Liverpool got their second phase of the season to a flying start, as they beat Aston Villa 3-1 in their bid to salvage what has been a disappointing start to the season. The Merseysiders were just beginning to find their rhythm in the league when the world cup break brought the campaign to a halt, but they have returned back in emphatic fashion.
Talisman Mo Salah got the visitors to a flying start when he netted the opener in the fifth minute after a wonderful bit of play from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson who was a constant threat from both wing-back positions. Virgil van Dijk made it two for Liverpool in the 37th minute, when he converted like a striker would, with a brilliant left-footed shot after being set up by Salah.
Ollie Watkins gave Villa a ray of hope when he pulled one back in the game with a header in the 59th minute that flew past goalkeeper Alisson, but Liverpool made sure of the win when 18-year-old midfielder Bajcetic popped up to score Liverpool’s third to secure the win in the 81st minute and in the process becoming the second youngest Spanish goalscorer in the Premier League after Cesc Fabregas for Arsenal in 2004.
It was a match that had plenty of scoring opportunities for both sides at Villa Park as both teams seized the attacking initiative by trying to outdo each other, with high balls over the high defence lines adopted by both teams. Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez in particular was a constant thorn in the flesh of the Villa backline albeit missing a glut of chances including a volley that was thwarted by Robin Olsen in goal. He would go on to win the man-of-the-match for his performance which included a pullback from the byline to assist Bajcetic’s goal.
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With the win, Liverpool moved up to 25 points, just one behind bitter rivals Manchester United who lie in fifth place, but they have a mountain to climb as they went 12 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal, who were to play against West Ham in the late kickoff. Meanwhile, Aston Villa is in 12th place with 18 points. After a poor start to the season, Liverpool will hope this win will be the spark that will kickstart their season and reignite their push for a top-four place and champions league qualification.