Premier League
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Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa: Reds end six-game Anfield losing run with comeback win

By Emlyn BegleyBBC Sport
Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold's winner was his first Premier League goal at Anfield since July 2020 against Chelsea

Trent Alexander-Arnold scored an injury-time winner as Liverpool came from behind to beat Aston Villa and end a run of six consecutive defeats at Anfield.

Ollie Watkins - who scored a hat-trick in Villa's 7-2 win in the reverse game - fired the visitors ahead with a shot which squirmed through Alisson.

Liverpool were denied an equaliser by an extremely tight video assistant referee offside decision. Roberto Firmino fired home from close range but a long VAR review ruled that Diogo Jota was just offside in the build-up.

They did eventually equalise when Mohamed Salah headed into an empty net after Emiliano Martinez parried Andy Robertson's cross.

That was their first goal in open play at Anfield since 27 December - a run of 12 hours and 45 minutes and 132 shots since Sadio Mane scored against West Brom. They netted one penalty at their home ground in that time.

Villa went close to a winner as Trezeguet's spinning effort hit the post.

But the Reds kept persisting and Alexander-Arnold curled home from the edge of the box after Villa failed to clear the ball.

Liverpool are fifth, above West Ham on goal difference, after Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 4-1 in Saturday's evening game.

Liverpool finally rediscover winning touch

Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa: Trent Alexander-Arnold was 'really good' says Jurgen Klopp

Alexander-Arnold's first home goal in the league since July 2020 ended not only a six-game losing run at Anfield, but also a run of eight games without a win at home - the second worst top-flight record in their history.

The comeback win means another VAR offside invisible to the naked eye might avoid the headlines.

Alexander-Arnold found Jota with a long pass over the top as Matty Cash failed to clear. Jota picked out Mohamed Salah, who passed to Andy Robertson. His shot was blocked and landed to Firmino, who scored.

But a long VAR check ruled that Cash did not touch the ball and Jota was just offside.

At that stage it felt Liverpool's luck was out but they ended up rediscovering their winning touch.

Salah headed in and then Alexander-Arnold pounced after Thiago's shot was well saved by Emiliano Martinez before the ball reached him.

Liverpool had plenty of chances either side of their goals - 23 shots in total - with Salah rolling a shot wide after a Tyrone Mings error one of the more notable misses.

The win will give Liverpool extra confidence going into Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid at Anfield. They lost 3-1 in Spain.

Is Europe gone for Villa now?

Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa: Dean Smith says it was 'disappointing to concede so late'

Villa were hoping to complete a double over Liverpool, having stunned them 7-2 earlier in the season in one of the Premier League's most famous scorelines.

And things were looking good when John McGinn found Watkins, who cut inside Ozan Kabak before shooting straight at Alisson, who should have done better but let the ball in.

That made Watkins the first player to score four goals against Liverpool in a single Premier League season since Andrey Arshavin for Arsenal in 2008-09.

After the break and Liverpool's equaliser they struggled to create too many clear-cut chances, except for Trezeguet's effort off the woodwork from Watkins' pass.

Their failure to hold on to a point means they are now five points below Tottenham Hotspur in seventh place, which is the lowest position that could be a European place.

Match stats - Liverpool are late goal experts

  • Liverpool have won a Premier League game with a 90th-minute winning goal for the 37th time, 12 more than any other side.
  • Aston Villa have lost 22 Premier League games in such a manner. Only Spurs (23) have lost more in the competition's history.
  • Salah has scored 28 goals in all competitions this season, his best return in a campaign for Liverpool since 2017-18 (44).
  • No player has scored more goals against reigning Premier League champions in a single season than Ollie Watkins vs Liverpool this season (four - also Sergio Aguero v Chelsea in 2015-16 and Harry Kane v Leicester in 2016-17).

What's next?

Liverpool host Real Madrid on Wednesday (20:00 BST). The Reds play twice before Villa's next game - visiting Leeds the following Monday in the league (also 20:00).

Villa do not play another game for 11 days. They host Manchester City on Wednesday, 21 April (20:15).

Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 47Phillips
  • 19KabakSubstituted forShaqiriat 89'minutes
  • 26RobertsonBooked at 74mins
  • 5WijnaldumSubstituted forThiago Alcántaraat 70'minutes
  • 3Fabinho
  • 7MilnerBooked at 65mins
  • 11Salah
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forManéat 75'minutes
  • 20Jota

Substitutes

  • 6Thiago Alcántara
  • 8Keita
  • 10Mané
  • 13Adrián
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 28Davies
  • 46R Williams

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-3

  • 26Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 4KonsaBooked at 25mins
  • 5Mings
  • 18TargettBooked at 73mins
  • 7McGinn
  • 19NakambaSubstituted forBarkleyat 66'minutes
  • 6Douglas LuizBooked at 49mins
  • 15TraoréSubstituted forEl Ghaziat 68'minutes
  • 11WatkinsBooked at 85mins
  • 17TrézéguetSubstituted forJ Ramseyat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Heaton
  • 3Taylor
  • 20Barkley
  • 21El Ghazi
  • 22Engels
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 30Hause
  • 39Davis
  • 41J Ramsey
Referee:
Paul Tierney

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home23
Away9
Shots on Target
Home10
Away5
Corners
Home7
Away0
Fouls
Home16
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 2, Aston Villa 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Aston Villa 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri.

  4. Post update

    Hand ball by Sadio Mané (Liverpool).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Matthew Cash with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Diogo Jota (Liverpool).

  7. Post update

    Matthew Cash (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Liverpool 2, Aston Villa 1. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Thiago (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri with a cross.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Xherdan Shaqiri replaces Ozan Kabak.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Diogo Jota (Liverpool).

  12. Post update

    Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Booking

    Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

  16. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Emiliano Martínez tries a through ball, but Ollie Watkins is caught offside.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Jacob Ramsey replaces Trézéguet because of an injury.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ross Barkley (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ollie Watkins with a headed pass.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Sadio Mané replaces Roberto Firmino.

  20. Booking

    Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City32235467234474
2Man Utd30179458332560
3Leicester30175853341956
4Chelsea31159750311954
5Liverpool31157953371652
6West Ham30157848371152
7Tottenham30147951321949
8Everton29145104138347
9Leeds31143144949045
10Aston Villa301351243331044
11Arsenal30126124035542
12Wolves31108133141-1038
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
14Southampton30106143953-1436
15Burnley3089132440-1633
16Brighton30711123338-532
17Newcastle3078153050-2029
18Fulham32511162442-1826
19West Brom3049172559-3421
20Sheff Utd3042241752-3514
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