Liverpool earned three more precious points in their quest for a top-four finish, ruthlessly disposing of Aston Villa 2-0 at Villa Park.
Clinical finishes in either half from Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert were enough to see the Reds earn the win, which means Brendan Rodgers’ side have now won five straight away games in all competitions.
The visitors were not always at their best against Paul Lambert’s side, particularly in the second-half, but gritty wins like this are crucial if they are to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Aston Villa 0-2 Liverpool FT:
Passing accuracy: 78%-81%
Clearances: 18-42 pic.twitter.com/WBmXpE7Qfx
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 17, 2015
Mamadou Sakho was particularly excellent at the back- Emre Can and Martin Skrtel also thrived – while Simon Mignolet was also much improved. Jordan Henderson and Lucas Leiva bossed the midfield for large parts, while the returning Raheem Sterling was a little rusty.
Liverpool have now lost only once in 14 games, and there are definite signs that they are ready to mount an impressive second-half to the campaign.
Here is how Liverpool media and fans reacted, both during and after the game.
Sakho and Can have both been excellent so far. Villa just starting to enjoy a bit of pressure after the setback of going behind.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) January 17, 2015
Dreadful miss from Sterling when clean through before. No matter how good a forward he might turn out to be, he isn't a natural finisher.
— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) January 17, 2015
The away end enjoyed that. pic.twitter.com/7xewf4zvnK
— Kristian Walsh (@Kristian_Walsh) January 17, 2015
One swallow doesn't make a summer, but that's the calmest Simon Mignolet has looked for a while. Dealt with everything really well
— John Bradley (@jbradleymedia) January 17, 2015
abcd in the forums:
Since that awful performance away to Crystal Palace the away form has been quite good. Last two wins were over poor sides but the points are accumulating. Pity Spurs got a late winner but edging back into contention for Top 4 with League Cup and FA Cup games to come in the weeks to come as well. For the first time this season there looks to be a small bit of light at the end of a dark tunnel.
Sakho absolutely class again. Laughable that people don’t / didn’t rate him.
— Matt Ladson (@mattladson) January 17, 2015
#LFC in the PL since the Palace debacle: P10 W6 D3 L1 F16 A9 & 5 clean sheets. 2.1 points per game.
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) January 17, 2015
Good win. Another clean sheet! Lucas, Can and Skrtel all impressive and Mignolet more commanding. Good to see Ibe get on too.
— Paul Tomkins (@paul_tomkins) January 17, 2015
Thought Mignolet played as well as he has for a while in terms of dealing with crosses etc. #LFC
— Sam Drury (@SamDrury11) January 17, 2015
scousehedross in the forums:
Mignolet looks like he’s been working hard on distribution, which was much better today – helped us stay fluid and take the game to Villa first half. Still need to move on Jones and get a new no.1 though.
Torres scored. Borini scored. Lambert scored. This truly has been a magical week!
— Paul Grech (@paul_grech) January 17, 2015
Good subs by the manager too (despite the fume), they were all over us until that point.
— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) January 17, 2015
No surprise to see us getting more clean sheets now with Sakho & Can commanding at the back. #lfc
— Jay (@Jay82_LFC) January 17, 2015
— Jason Mcateer (@MCATEER4) January 17, 2015
Let us know your thoughts on Liverpool’s win in the comments section below.