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Salah nears top 10 & the VAR killjoy – 5 things fans are talking about after Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa

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It was another game whereby VAR was thrust into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons but, thankfully, Trent Alexander-Arnold ensured there was plenty for Reds to smile about.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side put their Anfield woes behind them with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, a result which could go a long way in their race for a top-four spot and picking up momentum.

Despite a midweek to forget, goals from Mohamed Salah and Alexander-Arnold saw the Reds put three consecutive Premier League wins on the board for only the second time this season.

Hitting form, or getting results over the line, at just the right time will be crucial with the number of games remaining in the season closing in on single digits.

The victory over Aston Villa proved cathartic for many, and here are five things fans have been talking about after the late win.

 

VAR farce…

It was supposed to remove debate and discussion over refereeing decisions, but, if anything, it has exacerbated it and in turn seen fans stripped of the most emotive part of the game: celebrating goals.

The decision to rule out Roberto Firmino‘s first-half strike required a forensic look at Diogo Jota in the build-up – with the end result not definitive by any means with a shirt sleeve deemed to have handed him an advantage.

It was the latest in a long string of calls that many feel are not serving the best interests of the game:

The sooner change is made to the laws, the better.

 

Trent’s rocket

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 10, 2021: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) celebrates with team-mate Xherdan Shaqiri after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was Gerard-esque and the difficulty of the strike could only truly be appreciated when more angles of his rocket came to light.

Emiliano Martinez and his defenders were helpless as they watched it fly straight into the net:

We’ll take more of those please, Trent.

 

Carra and Neville ‘banter’

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 19, 2020: Former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher (R) and former Manchester United player Gary Neville (L) working for Sky Sports before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The pair are a hit on Monday Night Football, with their analysis an offering levels about what is already out there – but their co-commentary and banter within games hasn’t hit all the right notes.

It comes after Carra proclaimed, “Are you watching Gary Neville” after Trent’s winner, taking away from what was a brilliant and important moment for Liverpool:

It’s harmless stuff but more often that not, neutral game callers are the way to go.

 

Salah’s second-best tally

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 10, 2021: Liverpool's goal-scorer Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

By finding the net on Saturday, Salah saw his season tally hit 28. It is a total which is bettered by only his first campaign in Liverpool colours, and there are still, at least, eight games to go.

In his first campaign in 2017/18, the No. 11 netted 44 in all competitions, whereas 2018/19 returned 27 and last season 23 goals.

The numbers he accumulates are truly incredible and his importance to the team cannot be underestimated:

He now needs only nine goals to move into Liverpool’s top 10 all-time goalscorer list.

 

A race to the finish

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 10, 2021: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold lines-up with team-mates before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool are in the hunt for a top-four spot alongside the likes of Leicester, Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham and Everton and the battle lines have already been drawn.

But of Chelsea and the Foxes, which fixture list poses as the most favourable?

Either way, the signs were in the win on Saturday for Liverpool…

There’s the little task of Real Madrid on Wednesday, but irrespective of the result, Liverpool’s league campaign needs to continue going from strength to strength as they no longer have a direct say in their rivals’ results.

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