Premier League: Liverpool move to sixth place with win over Aston Villa

Liverpool secured a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa in the Premier League to move to sixth place
Liverpool defeated Aston Villa 3-1 in the Premieir League
Liverpool defeated Aston Villa 3-1 in the Premieir League

(Football news) Liverpool restarted their Premier League campaign with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa with the result helping the Reds progress into sixth place. Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah opened the scoring after just five minutes and they doubled the lead when Virgil Van Dijk’s deflected shot went into the back of the net in the 37th minute.

However, Villa did manage to score through Ollie Watkins’ header in the 59th minute to threaten a comeback in what was a wide-open contest. In the 81st minute, Stefan Bajcetic came off the bench to score his first senior goal and helped secure the three points for his side. The result was Unai Emery’s first loss as Aston Villa boss since he took over from Steven Gerrard.

In team news, Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was unavailable after winning the World Cup with Argentina which meant Robin Olsen featured in goal. Ashley Young, Ollie Watkins and Leon Bailey replaced Matty Cash, Danny Ings and Jacob Ramsey as Emery went on to make four changes from the win over Brighton. As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp made three changes to the team that defeated Southampton with Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming in for Joe Gomez, Harvey Elliott and Roberto Firmino.

“I loved it. In a difficult game we played a lot of good stuff. We were not superior in all moments, especially at the start of the second half when Aston Villa were clearly better. We lost rhythm there, and when you lose rhythm in an intense game it’s difficult to come back. But we found ways to get out of that. We had some massive counter-attacks and could have scored the third goal much earlier. I loved the start of the game, that was really, really good and exactly what we wanted.

“We have to be the pain in the backside for everybody. That’s how it is. Of course, we are the chasers. We are not in the best position, there is distance between us and other teams. The first two or three are maybe too far away, I don’t know. If they win all their games we have no chance. But there are other teams (battling for) the Champions League spots at the moment and we have to do our part.

“That means winning football games and we will see how close we can get. It must be the target, to qualify for the Champions League. For that we have a lot of games still to go for. We all have to go through difficult moments in games, between games and after them. We got three points today and that’s the best way to get closer to these spots. Of course we go for that, no doubt about it, we don’t think we have it. Not at all, as all the teams up there have played an exceptional season. It’s just as long as we can see them, then we will fight for getting them, that’s it.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

“Really disappointed. We did a great effort. It’s so hard for us. I think the first half we started well. We created chances. We didn’t score and conceding two goals from set-pieces isn’t normal because we are working well on the set-pieces. The result was a little bit tough for us. The second half we needed to keep, again, our game plan and to try to get chances to score and opportunities to come back. We played for 30 minutes very well. We scored, we created chances and we were better than them, I think.”

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery

Also read: Premier League: Arsenal consolidate lead with win over West Ham

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