- Sturridge scores first goals since March
- Gestede scores twice
- Reds bag third win of season
- Villa in relegation zone
Liverpool beat Aston Villa 3-2 at Anfield on Saturday as an enthralling game took place.
After holding on for the win the Reds move up to seventh place on 11 points, while Villa remain winless in six and are in 18th place.
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Just 69 seconds into the game Milner put Liverpool ahead against his old side as the midfielder picked up the ball 20-yards out struck his effort into the ground and past Brad Guzan. 1-0 to the Reds.
Emre Can almost connected with Coutinho’s free kick soon after as Villa were caught napping early on at Anfield, but Rudy Gestede headed just wide after a looping cross from the left. Ings then showed great skill to control a high ball but sent his curler just over the bar as the game eventually settled down.
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In the 22nd minute Villa had a glorious chance to go level as Can made a mess of his clearance and it fell straight to Gestede but he sliced his effort wide. Moments later Alan Hutton sent a teasing cross into the box before half time and Simon Mignolet nervously punched away before Ashley Westwood had his shot deflected just wide with Liverpool struggling to increase their lead.
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After the break Liverpool started well as Nathaniel Clyne hit his shot into the side-netting after Guzan had saved well from Milner’s effort. Soon after Milner played in Sturridge and he rifled a stunning volley home to put Liverpool 2-0 up with his first goal since March after a lengthy spell out through injury. Cue Sturridge’s trademark celebration.
Just when it seemed like Villa were dead and buried, Hutton dug out a great cross to the back post which Gestede tapped in to make it 2-1 with 25 minutes to go. But a minute later Sturridge restored Liverpool’s two-goal advantage with a cool finish to make it 3-1.
Less than five minutes after that, it was 3-2, as Gestede rose highest in the box to head home Jordan Amavi‘s cross to score his and Villa’s second goal of the game and set up a nervy finish. Guzan made a superb stop from Philippe Coutinho‘s free kick to hold Liverpool at bay and then Micah Richards headed over and Gana forced Mignolet into a good save as Liverpool’s fans grew increasingly nervous at Anfield.
Guzan again saved well from Sturridge to deny the Liverpool forward a hat trick and late on Scott Sinclair hesitated when given the opportunity to make it 3-3. Liverpool held on for the win, but it was far from easy against a spirited Villa outfit.