English Premier League

Liverpool 2 – 1 Aston Villa

Liverpool bounce back to winning ways as they beat Aston Villa 2 – 1. 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 that 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 765 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 moves up to the fourth place, above West Ham on goal difference, with Villa staying in 10th.

Liverpool finally rediscover winning touch
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.

Source – BBC News

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