Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Liverpool Homing In On Fourth Spot With Villa Win

Liverpool have taken more points off Aston Villa than any other team in the Premiership, 68 points to be exact. Villa have let in seven goals through opposition setpieces prior to their match against the mighty Reds. And so, it was inevitable that Liverpool would get three points against the toothless Villans and that the goals came from corners meant that Liverpool exploited Villa's weakness.

Bellamy was fantastic throughout the match and poignantly in that 15-20 minute first half spell, Craig Bellamy was involved in everything that was good about Liverpool. He created one and scored one, Kenny Dalglish could not have asked more from the veteran Welshman.

He even took on the role of a playmaker as he sprayed passes left and right in that dominant Liverpool first half spell. The Reds have been excellent away from home, winning five of their eight away matches.

A significant outcome of the win against Villa was that Liverpool did better with their cornerkicks than in any of their previous matches. Charlie Adam, who may have been bought to boost the Reds' setpiece plays, was conspicuous for not taking any part in the goals. Alex Ferguson last season, commented that Adam's corner kicks were worth 10million themselves. It's a good thing that Dalglish did not pay that kind of money as Adam's corners have not garnered any goals.

Jonjo Shelvey's performance deserved a particular mention here. In previous posts, I have highlighted the lack of midfielders supporting Suarez in attack. Though given a surprise start, Jonjo showed why he could be the most natural successor to Steven Gerrard in a Liverpool shirt. He displayed strong running from midfield and could have scored a goal, if Suarez had played him in. Henderson was bought for that kind of dynamism but Shelvey showed a lot more willingness to surge forward than the England U-21 captain ever did.

Andy Carroll came on as a late substitute for Luis Suarez, and once more, seemed to find it hard to get into the rhythm of the game. To be fair, it is an acquired skill to come on late in a game and make an impact. Sadly, Carroll is looking more and more like a late panic buy in the wake of Torres' shock transfer to Chelsea.

All in all, Liverpool is homing in on fourth spot in the Premiership table with dominant displays after dominant displays. With Villas-Boas second-guessing himself constantly, Chelsea is there for the taking.

I am still waiting for that elusive emphatic win though. Maybe Wigan will be the team that will fall to a long overdue four-goal victory for the mighty Reds.

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