Mohamed Salah notched the only goal of the game but Steven Gerrard bemoaned the “soft penalty” that resigned his Aston Villa side to defeat and questioned why another was not awarded at the other end.
The overwhelming feeling was Liverpool left a number of goals on the pitch, failing to convert their myriad of chances to put themselves out of sight to set up a nervy finish.
Ultimately, Tyrone Mings’ challenge on Salah would prove the difference with the No. 11 making no mistake from the penalty spot, a decision Gerrard felt was “soft.”
Alisson and Joel Matip then offered a late scare having failed to clear their lines effectively with Danny Ings throwing himself about, leading to penalty calls from Villa.
Messy on first look but the ex-Red did force contact between the two Liverpool players and Gerrard’s comments certainly come from a manager disappointed by a narrow defeat.
“I thought Liverpool were better in terms of general play. Their style was better than ours, but we’ve done so well to contain them for large periods,” Gerrard told the BBC post-match.
“Ultimately the game has been decided by a penalty. There were two penalty incidents in the game, Liverpool got theirs – if you look at that one, Salah fouls Mings first.
“We’ve lost to a soft penalty because if you watch it properly, Tyrone’s been fouled first. The disappointing thing is that the referee hasn’t gone to look at it.
“It’s always hard to take when you lose football matches. We knew it was going to be a containing job. You have to ride the first 20-25 minutes against sides like this. We finished the game stronger, with more belief and some good opportunities.
“If an arm goes anywhere near Alisson, it’s a foul. So why isn’t a foul given for Danny Ings? They are the questions I’d like answering, but I can’t answer them right now.
“In hindsight, I should have thrown a bit more at it a bit earlier, but you have to be careful Liverpool don’t hit you for two, three or four,” Gerrard added.
It certainly is not the consensus among Liverpool fans with Mings clumsy at best by putting himself in such a situation, but the Reds could be aggrieved for plenty of calls not going their way too.