Aston Villa Focus - Villains hold on for vital point
Aston Villa held on for what could be a vital point in quest to avoid relegation, as Liverpool yet again could only muster a draw at home.
Villa came into the game on a terrible run of results, which has seen them only pick up one win in their last nine league games, and has seen them drop closer and closer to the dreaded relegation dogfight. Liverpool themselves were also lacking in form, with only one win in their last eight dropping them into mid table obscurity, not good enough for a team of their stature.
Villa began the game quite brightly, and were rewarded after nine minutes when Liverpool’s debutant goalkeeper Alexander Doni struggled to deal with a Barry Bannan cross, flicking the ball to Chris Herd who curled in his first senior goal for the club. Liverpool began to pile on the pressure as the Anfield faithful willed the ball into the back of the net, and they almost got their wish just before half time when some great work from Suarez and Gerrard created a chance for Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt. Quite inexplicably, he managed to blaze the ball over the net from just one yard, and Liverpool went into the dressing room at half time feeling frustrated yet again at Anfield.
Liverpool continued to dominate for most of the second half, as Villa retreated further and further back desperately trying to hold on for a vital three points. Chance after chance came and went for Liverpool as it looked like it was just going to be another one of those days for them, until they finally got their breakthrough just eight minutes from time. Daniel Agger cannoned a header back off the underside of the bar from a terrific deep cross from Gerrard. The ball bounced down on the line, and the bright spark Suarez was left with a simple tap in to level the game. Liverpool threw everything at Villa in the final stages, but Villa managed to stand firm, and hold onto a vital away point.
Villa are now on thirty-four points for the season, six ahead of the relegation zone and with a game in hand on some of those teams around them. This point, along with other results going their way, has left them with a slight cushion going into their game on Monday evening at home to Stoke. If Villa were to win that one, they would only be three points away from that illusive forty point barrier, and Villa would almost certainly look safe for this season. Villa’s team has been obliterated by injuries as of late, and had come into this one missing nine of their usual first team line up. They have had to rely on youth and squad players of recent weeks and with the likes of Petrov, Dunne and Darren Bent most likely to miss the rest of the season, they will hope their youth can keep them fighting until the finish line.
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