A penalty decided Liverpool’s clash with Aston Villa on a day that the Reds left plenty out on the pitch to set up a nervy finish, but three points are all that matter.
Liverpool 1-0 Aston Villa
Premier League (16), Anfield
December 11, 2021
Goals: Salah (pen) 67′
It was a surreal day as Steven Gerrard occupied the opposition dugout but the battles lines were clear from the off.
Liverpool dominated possession but couldn’t show it on the scoreboard in the first half and it took a careless challenge from Tyrone Mings to break the game open in the 67th-minute.
Mohamed Salah was fouled and the No. 11 duly converted from the penalty spot in what would prove to be the Reds’ only goal of the game, despite having plenty of chances to add to it.
Nevertheless, three points and a clean sheet see Klopp’s men pick up their seventh win in a row to stay just one point behind leaders Man City.
And the outing left Liverpool fans praising the relentless performance on social media, as while it was harder than it ought to have been, the win was all that mattered.
And the referee did get a mention, but not for the right reasons:
That’s a massive win. Such intensity and quality about this Liverpool team. It’s a privilege to watch them #LIVAVL
— Jamie Holme (@JamieHolme) December 11, 2021
3pm on a Saturday afternoon had the feel of a European night then. A proper game with an edge, Liverpool had to work relentlessly for that win. Matip, Henderson, Alexander-Arnold impeccable from start to finish ?
— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) December 11, 2021
That was harder than it should have been. But, three points is all that matters.
— Paul Grech (@paul_grech) December 11, 2021
Liverpool deserved to win. Stuart Atwell deserved to lose. Not sure yet on Aston Villa. More when we have it.
— Neil Atkinson (@Knox_Harrington) December 11, 2021
A hero’s homecoming, a gritty win and a referee craving attention. Stuart Attwell hang your head lad, that was a shocker. #LFCdigest
— Danny Gallagher (@Danny7Gallagher) December 11, 2021
Liverpool now have 10 clean sheets in their opening 16 Premier League games – only had more at this point in 2005/06 (13!).
— Andrew Beasley ? (@BassTunedToRed) December 11, 2021
One of those refereeing performances at Anfield where you wonder whether it might just be a better idea to get rid of them entirely and have a bloke on the touchline blowing an air horn randomly.
— Simon Hughes (@Simon_Hughes__) December 11, 2021
Villa very lucky to get away without being battered IMO – so many opportunities – we were so wasteful in the final third but hey ho – I'll take the three points any day.
— GaGs (@GagsTandon) December 11, 2021
Alexander Arnold excellent defensively today. A lot said about that side of his game but way better than given credit for when connected defensively
— keith costigan (@KeithCostigan) December 11, 2021
A hard fought win from a tempestuous game. We looked to overwhelm Villa who, to their credit, held firm and defended well. Of course Stuart Attwell gave them a helping hand…
— Aaron Cutler (@aaron_cutler) December 11, 2021
His final ball was poor, but Robertson adding that under lapping run to his arsenal makes Liverpool so much more potent going forward. Especially because Mané can go inside or outside. They have so many options to clange the point of attack.
— John O'Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) December 11, 2021
Hard earned win by the reds this afternoon. I'm not convinced I fancy seeing Gerrardball at Anfield any time soon though.
— Steven Scragg (@Scraggy_74) December 11, 2021
Gritty and relentless were the words and even Klopp’s full-time fist pumps were on the subdued side, plenty more battles ahead and on the Reds go.