LFC Talk

Match Review: Liverpool 5-0 Aston Villa by lfctalk

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A great performance from The Reds and the perfect statement of intent after Manchester United and Chelsea both lost yesterday.

The bonus of the five goals added to the goal difference will be the icing on the cake after another fantastic week for Liverpool ends.

Steven Gerrard’s first Premiership hat-trick, including two penalties, will be another major boost to confidence and The Reds will wish that there was no international break now. A trip to Fulham, who beat United at Craven Cottage yesterday, awaits Rafael Benitez’s team after the fortnight break.

Gareth Barry was the early centre of attention, but Dirk Kuyt’s powerful strike in the eight minute set the tone for Liverpool’s biggest win of the season. An Albert Riera blast direct from Jose Reina’s kick put the Reds in firm control after Villa showed signs of improvement with some fine efforts.

Steven Gerrard scored his first with a penalty after Nigel Reo-Coker felled Riera for the second time to give away the spotkick. Brad Friedel went the wrong way to allow Gerrard to put the home side three goals up. The Reds captain added a fourth, and his second, with a fine free-kick into the bottom right corner past a hapless Friedel.

The midfielder capped a fine personal display by dispatching another penalty after Friedel was harshly sent off for bringing down Fernando Torres, despite trying to make himself small to avoid the foul. Martin Atkinson didn’t see it that way, however, and red carded the American – who will now miss Villa’s trip to Old Trafford in a fortnight.

Liverpool could have scored even more with Alvaro Arbeloa wasting two good opportunities to pile further misery on Villa. Carlos Cuellar also got away with two handballs in the second half, which could have seen Gerrard bag a hat-trick of penalties.

The Reds will play Fulham before Manchester United entertain the Midland club and could go two points clear in the process. United face Portsmouth in their game in hand, which will be a crucial game in the title race.

This weekend has blown the title race wide open once again and Liverpool will need to keep the pressure up on United by winning their remaining games.

LFC Talk Man of the Match: Albert Riera

Match Ratings:

Reina 8, Arbeloa 7 (Agger 6), Carragher 8, Skrtel 7, Aurelio 7, Mascherano 8, Alonso 7 (Lucas 6), Gerrard 8 (N’Gog 5), Riera 8, Kuyt 8, Torres 7.


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