Match report: Liverpool play out 3-3 draw at Aston Villa

Premier LeagueMatch report: Liverpool play out 3-3 draw at Aston Villa

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By Joe Urquhart at Villa Park

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Liverpool played out a 3-3 draw with Aston Villa in the Premier League on Monday night.

The Reds led 3-1 late on following an own goal from Emiliano Martinez – which was cancelled out by Youri Tielemans – and then strikes from Cody Gakpo and Jarell Quansah.

However, a quickfire double from substitute Jhon Duran in the final five minutes earned the home side a point.

Team news

Liverpool made one change for their penultimate Premier League fixture of the season. Joe Gomez replaced Andy Robertson in the starting line-up in the only alteration to the team deployed against Tottenham Hotspur last time out.

Liverpool: Alisson, Gomez, Endo (Szoboszlai, 76), Van Dijk, Diaz (Jones, 76), Mac Allister, Salah, Gakpo (Nunez, 76), Elliott (Gravenberch, 76), Alexander-Arnold, Quansah.

Unused subs: Kelleher, Konate, Tsimikas, Bajcetic, Bradley.

First half

Liverpool began the evening with a perfect start inside two minutes, opening the scoring via a Martinez own goal.

It was the first attack from either team on the night with Harvey Elliott racing into the box to deliver from the right, seeing his cross deflect into the net after the home goalkeeper was unable to gather.

Mohamed Salah and Gakpo both went close too, with the Reds enjoying much of the early play.

The hosts, however, levelled the game in minute 12 through Tielemans after Ollie Watkins broke down Liverpool’s right to pick out his teammate inside the area.

Leon Bailey then twice went close for Unai Emery’s outfit, seeing two efforts blocked, with the second a half-volley on the turn in the box.

It was the visitors, though, who added to the scoreline next thanks to a clinical counter-attack.

Gakpo was the scorer from Gomez’s low ball into the six-yard box, following clever build-up from both Salah and Luis Diaz, with a lengthy VAR check for offside required to confirm the on-field decision.

Villa responded and should’ve been level a short while later, though Diego Carlos was unable to turn in Bailey’s low ball across the face of goal.

Ahead of the interval, Trent Alexander-Arnold saw a shot from distance fly wide of the mark, while Salah put an effort over the bar with the offside flag raised in the build-up.

Second half

In similar fashion to the opening period, it was a busy start following the change of ends.

It took Liverpool just three minutes to add a third goal, with Quansah leaping highest in the box to guide home an Elliott free-kick in off the far post.

Villa thought they had pulled a goal back minutes later, however VAR once again intervened, with Watkins seeing his close-range effort chalked off after an offside in the build-up.

At the opposite end, Liverpool again thought they had scored, though Diaz was inches offside as he darted behind the home defence, with Elliott converting as the flag was raised.

Villa responded with pressure, Moussa Diaby first shooting into the side-netting ahead of substitute Nicolo Zaniolo forcing Alisson Becker into a strong save down to his right.

With 15 minutes remaining, Liverpool opted to make a quadruple substitution, as Ryan Gravenberch, Darwin Nunez, Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones were all introduced.

Szoboszlai was the first of those to test the reactions of Martinez in the Villa goal, running in behind to meet a Salah pass and force the stopper into action down low.

Alexander-Arnold then struck a vicious volley goalwards from the edge of the box, which Martinez kept out thanks to a strong save.

With five minutes remaining, the home side hauled themselves back into the encounter, catching Liverpool high up the pitch and substitute Duran firing low into the net.

Villa were then level three minutes later, as Duran struck again via a deflected effort from Diaby’s pass-turned-shot from outside the area.

In added time, Alisson was required to intervene in the last of the meaningful action, halting Diaby’s advances once more to ensure the Reds left with a point.

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