Game #5622

Season | 2020-21 |

Matchday | #34 |

League Match | #30 |
Manager Game | #117 |
Saturday, 10 April 2021
Premier League | Away | Liverpool | Anfield | Behind closed doors | 

20-21 #34 Ollie Watkins scores 43'
20-21 #34 Ollie Watkins scores 43'

Saturday, 10 April 2021 | Ollie Watkins opens the scoring on 43' from a John McGinn through ball for his 14th of the season

20-21 #34 Tyrone Mings mistake 13'
20-21 #34 Tyrone Mings mistake 13'

Saturday, 10 April 2021 | Tyrone Mings' error lets Liverpool in on goal

20-21 #34 John McGinn
20-21 #34 John McGinn

Saturday, 10 April 2021 | John McGinn comes under pressure to win the ball

20-21 #34 Ollie Watkins scores 43'
20-21 #34 Ollie Watkins scores 43'

Saturday, 10 April 2021 | Ollie Watkins opens the scoring on 43' from a John McGinn through ball for his 14th of the season

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Game Summary

Manager | Dean Smith |

KO | 15.00 |
Referee | Paul Tierney |

 HT Score | 1-0 |

 FT Result | 1-2 |
 FT Score | Lost |

Last 5 Games | DDLWL |

Scorer(s) | Ollie Watkins | 43' |

Assist(s) | John McGinn | 43' |

League Position | 10th | -1 |

Team News

With captain Jack Grealish once again ruled out through injury - his 8th consecutive absence and longest run out of the side since February 2019 (14 games).

As Dean Smith reflected:

"Myself and Jack were quite optimistic to get him back a bit sooner than he probably should and he's had a setback that will probably put him back a couple of weeks. He was really good in training, but he couldn't tolerate the loading. It's a loading injury and we have to de-load him over the next few weeks and get him back from there.

 

"We know it's not a long-term injury and he will be back. We all, Jack included, probably pushed him back a little bit too quickly. He wanted to get back, we wanted him to get back and he had a little setback."

In Grealish's absence Smith took the opportunity to recall the more defensively minded Marvelous Nakamba for the first time since his controversial start in the embarrassing defeat to Sheffield United five games previously.

A fit again Kortney Hause was recalled to the squad after an absence of 15 games with Morgan Sanson ruled out due to a knee injury.

Line Up

GK Emiliano Martínez |

RB Matty Cash | 

CB Ezri Konsa | BOOKED | 24' |

CB Tyrone Mings | 

LB Matt Targett | BOOKED | 73' |

M Douglas Luiz | BOOKED | 48' |

M John McGinn | ASSIST | 43' |

M Marvelous Nakamba | SUB OFF | 66' |

W Bertrand Traoré | SUB OFF | 68' |

W Trézéguet | SUB OFF | 82' |

CF Ollie Watkins | GOAL | 43' | BOOKED | 85' |

Substitutes

M Ross Barkley for M Marvelous Nakamba | 66' |

W Anwar El Ghazi for W Bertrand Traoré | 68' |

M Jacob Ramsey for W Trézéguet | 82' |

Unused Substitutes

GK Tom Heaton

LB Neil Taylor

RB Ahmed Elmohamady

CB Kortney Hause

CB Björn Engels

 CF Keinan Davis

Cards

Yellow | Ezri Konsa | 24' |

Yellow | Douglas Luiz | 48' |

Yellow | Matt Targett | 73' |

Yellow | Ollie Watkins | 85' |

Match Stats

Possession F | 33%
Possession A | 67%
Shots F | 9
Shots A | 22
Shots on Target F | 5
Shots on Target A | 9
Corners F | 0
Corners A | 7
Fouls F | 11

Fouls A | 16

Team Stats

Starting XI Average Age | 25.78 | 

Oldest Player | GK Emiliano Martínez | 28.62 |

Youngest Player | M Douglas Luiz | 22.94 |

Not Selected

GK Jed Steer

Unavailable

Injury | 3 |

CF Wesley | Knee, ACL 1 Jan 20 - Unknown |

M Jack Grealish | Leg, 21 Feb - Unknown |

M Morgan Sanson | Knee, 10 Apr - Unknown |

Loaned Out | 2 |

M Conor Hourihane | Swansea City | 20 Jan 20 - 31 May 21 |

RB Frédéric Guilbert | RC Strasbourg Alsace | 31 Jan 21 - 30 Jun 21 |

On this day 10 April 2021

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez made his 30th appearance for Villa since joining the club from Arsenal in September 2020.

Centre back Ezri Konsa made his 60th appearance for the club since joining from Brentford in July 2019.

19 year old Jacob Ramsey made his 20th appearance for Villa since being promoted to the first team squad for his debut in February 19. 17 of Ramsey's appearances have come in the 2020-21 campaign including 7 starts.

Ollie Watkins' 14th goal of the season, playing 4-2-4 at Anfield, the post saving the Liverpool goal from a 2-0 deficit, injuries to Mings, Trézéguet and Luiz. A 20th appearance for 19 year old Jacob Ramsey, 30th appearance for the revelatory Emiliano Martínez and 60th appearance for the sublime Ezri Konsa. Another Mings mistake, and another 90'+ minute winner for lucky Liverpool. Only one side oozed class, confidence and an upward trajectory and they didn't play in red.

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Liverpool have won 37 Premier League game with a 90th-minute winning goal, 12 more than any other side.

Villa have lost 22 Premier League games to a 90th-minute goal. Only Tottenham Hotspur (23) have lost more in the competition's history.

 

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Pre Match

*Saturday, 10 April 2021*

*Villa manager Dean Smith*

"It would have been unthinkable at the start of the season, [competing for the top eight] having stayed up by the skin of our teeth last season.

"Some of the results we’ve had this season, certainly the consistency we showed up until January, we’ve been a bit up and down since then.

 

"Defensively, we’ve been strong but we’ve probably dropped off in the attacking third and that’s something that the last 20 minutes against Fulham pleased me with. [Scoring 3 goals to win 3-1]

 

"We’ve got to go into each game believing that we can finish in that top eight. There’s certainly a will from the players.

"We have to prepare and put in a really good performance [against Liverpool]. We had a lot of players playing at their top level that day (for the 7-2 win over Liverpool earlier in the season) with running stats outstanding.

"We have to make sure physically and mentally we have to approach the game in the same vein and, if we do so, we've got a chance of winning."

Match Report

*BBC Sport*

*Saturday, 10 April 2021*

Trent Alexander-Arnold scored an injury-time winner as Liverpool came from behind to beat Aston Villa and end a run of six consecutive defeats at Anfield.

Ollie Watkins - who scored a hat-trick in Villa's 7-2 win in the reverse game - fired the visitors ahead with a shot which squirmed through Alisson.

Liverpool were denied an equaliser by an extremely tight video assistant referee offside decision. Roberto Firmino fired home from close range but a long VAR review ruled that Diogo Jota was just offside in the build-up.

They did eventually equalise when Mohamed Salah headed into an empty net after Emiliano Martinez parried Andy Robertson's cross.

That was their first goal in open play at Anfield since 27 December - a run of 12 hours and 45 minutes and 132 shots since Sadio Mane scored against West Brom. They netted one penalty at their home ground in that time.

Villa went close to a winner as Trezeguet's spinning effort hit the post.

But the Reds kept persisting and Alexander-Arnold curled home from the edge of the box after Villa failed to clear the ball.

Alexander-Arnold's first home goal in the league since July 2020 ended not only a six-game losing run at Anfield, but also a run of eight games without a win at home - the second worst top-flight record in their history.

The comeback win means another VAR offside invisible to the naked eye might avoid the headlines.

Alexander-Arnold found Jota with a long pass over the top as Matty Cash failed to clear. Jota picked out Mohamed Salah, who passed to Andy Robertson. His shot was blocked and landed to Firmino, who scored.

But a long VAR check ruled that Cash did not touch the ball and Jota was just offside.

At that stage it felt Liverpool's luck was out but they ended up rediscovering their winning touch.

Salah headed in and then Alexander-Arnold pounced after Thiago's shot was well saved by Emiliano Martinez before the ball reached him.

Liverpool had plenty of chances either side of their goals - 23 shots in total - with Salah rolling a shot wide after a Tyrone Mings error one of the more notable misses.

The win will give Liverpool extra confidence going into Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid at Anfield. They lost 3-1 in Spain.

Is Europe gone for Villa now?

Villa were hoping to complete a double over Liverpool, having stunned them 7-2 earlier in the season in one of the Premier League's most famous scorelines.

And things were looking good when John McGinn found Watkins, who cut inside Ozan Kabak before shooting straight at Alisson, who should have done better but let the ball in.

That made Watkins the first player to score four goals against Liverpool in a single Premier League season since Andrey Arshavin for Arsenal in 2008-09.

After the break and Liverpool's equaliser they struggled to create too many clear-cut chances, except for Trezeguet's effort off the woodwork from Watkins' pass.

Their failure to hold on to a point means they are now five points below Tottenham Hotspur in seventh place, which is the lowest position that could be a European place.

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Post Match

*Saturday, 10 April 2021*

*Villa manager Dean Smith*

"We deserved a point, we were better in the second half after not being great. But we lost the second half 2-0, football does that to you sometimes.

"We had a lapse in concentration, we had some good opportunities and didn't have that final pass in the final third.

"We've come to Liverpool, knew how they would play and how determined they were to put things right at Anfield but it's disappointing to concede so late.

"Ollie Watkins played well again, he's got four goals against the champions but we leave with nothing.

"Douglas Luiz's English isn't the best. The doctor thought he said he had double vision but when he came off the translator came down and cleared it up and he was ok to carry on."

 "It just shows you how painful football can be at times when you play better the second half and concede two goals and lose the game.

"I thought Liverpool had to be at their best to beat us. First half we weren’t great but second half we had good counter-attacking opportunities and got some overloads in the final third, we've been unlucky where we hit the post as well, so it wasn't meant to be unfortunately. It's disappointing to concede so late.

"We have come a long way but the boys are never satisfied. It's always hard to lose - especially when you have taken the lead. I think that's only the second time this season we have lost a lead. We are disappointed with that but we have come up against a quality team but the opportunities we had in the second half we should've put away."

"Trézéguet has come on as a sub last week and made an impact and played well again today and played his part. Unfortunately he's gone off injured. We're a little bit worried to see what the extent of the injury is. He's a little bit upset, but we'll see over time."

"[Jack Grealish] isn't close. He had a set back in training last week and he'll be out for at least a few weeks."

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*Saturday, 10 April 2021*

*Villa leading scorer Ollie Watkins*

"It's tough, we didn't deserve to be up at half-time but in the second half we were resilient and if we had taken our chances it could have been 2-0.

"A point would have been fair but it's swings and roundabouts. We were unlucky but we'll learn from this.

"I felt that with their high line I would get chances and I got one today - but we could have exposed them more with balls down the side. The celebration was because we've got a baby on the way!

"I'm here to score goals and I want to contribute."

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