're a young side but the improvement is there for everyone to see.

"The lads have been brilliant and we are going to keep doing what we are doing."