Liverpool’s recent good run of form was stopped in its tracks on Saturday when Aston Villa, carrying a very poor away record of late, surprised the Reds with a 3-1 victory at Anfield.
The Reds were left to rue early missed chances in a game they really should have won inside the first twenty minutes.
As it was, Villa hit Liverpool on the counter-attack. Three times. Two up at half time thanks to a low strike from the edge of the area by Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann’s sweet finish when Benteke backheeled the ball into his path, folling the home defence.
Joe Cole was brought on for a frustrated Jonjo Shelvey at half time but did little to inspire a comeback as awful defending from Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger in central defence let through Benteke to stumble into the box and put away a third for Villa at the Anfield Road End.
Brendan Rodgers will feel aggrieved that his side were denied a second half penalty for Agger that was waved away before Steven Gerrard earned a consolation goal a few minutes from time in an already quite deserted Anfield.
It is a result that really stops Liverpool in their tracks after recent results had put them back in contention for the fourth Champions League spot.
It’s still the first half of the season, but Rodgers men are showing signs that they don’t have the maturity to see the season successfully through.