So this wasn't exactly a match that was easy on the eye. It seemed like it would be as Liverpool absolutely dominated possession through the first half. Well into the first half, at one point they had 72% possession and you'd have thought Villa had 8 men on the pitch. During this time, Enrique squeezed the ball into a tight spot at the top of the box where Coutinho wisely let it pass to Sturridge who just beautifully carved the rest of Villa open.
Then, something happened and Liverpool became a bit stale and sloppy in midfield just before the half. Villa pounced and basically applied all the pressure after that. Roles were reversed and Liverpool were pinned in their end and forced to play the role of counterattacker and rely on their keeper to keep the points.
In the end though, United proved last year that winning enough of these games is absolutely necessary to win the league. It shows resolve and a grit that will be required to squeeze into a top spot and force Arsenal to sack Wenger.
Some thoughts, feel free to share yours in the comments:
-Coutinho's best touch of the match was not touching the ball Enrique played into Sturridge for the goal.
-The midfield as a whole was absolutely dominating early. The best part was they won nearly every single ball back immediately during that time.
-Johnson has looked a shell of his former self. Really it isn't all about skill as much as his decision making. Even Sturridge had to drop deep to cover his ass a couple times.
-I don't understand why Cissokho was played ahead of Enrique, I would have rather seen those two swapped.
-Allen really should have come in sooner and definitely not for Aspas. It left Sturridge marooned up top which caused unrelenting pressure to continue as there was little outlet.
-I don't know why Liverpool wouldn't slow the match down in the second, but they foolishly seemed willing to try to beat Villa at Villa's game. It barely worked.
-Although Pepe will always hold a place in my heart does anybody wish we had kept Reina? Yeah, me either.
-Six points from the first two matches, certainly can't ague with that. Only about 27-30 more points until we are safe from relegation.
-On that note, there is no way we can go the whole season like this. Just like last year, Liverpool need to find ways to turn domination into the only stat that matters, goals.