5 talking points as Reds edge past Villans 2-1

Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after he fires home the winner at stoppage time.
Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after he fires home the winner at stoppage time.

Liverpool came back from a goal deficit in the first half to win at Anfield. Goals from Salah and Trent inspired the comeback for the Reds. Liverpool’s biggest defeat under Klopp came at the hands of Villa earlier this season when they were demolished 7-2.

The game started with Liverpool maintaining two-thirds of the possession in the first half, but they failed to capitalize on their chances. The match was about to enter the halfway mark when Ollie Watkins fired the Villans ahead at the 43rd minute. The first half was drab as Liverpool were wasteful with their chances meanwhile Villa spent most parts of it defending in groups inside their own half.

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Liverpool got a chance of their own to equalize before the break but Firmino’s goal was chalked off by VAR as Jota was deemed offside. The Reds came knocking in the second half for an equalizer and finally managed to catch a break at 57th minute when Andy Robertson’s deflected shot landed at Salah’s feet, who found an open goal at his mercy.

The second half continued to be uneventful for both the teams as they failed to capitalize on the chances presented. Liverpool created a high number of chances relative to their possession. As it seemed that the game would end in a 1-1 draw, Trent Alexander Arnold fired home a spectacular shot from outside the box in the stoppage time to give Reds the lead.

The match ended with 2-1 win for the Liverpool as they move to 5th position, only 2 points behind 4th place Chelsea.

Here are talking 5 points from the game:-

Grealish’s Absence

Aston Villa’s skipper has already missed 8 games this season due to a shin injury. Villa suffered a setback last week when the news broke that Jack Grealish was expected to be out for another two weeks after suffering a setback in his comeback from injury.

Grealish has been the standout performer for the Villans in the past couple of seasons with his goals and assist. He has scored 6 goals for Villa this season along with a tally of 10 assists. Without Grealish in the team, Villa lacked quality upfront with only Olly Watkins showing glimpses of magic in between. Trezeguet and Traore were poor and Villa’s midfield looked stiff without Grealish’s creativity at the middle of the park. Villa might have been industrious on the night, but surely failed to provide the ammunition to their frontline. Villa’s chances throughout the game were far and few in between and Watkins often found himself outnumbered without much help from the midfield.

Jack Grealish is set to remain on the sidelines due to  injury setback
Jack Grealish is set to remain on the sidelines due to injury setback

Villa managed to hit only 5 shots on target, against a Liverpool defense which has been ropey this season. The Villans would feel Grealish’s absence as they would probably have snatched a draw if he was present in the team.

Salah’s importance

Mohamed Salah has arguably been Liverpool’s most prolific player in the current squad during the past 3 seasons. Critics has played him down recently with some suggesting that he is overhyped, yet Salah never fails to be the most lethal marksman for his team. Liverpool must keep Salah at the club as recent speculations are linking him to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

He bagged a goal tonight and was active tonight as he shot 7 shots on goal and managed a pass completion of 85%.Although Liverpool’s attack was wasteful on the night but that has more to do with lack of chemistry and tactics than individual skill of players. Klopp should probably deploy Salah in the middle of the park with the combination of Firmino, Mane and Jota on the wings against Madrid at the home leg at Anfield.

VAR strikes again

VAR was introduced in the premier league back in 2019 with a goal to help referees make more accurate decisions through video assistance.

In the case of an offside, instead of a linesman, decisions are made by technicians on their software by drawing lines of the furthest position the defender and an attacker find themselves in. Their dot and line measurements are broadcasted around the world which is often subject to ridicule as a number of decisions taken by VAR in the past couple of seasons have been questionable.

Firmino’s equalizer was chalked off by the VAR today after Jota was deemed to be offside by a sleeves margin in the build-up play. The decision was never going to be easy as the difference between Jota and Ezri Konsa was negligible. Yet, some could argue that Jota was marginally onside, with the tip of his hand outstretching the leg of the Villa defender. The referee should have awarded the goal after consultation, yet he ruled it out instead.

Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global football development spoke a few days ago regarding the implementation of automated systems to judge offsides that could be ready for use at the Qatar, World Cup 2022.

Terrific Trent

Trent Alexander-Arnold has send a message to England manager Gareth Southgate ,who excluded him for his most recent England squad. Trent has come under alot of scrutiny lately due to a dip in his recent form. He was impeccable last couple of seasons with his breathtaking performances and was lauded as arguably the best leftback in the world. This season though , he has failed to replicate his form and looks a shadow of a player he was few months ago.

Trent would be ecstatic to have scored tonight to prove Southgate that he was wrong to exclude him from the squad as the England manager was in the stands tonight. The wingback capped his excellent performance with 5 tackles and an 80%+ pass rate. His performance tonight would put a dilemma in Southgate’s mind as he has shown preference to Walker and Trippier for the right-back position.

Reds final charge towards the Champions league spot

Liverpool has now won 4 games on the trot as they set to challenge Chelsea for the 4th place to guarantee a spot in the champions league next season. Liverpool’s season could be quantified as abysmal, to say the least as previous season’s league champions are languishing outside of the top 4.

But in recent weeks, Liverpool has shown a glimpse of promise if they could rally at the dawn of the season and win the remainder of their fixtures the reds could easily get into the top 4.Liverpool are level on points with West Ham who got a game in hand and are a game and 2 points behind Chelsea.

As the premier league season draws to a closure, the top 4 race is open as potentially 5 teams are fighting for 2 spots. Both the Manchester clubs have guaranteed a spot in the champions league. Meanwhile, 7 points separate third-place Leicester and 7th place Tottenham.

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