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Fire and Ice: Villa 1, Liverpool 2

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Stu Forster

I think we all hung our heads pretty low when Benteke's goal went in. It was another moment that we have seen all to often this season, Liverpool being beaten on a counter against lower table opposition. My head sunk, and I sulked all the way through halftime wondering how the hell this could be happening agian. However, BR's men luckily did not. What was an awful first half for them turned into an unbelievable display in the second, showing the potential Liverpool have to absolutely dominate.

The first was almost exactly reminiscent of the previous game. The defense was overrun, and the midfield was stretched giving Villa entirely too much room for the counter. Let's be honest, it was coming. Reina made a fantastic save on Abonglahor 1v1 which likely would have been quite a kick to the teeth early on. As for the Benteke goal, let's just get one things straight; that man clearly has a nose for goal and took it quite well.

Perhaps Battling Joshua gave them the halftime kick in the ass they needed, perhaps it was just his inspirational story, Liverpool though came out storming for the second and didn't really look back, creating tons of chances, although yet again, their shot accuracy is quite troubling. They again fired at will, but without accuracy. Liverpool took a total of 23 shots, but only 7 were on target. This is becoming a troubling trend as one can't expect to get that many chances against the better sides. It also might be why Liverpool have struggled against the top teams. In addition, 11 of those 23 shots were blocked. This is also happening too often where a player just takes a hopeful chance from outside when there is clearly entirely too much traffic to make it through. These are the cases where the players need to regroup and maintain possession, not just keep firing.

Either way, 3 points is 3 points and in the race for 5th, they are vital. On to the bullets:

-How did Westwood avoid red? That was a career ender on Henderson at the end. Was it because the match was almost over? Either way, it was poor to only give yellow and provides yet another controversy surrounding ridiculous over the top challenges.

-Well done to Jordan Henderson's knee for not buckling.

-While Suarez didn't score, his movement today set up much of the excellent play. However, it seemed at times that Henderson didn't always figure out how to use the space created by Suarez and thus was very much a peripheral figure for much of the game in attack. Yes, I know, he scored.

-Coutinho is unbelievable. That pass was unreal, but won't get the credit it deserves because it was along the floor. For me, that makes it almost better. In addition, the vision and footballing brain he is displaying are well beyond his years.

-Sterling is alive!, and with a new do. It looked like he might be working his way towards a Deandre Yedlin. good to see him out there with a decent cameo.

-Why isn't Andre Wisdom getting games? He was fantastic earlier and it isn't as if Johnson is setting the world on fire with his current form.