LIVE: Aston Villa stifling Liverpool and lead 1-0 at halftime

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Gabriel Agbonlahor has a scrappy set-piece goal and Philippe Senderos has been all over the pitch as physical play and solid defending has Aston Villa on top.

Villa manager Paul Lambert has never lost at Anfield, and he’s well on his way again here as the Villa midfield has stifled Liverpool’s creativity, and their defenders have held firm with some last-ditch scrambling.

Senderos has been a menace on the field, and is hacking players down left and right to impose his presence. The 29-year-old Swiss defender has also been a force on set pieces, assisting Agbonlahor’s goal by getting his head to a corner, and also nearly scored a pair of others when he put a header over on a free kick and kicked over on another corner.

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Senderos also was lucky to get away with a blatant trip of Mario Balotelli nowhere near the ball, and he’s had a few other chippy plays on Balotelli and Mamadou Sakho as well.

Mario Balotelli started for Liverpool in place of the injured Daniel Sturridge, but he’s had little service as Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic have been smothered in the midfield.