Jurgen Klopp’s Reds Continue Unbeaten Start To The Premier League Season With A Win Over Aston Villa
Liverpool cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Aston Villa, courtesy of goals from Dominik Szoboszlai, Mohamed Salah and a Matty Cash own goal.
Villa found themselves chasing the game from the offset, following Pau Torres’ attempt to dribble past Salah and Darwin Nunez in his own box which gave away a corner.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s subsequent cross fell to Szoboszlai, who brilliantly struck the ball from outside of the box and found the bottom right corner.
Despite their compact shape upon falling behind, Unai Emery’s defence maintained their high line, allowing the likes of Luis Diaz and Nunez to exploit the space in behind.
The visitors’ problems went from bad to worse, however, as Diego Carlos was forced off with an injury, being replaced by winger Leon Bailey in what was also a tactical switch. Carlos now joins fellow centre-half Tyrone Mings in the treatment room.
As Liverpool dominated the opening proceedings, Alexander-Arnold’s over-the-top through ball into Salah was then squared to Nunez, who fired off the post and rebounded into the net by a hapless Cash.
The Reds were made to feel more comfortable in possession as the Villans continued to drop deeper in the first half-hour.
Emery’s men did, however, created a flurry of chances before the break as the pace of Moussa Diaby and Bailey somewhat confounded the Liverpool back line. Their best came through a Joe Gomez slip, playing in Diaby, who unselfishly set up his captain John McGinn but the Scotsman proceeded to fire over the bar in their first attempt of the match.
Alisson was called into action for the first time in the second half as Cash’s header forced him to make a reflex save, but in truth, the Brazilian was rarely tested.
Jurgen Klopp’s men effectively killed the game off when Salah buried a flicked-on header from Nunez, following Andy Robertson’s corner. As ever, the Egyptian continued to deliver for his club in spite of being constantly linked with a move to Al-Ittihad this window.
As Nunez left the pitch, the forward would have felt hard done by to not have put his name on the scoresheet having hit the woodwork twice and spurned a chance in front of an open goal. Nonetheless, Anfield’s unwavering faith in the Uruguayan ensured that his performance, which included an assist, was a positive one.
As both managers rang the changes, the game was beginning to teeter out with the Reds having done their job and an Aston Villa side that was running out of hope.
Szoboszlai and Alexander-Arnold seemed to be at the heart of all things positive for the home side and Klopp will be reassured that his box midfield displayed no difficulty in creating chances.
The only blemish in an otherwise perfect afternoon for Liverpool was the image of their vice-captain gingerly walking towards the bench as he was subbed off. The substitution, however, appeared to be a precautionary one.
Emery will hope that this heavy defeat is simply an outlier as his four-game win streak in all competitions came to an end. His front three were positioned too deep for the likes of Diaby and Bailey to exploit the gaps left by Liverpool which the home side seemed to perfect on the flipside.
On the other hand, the Reds enjoyed their first clean sheet of the season, maintained their unbeaten start and head into the international break full of confidence. As new signing Ryan Gravenberch watched on, a sense of excitement remains as he and Wataru Endo will look to showcase their best when they are eventually given the opportunity.
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