• Hey Guest!
    Enjoy the This Is Anfield Forums but want to remove the adverts? Now you can do so by clicking here.
    Thanks for your support!

Post Match: Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool (Sturridge)

Bleech

TIA Reserve Team
Joined
Nov 30, 2007
Messages
1,678
Thank fuck for that (again). Still, 2 games, 6 points, 2 clean sheets. Delighted with that.
 


Toro

Florida Red
Joined
Sep 17, 2004
Messages
1,793
Mesmerizing first 30 minutes, awful second half.

Nonetheless, we haven't won many of these games the past few years. Six points from the first two tricky fixtures is great. Bring on ManUre!

Toure or Mignolet MOTM
 

BrianLfc10

TIA New Signing
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
95
The old Liverpool would of came out of those two games with 2 or 0 points. Glad we were able to grind out results like this because god knows we have struggled with it in the past.

Fancy our chances against Moyes and his crew next, Bring it on!
YNWA
 

LiVeRp0oL89

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
3,416
Happy with the 3 points obviously but Christ.. this isn't a healthy habit to have. Just seen that we let Villa have 17 attempts to our 5 :eek:. Mignolet can't bail us out of the shit every game.. I think we have to have an experienced centre back coming in before now and deadline day and I really wish he would bring some competition for Lucas, though it's unlikely to happen..

Again though, delighted with the 3 points :D
 

SoueysTash

GegenPosting
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
8,184
Good god...that was nerve shredding. Whilst we seem to be able to close games out, wasn't exactly comfortable.

Aspas & Coutinho virtually anonymous

Lucas - shocking second half, needs an ear full

Toure/Gerrard amazing defensively...Agger too was smart


MOM for me was Gerrard, he was everywhere in the second half, true captains performance
 



ILLOK

In the Danger Zone.
Ad-free Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
15,792
Delighted again.

Toure, mignolet and Sturridge were excellent. Thought Johnson and Enrique defended well although they weren't too smart when going forward, but they can be forgiven.

Hard game for coutinho and aspas but at least both had their moments when going forward, coutinhos dummy for sturridge was class as was Aspas' for johnsons wild effort.

Henderson worked hard but needs to add more to the attack, Gerrard and Agger had patchy games (some good, some bad) and Lucas was just miles off the pace.

Nice to see Aly get his debut. Made up anyway, fought again for a scrappy victory.
 

vareynick

New Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
1
On the game: Happy with the 3 points. Thought the first half was almost perfect, great possession. Second half was less good, but its another clean sheet, and we now have 6 from 6. I'll take that.

On the forum: Some of the opinions being thrown around the pre match post are disgusting. I saw one 'fan' wishing a defeat on the manager so he might learn something, and plenty spouting shite about Lucas. Yes he looked a little ragged towards the end of the half, and I think Rodgers should've removed him, but not because he was doing poorly. He does an excellent job, week in week out, and any LFC 'fan' calling for him to be dropped has no idea of the true value a DM (Lucas is a world class DM) brings to a team.

6 out of 6 is an excellent start, bring on Man U!
 

rab

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2010
Messages
3,273
Great passing, great pressing, lovely movement and inter play. Just lacking creating more guilt edge chances but otherwise we look fantastic as a side and really could be a force once Suarez is back and if we can add one or two more top players.

That was for the first half an hour. As for the rest of the game.

Nervous, tense, lack of shape, lack of covering runners, easily over whelmed in the middle of the park, didn't pick up a single second ball off Benteke or our centre backs, started hoofing the ball long and all in all looked pretty poor. This is kind of what happens when teams press us high and we don't have good movement to create avenues from defence to midfield and midfield to attack. Lucas was awol all game bar getting booked, Johnson and Enrique were poor, Coutinho didn't get a kick second half and Aspas looked lost. Again we lacked good options from the bench, Cissokoh is a left back not a left wing, Allen isn't a DM and we were crying out for someone with pace out wide to stretch them on the break but left Sterling on the bench.

On the plus side Kolo Toure seems to be able to head a ball which is a novelty for most of our central defensive options, Mignolet was unbelieveable again when called upon and has turned 2 points into six so far this year. Sturridge took his goal really well too.

All in all a poor performance but if you can win when you play poorly then good results with less nervous finishes should come when things begin to click. Villa won't struggle like they did last year that's for sure. Roll on United and Kolo bossing RVP and Sturridge ripping Vidic and Ferdinand apart.
 

ReRangles

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
730
Thought we should have changed our play in the second half so that we could've benefited form counter attack football, when Cissokho came on i thought he looked good on the counter. Despite having a strong midfield on paper i thought they were outplayed in the second half.

Though in the past we've lost or drawn games like this so i'm not complaining with the three points.
 

Jugger

New Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
135
2 matches 2 wins, good times but we can't keep relying on only Sturridge to score and Mignolet to pull off wonder saves every match, though how nice is it to have that in our locker now. More importantly getting 3 points when not playing well for half the match.

One thing thats not impressed me, how little threat other players have offered in attacking positions. Apart from Hendo in the Stoke match Sturridge has looked the only player likely to score.

Still, good result against a young and impressive Villa side, onwards and upwards massive test next v United!
 



gingerbread

TIA Squad Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
5,725
Well don't hope much for our next game. But surely if we can pull another win, we will have that momentum roll on.

Anyway good match. To be honest, other than Benteke shot which Mignolet blocked brilliantly, they did not really threat our goal that much. We really planned our way to seal that 1-0 result.

Anyway i'm happy. Bring in our next game against... Nott country?
 

mattyhurst

TIA Regular
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
13,550
Anyone who expected any less than that is kidding themselves, our issue was giving the ball away in the second half, the first half is perfect and the new lad kept hold of the ball.

Sturridge's finish was excellent mind both with the goal and defensive, to be honest for the most part the games we were losing were these two type of games, we battered Stoke for 70 mins and that will happen again but sometimes this is the way we need to play.

And listenng to Brendan he knows that...

Was a good result and a good battle...
 

JimmyG37

TIA New Signing
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
89
A win's a win. 6 points in 2 matches. I took us 7 matches (early October) to get to that point toal last year. Another clean sheet for Mignolet.

Obviously I'd rather have seen us put Villa away to avoid the tense moments late, but we got the 3 points, so that's all that really matters. Move on to get ready for United, and hopefully make some headway in adding to the squad.
 

tesh

TIA New Signing
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Messages
1,099
Great result.
Great team effort.
Thought Lucas, Toure, Couthinio, Mignolet and Gerard had good games.
 



Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
7,373
Happy with the 3 points and clean sheet but for f*cks sake just clear the ball when you are under pressure in defense! Too much faffing about leading to free kicks and some good chances for the opposition team.

MOTM is definitely Sturridge for me. Brilliant finish for his goal and also played his part in putting pressure on Villa players. Also impressed with the effort put in by Henderson and Gerrard + Toure + Agger + Mognolet also put in some decent shifts.
 

Union4LFC

Active Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
352
One thing is for certain - luck is finally in our favor. LFC really only had 2 legitimate chances today and won. That is what you need if you want the top 4. That said, a few worries. After controlling the 1st half, the team really started to slip. I think that is mainly due to Gerrard and Lucas being the only MF the team had. Coutinho is terrific, but his impact on a game will become very limited if the squad decides to sit back and defend instead of playing attacking football. Gerrard and Lucas are going to get straight up over run by a better squad if we play that type of game again. Aspas playing behind Sturridge was an absolute disaster. Really would like to see what Alberto can do in that role. Sturridge was so key today. Getting back to defend on multiple occasions.

Have to say it - given the way Allen has played so far, his signing looks like a huge waste. There isn't really a place for him in the lineup currently because he is just too small to play the position he needs to play (DM). He gets pushed off the ball with ease at the moment.

Still pretty clear the squad needs an attacking winger to provide good service. Seems that Suarez might replace Aspas in the current configuration, playing behind Sturridge. But Henderson isn't enough of a threat offensively out wide.

Really need a CB, but also - not having a legitimate DM on the roster that can settle a game like we saw today is a big concern.
 

No Men in the Box Redux

Keyboard Warrior
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
1,976
Typical game of two halves. Probably deserved a draw more than a win to be honest but Mignolet heroics once again denied Villa coming away with something from that game.

I thought out midfield in particular looked lackluster in the second half. Lucas was very poor I thought. Most guilty of conceding way too much possession cheapily and Gerrard was guilty of a few sloppy, inaccurate balls as well. At the very least though, I thought Stevie picked it up defensively when we need him to around the 70th or so minute. Carried the team for a little bit at one point by making two or three big tackles in quick succession.

I was shocked though to see how deep we dropped and welcomed Villa to attack us. Any pressure coming in from the two center midfielders (Gerrard and Lucas) did very little to detain Villas attacks. It was pressure and pressing just for the sake of it and not pressure or pressing with any real purpose. It was incredibly frustrating to see Lucas waltz forward to apply some pressure only for a simple 1-2 exchange between Villa's players to completely bypass him and find the open space he just left behind. That is really poor midfield play in my opinion. Clearly we still need to work out applying pressure as a team. Its not okay to just expect Lucas to do it all. It doesn't work like that.

Defensively, I thought Agger and Toure held their own apart from one or two mistakes which should be expected against a tricky customer like Benteke. Thought Johnson and Enrique were quite poor positionally though. I can't believe how many times Enrique just let a Villa player breeze past him and find space and time to whip in a ball whether it was Weimann or their fullback. It was simply unacceptable. The number of corners conceded and decent chances that came in from the wings in the second half was unbelievable. Competition in Cissokho is very welcome and has arrived at just the right time.

Not much to say about the forwards. Henderson worked his socks off but had little to offer going forward. Quiet game for Aspas and Coutinho. Sturridge scored a fantastic goal and put in a decent defensive shift towards the last 20 minutes so credit to him for that.

I'll take scrappy 1-0 wins any day but I'm not so sure it will be very good for my heart.

MOTM: Mignolet
 

ILLOK

In the Danger Zone.
Ad-free Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
15,792
rab said:
On the plus side Kolo Toure seems to be able to head a ball which is a novelty for most of our central defensive options, Mignolet was unbelieveable again when called upon and has turned 2 points into six so far this year.
A goalkeeper who can save shots and a centre back who can head the ball is doing us well so far.

Brendan is a footballing genius
 

Kinny Riddle

TIA New Signing
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
671
The last two opponents would have been banana skins in previous seasons, but we've managed to grind out win against both.

I can accept many cagey but grinded out 1-0 wins against these sort of opponents if it means they could offset any losses against the current Big Six, which my head says we will be getting.

Had this been last season, we would have been facing the Mancs with 0-2pts only, and under a lot of pressure to win. Now we have 6pts to act as a cushion should the "unthinkable" happen.

My heart says we'll stuff the Mancs, my head says best be prepared to look forward for the Swansea game on Sept 16th. B)
 



RichLFC

Always one of us. RIP.
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
11,674
Individuals ropey, collectively ok. Actually a bit different from last week where several individuals shone but the team didnt quite click

This one was going to be tough though and Benteke was a big concern of mine so in a way it's a means to an end a 1-0 win. By any means necessary

Mignolet has done very well in his first two games and Sturridge is scoring in Suarez's absence

Do feel we need upgrading in at last a couple of positions however

Cissokho worked hard at the end though. Also feel Henderson for me though he also worked very hard I would see him as a good bench option rather than a starter. Same with Aspas. They along with one or two others are maybe playing roles presently above their natural capabilities. But work rate is carrying them though to an extent. Man U though will be a rather different test but we do need to consistently beat the also rans and so far, we are just about doing that
 

rab

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2010
Messages
3,273
ILLOK said:
A goalkeeper who can save shots and a centre back who can head the ball is doing us well so far.

Brendan is a footballing genius
I think our purchases are a group effort so the plaudits for spotting obvious weaknesses and doing something about it need to be shared amongst the esteemed 'transfer comittee'
 

i_still_miss_fowler

Open Your Eyes Morty!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
7,150
Good game, both teams putting in a lot of energy and working hard giving little time and space. All credit to Villa they will do much better this season.

Great goal by Sturridge, and some great defending by Gerrard with 2 or 3 very important tackles (he was our main DM today and my MOM).

Fell away during the second half, as we could not maintain momentum. This is something we need to address this season as it was a feature last year.

Lucas was very poor, gave several fouls away, got dispossed and put other players under pressure with poor passing. Hopefully his form will pick up, as it does not look like we will buy competition.

Generally though a hard fought win, and overall happy :)
 

MarlboroMan

Vertrauen Sie mir
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
6,065
EPL Index ‏@EPLIndex 8m
#AVFC 0 #LFC 1 FT
Possession%: 47-53
| Passes: 481-553
| Accuracy%: 84-82
| Final 3rd: 128-135
| Accuracy%: 63-68
| Shots: 17(3)-5(1)


I know how good Villa are, they beat Arsenal and should have got a draw against Chelsea but that was one poor ass second half performance. First 30 minutes we were very good but still not out of 4th gear but after we scored we sat back and invited pressure. Rodgers said we would be a team that kept the ball even when we needed to defend a lead as the team without the ball can't score. What happened Brendan? That's twice this season where right after we've scored we have sat back so it must be a tactical decision.

Mentally we still aren't very strong, we allowed Villa back in and looked fearful to boot. After 60 minutes I was praying for the match to end!

Sturridge was MOTM, and Migs deserves a lot of credit too for that save. Nobody else was very good which is surprising as we weren't the club that played in midweek. We should have been the more energetic side yet looked out of breath and disinterested in keeping possession. Still its 3 points in what was a tricky match so its 6 points from 6 but only 2 goals scored but 2 clean sheets.
 

OhYaBeauty

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
5,610
Tactical Notes (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the 4-4-2)

Left: Liverpool's surprising starting 4-4-2 did well for the opening half hour, but lacked ideas and structure as time went on. Right: The 4-2-3-1 that was utilized in the lat second half didn't do too much better than the 4-4-2 had been doing either side of the interval.

Seriously Brendan? A 4-4-2? I never thought I'd see the day. It worked pretty well, in the first half at least. We were able to dominate possession through the wings and defensive areas, although that control of the game certainly lessened heading into the break, and had faded completely by the second half. During the second half, the 4-4-2 really hampered our ability to play an active pressing game, and we ended up giving Villa possession that gave them some chances.

The second half was actually pretty poor for us. The first twenty minutes certainly didn't look good, with us allowing Villa about half the possession and not seeming too creative. The switch to the 4-2-3-1 with Cissokho's introduction allowed us a much better shape off the ball, though we still struggled at times with it.

I have to say that I was disappointed that Rodgers had nothing up his sleeve to get us back to controlling the game in the last twenty minutes. The Aspas-Cissokho substitution was okay, but we didn't gain any control of the game. Allen's substitution didn't either. He'll have to figure out a way to change games like this because they're not uncommon in this league.

Cissokho

I was thoroughly intrigued to see how Jose Enrique would play today, now that his position in the team is no longer completely secure. I thought he might step his game up in order to keep his head above the new competition. He did: he put in a couple of decent crosses and had a couple of very good passes to Sturridge. One lead to a goal, the other was chested down to Henderson for a scoring chance.

When he came on he really was unspectacular, though his presence changed the game. We did not do a like for like swap but a change of formation; Cissokho's introduction for Aspas pulled a striker and dropped a defender into midfield to shif from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1. This helped us defend but didn't really do too much for our attack; Gerrard and Coutinho still didn't get much time on the ball and we were penned in.

As far as his actual play, it was just okay. Its harsh to expect much since he was playing in midfield despite being a defender, but he put himself about, closed down well, and didn't give the ball away cheaply. He was as good as Downing at least; neither does much more than win throw ins…

Player Notes

Mignolet had a few shaky moments but he had two very good saves on Benteke, first the curler off the corner and then the volley to his near post. We might not look tight at the back, but we haven't been scored against yet, and for that you have to commend Mignolet. He had an excellent double save last week and he's done well for the team today as well.

Jose Enrique played pretty well. His offense seemed much improved from what we've seen recently but he was dispossessed rather cheaply by Weimann. Overall it was a good performance but there's room to improve. Johnson on the other flank was solid but didn't do too much of note. He did have a half volley off an Aspas flick that he sent into Row Z that I would otherwise have expected him to at least get on target. As an attacking fullback, he needs to score goals and he had a good chance to do so there.

The central defenders had a good enough game but both made individual errors. Agger had a poor back pass to Mignolet, and Toure had a rough time with Benteke, pushing him on a few corners where a penalty could have been called and on others not doing enough to prevent him from getting his head to the ball. Overall though, they kept a clean sheet and they deserve praise for that.

Gerrard and Lucas were okay but unspectacular. Lucas did well not to foul often but did give away a late free kick in a dangerous position. Other than that he really didn't close down that well, perhaps due the the shape of the midfield. And I'm unconvinced by this new shift towards a [slightly] more offensive role. Gerrard played well but misplaced some passes that were normally passes he'd make. Coutinho was a little off the pace, both because he was moved out wide and because he was closed down. Maybe it just wasn't his day, but there wasn't as much magic as we're accustomed to. Henderson closed down and played neat one-twos but really doesn't belong playing as a winger in a 4-4-2. If he's out wide, he needs to be able to interchange centrally and drop back to midfield like he does with Coutinho when deployed on the left of our 4-2-3-1 last season.



Sturridge's goal was very well taken, and you have to think that if he keeps this up and keeps fit he'll likely bag twenty this season. He had very little service but managed to get on the score sheet anyway. Fantastic finish it was, too. Aspas ultimately came up a bit short but had some good ideas. We'll see how he progresses but I think he and Sturridge are a bit to similar to play as partners in a 4-4-2. They'd do nicely with one off the other in a 4-2-3-1, however.

The Result

We won. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted us to be able to win games without controlling them. It is now and has been United's greatest strength: they can look the worse team for an entire game but pop up with a goal and an undeserved three points. During Kenny's year and at times last year we controlled games and didn't get what we deserved.

Today, we mightn't have deserved to come away with all three points but did so regardless. That's how good teams manage to have great seasons, and I hope we can keep it up.

Additionally, we've come out of that with a 100% record, and two clean sheets. That's a very good start against two teams we dropped points to last season.

The Performance

As much as we praise the result we have to admonish the performance. Not the players exclusively, however. Rodgers did not set the team up so as to control the game, and it showed. From about 35 minutes on, we were very much not in control of the game. If we play a better team or our keeper has a lesser game, we'll see the results slip away. Rodgers needs to find a way to change games to give us greater control, whether that's shifting formation, bringing Allen on earlier, adding the pace of Sterling or Ibe to stretch teams, or getting his Captain to take command.

The players for their part seemed to try hard. They put themselves about and tried to get the ball back. But as a wise little green creature says: "Do or do not; there is no try." They need be better at closing down the opposition when they're on the ball so that we end up adding to a lead rather than hanging on to one.
 



Red Armada

TIA Regular
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
2,875
Happy that we've scraped through with 3 points but the performance of the second half was abysmal. We kept making stupid mistakes and giving the ball away. The only ones who kept their head were Gerrard, Toure, Henderson and Mignolet.

Agger on the other hand, i lost track of how many times he screwed up, i can't imagine how can anyone think that he had a decent game.
 

LiVeRp0oL89

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
3,416
tesh said:
Great result.
Great team effort.
Thought Lucas, Toure, Couthinio, Mignolet and Gerard had good games.
I thought Lucas was shocking second half.. Coutinho also wasn't at his silky smooth best, barring his dummy to set up the goal for Sturridge. Agree that Toure, Mignolet and Gerrard we're very good once again.

I'm struggling to defend Henderson based on performances like this... Yes I get it, he gives us energy, he runs.. other than that he was anonymous I thought.. We should bring in real competition for Lucas and sell one of him or Allen.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
7,373
Shots on target: 17 vs 5
Shots on goal: 5 vs 1
Goals: 0 vs 1

Doesn't seem much different from a lot our games last season except we are the 2nd team this time around.