It was a ferociously contested game at Anfield on Saturday afternoon between Liverpool and Aston Villa.
As might’ve been expected by a Steven Gerrard-led team, the Villains weren’t there just to make up the numbers.
In fact, for the most part, the visitors were willing to fight for every ball and chase down every lost cause.
There didn’t appear to be any feelings of being overwhelmed by the occasion for Gerrard or any of his staff.
Though Liverpool were, in the end, good value for their victory, the margin of the win was slender.
On another day, it might well have been possible for Gerrard’s charges to have nabbed at least a draw, and were their finishing a little better, a point would’ve been the least that they deserved.
Perhaps his team could’ve been on the front foot a little more at times, particularly in the midfield.
The last thing you want as a visiting team at Anfield is to invite Liverpool onto you, especially when they’re in as good form as they are at present.
Both Marvelous Nakamba and Douglas Luiz tended to drop back deeper, and that’s something which Stan Collymore picked up on in the immediate aftermath.
??”I don’t think Douglas Luiz nor Marvelous Nakamba in Villa’s central midfield are good enough for where Villa need to be.”@StanCollymore addresses Aston Villa’s midfield quality ? #LFC pic.twitter.com/5KstWAfYSU
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) December 12, 2021
Given the ovation Liverpool’s former captain received before the kick-off, and after the game, the affection in which he is held by the Anfield faithful is abundantly clear, and in the main he will likely have been happy with what he saw.
Jurgen Klopp will also have appreciated that his side were in a real battle at times, but, unlike last season – when a run of horrendous results totally ruined their chances of retaining the Premier League title – they came out the other side with flying colours.