Sadio Mane secured Liverpool a 2: 1 victory at Aston Villa to keep the Premier League title alive.
After Douglas Luis’s first goal, Jurgen Klopp stood in three minutes, but Joel Matip soon equalized and Mane completed the turn in the middle of the second half. The victory pushes Liverpool back to points with Manchester City leader.
Pepa Guardiola’s team still has a game in progress and the victory in Villa Park also cost something – Fabinho was injured in the first half. But Jurgen Klopp will be glad to pass this test, because former Reds hero Steven Gerrard has definitely set fire to Villa.
Aston Villa: Martinez (6), Cash (7), Konsa (6), Mings (6), Digne (6), Luiz (7), McGinn (6), Nakamba (6), Coutinho (7), Ings (5), Watkins (7).
Subtitles: Chukwuemeka (6), Buendia (6), Traore (6).
Liverpool: Alisson (5), Alexander-Arnold (6), Matip (6), Van Dijk (6), Tsimikas (5), Fabinho (6), Jones (6), Keita (6), Diaz (7), Jota ( 6), Mane (8).
Subtitles: Henderson (6), Thiago (6), Salah (6).
Match Man: Sadio Mane.
How Liverpool turned it around
Liverpool, who named Mohamed Salah among his deputies in a nod to his crowded schedule, was under pressure from the start and lagged behind the first attack in the middle of a crazy atmosphere. A number of assembly errors occurred.
Kostas Tsimikas, replacing Andy Robertson, fell to the ground and was joined by Matip, who allowed Luiz a free header after Lucas Digne’s center from the left wing. Alisson spilled it when he could push the ball away and the Brazilian got to the rebound.
When Klopp looked confused, it was the only encouragement Villa needed – but they did a good job later by defending their own unfortunate moments. Tyrone Mings failed to clean up, and although Virgil van Dijk’s shot was saved, Matip pushed on.
Liverpool seemed to settle it, and soon after, there were chances for Diogo Jota and Mane as the Champions League finalist began to increase pressure. And yet there was a danger when Alisson’s pathetic permission hit Ollie Watkins and another panic ensued.
Aston Villa made two changes on the side that defeated Burnley, and Philippe Coutinho stepped up against his former club and replaced Emilian Buendia. Marvelous Nakamba took the place of Callum Chambers.
Mohamed Salah sank to the bench to be replaced by Diogo Jota in one of five changes made by Jurgen Klopp. Curtis Jones and Naby Keita came to the center of the advance under Jordan Henderson and Thiag. Kostas Tsimikas replaced Andy Robertson on the left defender, while Joel Matip returned to Ibrahim Konate.
Liverpool played football on the edge and knew that another slide could give the title of Man City, and when Danny Ings headed over the bark of John McGinn’s cross with Alisson off his line, grabbed the ball and the goal was gaping, Villa was almost ahead. again.
Fabinh’s hamstring injury added to the inconvenience of Liverpool’s task, and although Mane had the ball in the net – Luis Diaz was offside in the game – and Naby Keita rejected a clear chance, they settled during the break and their hopes for the title disappeared. .
As always, it was Mane who came up with the key moment, his cute head from Diaz’s measured left cross escaping the outstretched Martinez and sparking wild celebrations at the end outside. It was a goal that started the title fight again.
Villa still had a chance, the best went to the former Liverpool forward Ings. He was at the finish line twice, just to waste the chance before he finally finished and saw the flag hoisting to the great anxiety of Holte End. It shouldn’t have been their night for Ings and Villa.
Bigger nights await Liverpool. In the final of the FA Cup on Saturday and in the final of the Champions League in Paris at the end of this month for sure. But maybe in the final stages of this season’s Premier League. Thanks to Mane’s goal and determination in Villa Park.
Analysis: Fabinho injury is a problem
While Pep Guardiola complained about his team’s injuries, the loss of Fabinho in Liverpool could have consequences beyond the Premier League title. Will he be fit for the weekend FA Cup finals? How about the final of the Champions League that follows?
The importance of the Brazilian can hardly be overestimated. Jurgen Klopp, a tall figure at Liverpool’s midfielders, leans heavily on him to protect the air and deck defenses, especially as he covers the wreckage’s outboard defenders.
Indeed, Klopp has only done Fabin in his starting lineup three times in the Premier League since the turn of the year – against Norwich, Watford and Newcastle.
The only Champions League match in 2022 was the second match against Benfica – coincidentally the only case this year where Liverpool collected three goals in the match. A quick return could be crucial to his team’s hopes.
What will be next?
Aston Villa is back in action at Villa Park on Sunday against Crystal Palace in front of Burnley on Thursday next week. Gerrard’s team ended their campaign with a trip to Etihad Stadium against Manchester City.
Liverpool’s next game is Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley before returning to Premier League in Southampton next Tuesday. Their final league match is at home against the Wolves before preparing for the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris on May 28.