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Aston Villa 2, Liverpool 1: First Thoughts

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Villa comes from behind to best Liverpool at Wembley.

Ian Walton/Getty Images

liverpool blog fc sbn

Aston Villa 2 Benteke 36', Delph 54'
Liverpool 1 Coutinho 30'

  • Pre-match thoughts: The biggest story before was Steven Gerrard starting, as Lucas picked up an injury in training on Friday.

  • Villa started as the more dangerous side. Charles N'Zogbia nearly found Christian Benteke with a fizzing cross to the far post, and minutes later he had a long shot tipped over by Simon Mignolet.

  • Liverpool struggled for a long period to maintain meaningful possession with Villa looking better in the midfield.

  • But Liverpool scored with their first real chance of the match. Philippe Coutinho ran onto a ball from Raheem Sterling in the box and used a slight possession to slot past Shay Given.

  • Villa bounced right back with Benteke finishing off a quick counter attack to bring his side level.
  • Half-time thoughts: Liverpool looked vulnerable at times, but so too did Villa. The result was a wide open first half that promised an even better second.
  • Mario Balotelli replaced an ineffective Lazar Markovic at the half.
  • Fabian Delph scored to give Villa a 2-1 lead after Liverpool's midfield allowed another counter attack to slide right through them.
  • Brendan Rodgers brought Glen Johnson on and moved Emre Can into the midfield as Liverpool looked for a late equalizer.
  • Liverpool came very close in the 87th minute with Gerrard heading it towards the left corner of the goal. However, Kieran Richardson did nicely to clear the ball off the line.
  • Full-time thoughts: In a season filled with tough losses this one is up there with the most painful. Slim hopes of fourth live on, but with this performance it's hard to put much belief behind the hope.

liverpool blog fc sbn

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.