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Aston Villa 0, Liverpool 1: First Thoughts

Another Daniel Sturridge first-half strike brought Liverpool victory in a close game to round off August's league programme with consecutive wins.

Michael Steele

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Aston Villa 0
Liverpool 1 Sturridge 21'

  • These away kits of ours are horrible. I don't know how we're going to hold up in away matches while witnessing such monstrosities cloaking our heroes. Maybe they'll give us good luck or something.
  • In the middle of December last year, Liverpool lost at home against Aston Villa in a match that many will remember. We dominated the early stages but couldn't take a lead. Players who can "open the scoring" will be important and Sturridge's first half sharpness will be vital this season. Rodgers' side didn't build from the opening goal in the first half but it ensured that Villa would have to push forward a little more. Sturridge's contribution shouldn't be undervalued because how many players at the club can anyone reliably point to when we're looking for a goal?
  • Aspas didn't quite combine with Sturridge today and it might take time for Liverpool's number 9 to build a relationship with other attacking players. It wasn't a surprise to see him substituted with just over twenty minutes to go. Still, Suarez possesses an excellent understanding with Coutinho, Sturridge, and Enrique that enables combination play as well as successful longer passes into space. Although Enrique had a good game, his longer passes (Kolo's too) didn't find their target and gave Villa extra bits of possession.
  • In the first half, Liverpool dominated possession and operated in a 4411/442 formation when out of possession. The midfield and defensive lines maintained impressive discipline to control most of the first half. Liverpool's second half was full of nervousness and poor possession meant that by the end of the match, possession was generally even between the two sides with Liverpool enjoying the ball a little more overall.

  • Another late fantastic save by Simon Mignolet might have earned Liverpool another two points. Two clean sheets along with two victories is a solid start but how valuable has Liverpool's new goalkeeper been so far?

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season. For those looking to discuss today's football action beyond Liverpool, please join the conversation in our Saturday open thread.

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