Liverpool 1 - 3 Aston Villa

Match info: Premier League at Anfield

Date: 15/12/2012 KO: 15:00 Ref: N Swarbrick Att: 44,607

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Liverpool

Steven Gerrard 87

1
vs
3

A Villa

Christian Benteke 29,51
Andreas Weimann 40

FT (ht: 0-2)

  • Last Updated: December 15 2012, 18:47 GMT

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers criticised his side's defending for a self-inflicted 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa.

Christian Benteke celebrates at Anfield
Christian Benteke celebrates at Anfield

Striker Christian Benteke scored twice either side of Andreas Weimann's well-worked goal before Steven Gerrard struck a late consolation as the hosts' three-match winning run was ended.

Rodgers felt his side should have been awarded a penalty for Ciaran Clark's pull on Daniel Agger's shirt early in the second half with the score at 2-0 but had no excuses for their defensive display.

"We are very disappointed and to be honest I didn't see that coming as our momentum and confidence coming into the game was probably as high as it's been," said the Reds boss, whose side dominated before Benteke's 29th-minute opener.

"We probably got punished for our decision-making in that first 20 minutes, we were a bit careless. We could easily have been 3-0 up in the game and if we do that we can control it much better but we didn't have that final pass and bit of quality at the top end of the field.

"Then we went on to concede some poor goals. We weren't quite at it with our intensity and pressure in the game and they were a threat on the counter-attack and got the goals.

"I thought we were flat. It was important for us to get the first goal - with them playing 3-5-2 - to open up the game but we had those chances early on and didn't take them.

"Once that happens, combined with sloppy play and giving the ball away in poor areas, we contrived to concede bad goals.

"Benteke was outstanding but he got his shot in too easy for the first.

"The second goal we never tracked the runners into the box and then the third goal we've given it away in our half and he's broken through and nearly runs to the edge of the six-yard box before finishing.

"It was so unlike us because we're usually strong defensively. It was very much self-inflicted. It was surprising because we haven't shown that in the last few months."

On the penalty incident early in the second half Rodgers added: "I thought when it was 2-0 we should have had a penalty so I'm not sure what we are going to have to do to get one.

"The referees are asked to look at the shirt pulling. I thought Agger was outstanding but he gets pulled to the floor, it goes to 2-1 and you have most of the second half to apply the pressure.

"But as soon as the third goal went in we looked deflated and then Villa have no need to come out and go after the game and they just sat.

"For us it was a bad day at the office."

It was the first time Villa had scored more than once in any half of league football this season and extended their unbeaten run to five matches with only a second away win in 17 away league games.

Only a fifth Anfield victory in 34 visits also almost doubled their league away goals tally, which now stands at seven.

"I think the whole performance was fabulous, the goals were excellent as was the way we defended," said manager Paul Lambert.

"I thought we were excellent. The goals were brilliant: the second goal, with the movement and the backheel, especially.

"Benteke has been unbelievable while Andy Weimann knows where the goal is, he's a natural finisher and his enthusiasm and work ethic are second to none.

"The back three were terrific and put their bodies on the line when they had to.

"I am pretty sure Liverpool will give anyone a game here.

"It is just about trying to hold your nerve and trying to see it through, which is what we have done."


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