Reds defender Jose Enrique admitted that he should have known better than to worry that Daniel Sturridge had wasted the opportunity to grab a crucial goal for Liverpool at Aston Villa on Saturday.

The 23-year-old was the match-winner for the second week running at Villa Park after collecting a pass from Enrique - via a Philippe Coutinho dummy - and gliding around the goalkeeper before rifling a finish into the net.

From his vantage point, Enrique initially thought his teammate had taken the ball too wide to convert. Given time to reflect, however, the Spaniard's verdict was overwhelmingly positive.

"It was a good pass, Philippe left the ball really well and then Danny did the rest - he scored the goal. He did everything," he told

"To be honest, when he went too far on the right I thought he was going to miss it. But he did really well.

"We know Danny is a top striker; he has two goals in two games already and hopefully he can stay in this form because he's a top player."

At the other end of the field, Enrique was again part of a Liverpool backline which has kept nine clean sheets in the club's last 15 competitive fixtures - a formula which could bear great fruit.

The No.3 added: "For any team in the league, and more when you want to fight for things, you have to start from the back.

"It's so important to keep a clean sheet because we know the players we have up front have chances. Today we didn't have as many as we want; last week we had a lot more.

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"But we know we're going to have some chances and we have top players up front who can score goals. Hopefully we can keep more clean sheets because with that we're going to get a lot of points.

"In the first 35 minutes we had control, then we gave them chances in the first half in the last 10 minutes. They had chances from our mistakes.

"In the second half they played as we expected them to play - they tried to win the game. Normally when you play at home you try even more.

"They did well but finally we got the points. We did well, we defended really well and that's why we got the points."

As against Stoke City last weekend, Liverpool had summer signing Simon Mignolet to thank for preserving their victory following an acrobatic late save from the in-form Christian Benteke.

Coupled with his penalty stop at Anfield on his full debut, the Belgian has instantly become a fan favourite - although Enrique was aware of the goalkeeper's talents within two training sessions.

"I speak with my brother a lot about football," he said. "I told him straight away after two days training with Simon: 'I think we've signed a very good 'keeper'.

"I didn't know much about him before but after two training sessions you can see something already about every player.

"From the start he has been a top 'keeper, he did very well in the two games. It's so important to have a 'keeper like that because it gives you points."


A more recent Liverpool recruit, Aly Cissokho, made his bow for the club on Saturday after being introduced as a substitute during the second half.

The French full-back has been brought in to provide competition for Enrique and the Spaniard thoroughly welcomes the challenge.

He said: "It's good to have competition because the top teams have competition in every position.

"He is more than welcome; I've already talked with him a lot because he speaks Spanish, he has been in Valencia as well - my city.

"Hopefully he plays some minutes as well and between us, and the team, we get to where we want - that is to play in the Champions League next year."