Three wins in a row as Liverpool beat Aston Villa 3-0 at Anfield

Match reportThree wins in a row as Liverpool beat Aston Villa 3-0 at Anfield

By Chris Shaw at Anfield


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Liverpool made it three Premier League wins in a row with a 3-0 defeat of Aston Villa at Anfield on Sunday.

Dominik Szoboszlai’s first Reds goal – an emphatic drive from 18 yards – set the home team on their way inside the opening three minutes.

That was followed by a Matty Cash own goal, forced by Darwin Nunez’s strike against the post, in the first half and Mohamed Salah added a third for Jürgen Klopp’s side from a Nunez knockdown after the interval.

Team news

Nunez was brought into attack following his match-winning brace last weekend, while Joe Gomez replaced the suspended Virgil van Dijk and Curtis Jones started in midfield.

Trent Alexander-Arnold wore the captain’s armband.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold (Quansah, 71), Gomez, Matip, Robertson, Mac Allister (Endo, 87), Jones (Elliott, 65), Szoboszlai, Diaz (Jota, 65), Salah, Nunez (Gakpo, 65).

Unused subs: Kelleher, Tsimikas, Bajcetic, Doak.

First half

The Reds emerged into a sun-drenched afternoon at Anfield seeking a third consecutive Premier League victory.

And they made the perfect start.

Alexander-Arnold’s corner from the right flank was only partially cleared and Szoboszlai met the loose ball at the edge of the box with the sweetest of connections, rasping a first-time finish inside the right post.

The home side needed Szoboszlai and Andy Robertson to intervene in their own area as Villa sought to respond, while Ezri Konsa blocked out Luis Diaz after a raking diagonal pass across the pitch from Alexander-Arnold.

But Liverpool’s second soon followed.

Salah raced in behind to collect a pass over the top and teed up Nunez inside him. The No.9’s finish clattered the near post but bounced off the unfortunate Cash and into the net.

The Reds were good value for the lead and it might have been three before the half-hour, Joel Matip glancing a great chance wide when found from Alexander-Arnold’s set-piece.

John McGinn fired high into the Kop at the end of a Villa counter-attack and Konsa then got in the way of a Nunez shot that was goalbound.

Chances flowed as half-time neared, with a well-placed Ollie Watkins touching a finish wide after Lucas Digne’s cross from the left was dummied by McGinn.

Seconds later, Nunez and Salah combined to evade an offside, with the latter playing in the former for a dink from a narrowing angle that hit the crossbar. Villa cleared before Diaz could pounce on the rebound.

Second half

Both sides threatened in very similar fashion soon after the restart.

First, the Reds needed Alisson Becker to beat a Cash header away from his goalline as the Villa man connected with Digne’s deep cross from the left.

Breaking away in the aftermath, the hosts sprung Salah clear and the Egyptian’s outside-of-the-boot delivery for Nunez saw the striker nod just wide of the far post.

But the same pair combined in minute 55 to stretch their side’s advantage to three. Robertson’s corner from the right flank was flicked on by Nunez and Salah made no mistake from close range to convert.

A triple change subsequently saw Klopp send on Harvey Elliott, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota.

Alexander-Arnold thrashed a long-range hit too high at the end of a fine solo dribble from his own half, before having to limp off due to an injury.

Emiliano Martinez tipped over an angled effort from the always-dangerous Salah and a deflection carried Elliott’s strike from the cleared corner just off target.

Liverpool had already done enough to bank a third win out of four in the Premier League this term, though, with an international break now to follow.

Attendance: 50,109



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