Liverpool 5 Aston Villa 0

Steven Gerrard has insisted that Liverpool are not getting carried away despite closing the gap on Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.

Reds skipper Gerrard inspired his side once again as he fired his first Premier League hat-trick in the 5-0 victory against Aston Villa on Sunday.

The title race is now firmly back on after successive wins over Villa and United the week before, but Gerrard is adamant they cannot presume that the defending champions' bid to reclaim their title has floundered.

"I think it is important not to get carried away. They are capable of winning all their remaining games," Gerrard told Sky Sports.

"It is important we focus on what we're doing and keep winning, keep on their shoulders, keep piling that pressure on them and whilst they are going into games knowing we are ready to pounce on any mistakes that they make it will be more difficult for them."

England star Gerrard, like most of Liverpool's squad, is now linking up with his national squad but he insists the international break is not a negative.

"It is a good break. We go away with our international teams, get some wins for our countries and come back ready to play again," he concluded.

Gerrard inspires Liverpool romp

Steven Gerrard's first Premier League hat-trick gave Liverpool an emphatic 5-0 victory over Aston Villa at Anfield.

Dirk Kuyt opened the floodgates in the eighth minute, before Albert Riera doubled the home side's lead with a thunderous volley just after the half hour.

Gerrard slotted home the third from the penalty spot before half-time, adding his second with a precise side-footed strike from a free-kick on the edge of the area after the break.

The Liverpool captain rounded off a sublime display with an almost identical penalty to the first in the 65th minute, after Brad Friedel had compounded his miserable afternoon by bringing down Fernando Torres and being sent off in the process.

The tempo of the game was frantic from the outset, with Liverpool dictating play and Aston Villa content to hit their opponents on the break - but in reality, it was one-way traffic.

Kuyt scored the opener with a powerful shot past Friedel from ten yards after Xabi Alonso had diverted Gerrard's free-kick onto the crossbar.

Gerrard then came mighty close to doubling Liverpool's lead in the 16th minute, lunging in at the back post to try to convert Riera's deep cross, but to no avail.

Superb interplay between James Milner and Ashley Young down the right gave Villa fleeting hope, but Milner's cross from the byline was wasted with nobody in position to convert, leaving Reina to parry to safety.

An exquisite flick from John Carew in the 22nd minute almost beat the Spaniard, but the keeper managed to avert the danger, deflecting the Norwegian's effort away for a corner.

But that was the visitors' solitary spell of pressure, and Liverpool took the ascendency as Riera smashed home a volley direct from a long punt by Reina, which breached Villa's defence in the 33rd minute.

Alvaro Arbeloa then wasted a clear-cut chance to extend the hosts' lead after Friedel inexplicably passed the ball straight to him with no Villa players in attendance; luckily for the American, he was given a reprieve as the defender passed to Kuyt, who was then tackled by Curtis Davies.

Gerrard dispatched his first penalty in the 39th minute, sending Friedel the wrong way after Riera had cut inside the area and been brought down by Nigel Reo-Coker clipping his heels.

Torres then sprinted through the Villa half before being cynically taken to ground by Carlos Cuellar, providing the home side with a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the area.

Gerrard cooly side-footed the subsequent set-piece clinically past the helpless Friedel to put his side 4-0 up in the 50th minute, as the visitors became increasingly disconsolate.

Another Torres run invited a challenge from Friedel after the Spain striker knocked the ball past the keeper, who could not help but bring him down.

Referee Martin Atkinson had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, but also in brandishing a red card to the American - who was perplexed by the decision - with compatriot Brad Guzan coming on in his place.

It was a different keeper, but the same result: Gerrard clinched his hat-trick in the 65th minute to extend Liverpool's lead to five.

The game slowly petered out with the only further chance falling to substitute Lucas Leiva, who flashed a shot wide of Guzan's goal, with the keeper scrambling across his line after Torres found his team-mate on the edge of the box.

But Liverpool had already done the damage, and move to within one point of Premier League leaders Manchester United, having played a game more, while Villa remain three points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal.

Old Trafford 1 Liverpool 4

Champions League: Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid

Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid

The Reds steamrolled Madrid and inflicted upon them their heaviest ever CL defeat to make the quarter-finals, and consign los Blancos to their fifth straight second round exit.


Reina (8): Rock solid. Made some good saves and claimed everything with the utmost confidence.

Arbeloa (6): Was shaky and probably still lacking fitness, but held the fort well enough.

Carragher (6.5): Had very little to do in the early stages but blocked well. His hoofed long ball actually played a vital part in the opening goal. As Madrid began to dominate, though, his lack of pace exposed him if only slightly.

Skrtel (9): Had a good header early on. Put in an exceptional and crucial block on Sergio Ramos. Was a rock at the back and simply unbeatable in the air.

Aurelio (6.5): Solid as ever in the first half, but perhaps gave Sergio Ramos too much space in the second.

Mascherano (8): Just as he was in the first leg, a relentless runner. Got reckless at times, but also showed tremendous energy to sprint down the right and set up the fourth and final goal as well.

Xabi Alonso (7): A solid all-round game. Closed down well, received and distributed possession quickly and kept the game ticking over at a frantic pace.

Kuyt (6.5): Didn't do a lot of note, but put himself about, closing down in all areas of the pitch.

Gerrard (8): Good passing and movement from the captain. He was full of energy as well and took both his penalty and the well and truly game-killing goal very well.

Babel (7.5): Didn't have the most eventful of games, but was brilliant in dashing down the left early in the second half and providing a fantastic cross for Gerrard to hammer home the third goal.

Torres (8): A tremendous livewire up front. Caused Madrid all kinds of problems in the frantic beginning to the game. Took his goal well and had some other good chances as well. Finally, the performance against his bitter rivals he has always wanted - just not for Atletico.


Lucas (5): The game very much passed him by. If anything, his introduction signalled Madrid's dominance in the midfield and beyond.

Spearing (7): Full of endeavour and composed in possession.

Dossena (7): Came on, got booked for a sloppy challenge, then charged forward to score a chance he couldn't really miss. An unexpectedly eventful cameo.

Real Madrid

Casillas (8): Poor man. He made a string of incredible saves and never once let up throughout the entire game, yet conceded four goals he could do as good as nothing about.

Sergio Ramos (7): Was one of many caught like a rabbit in headlights early on, but got better and better as the game went on. Made several good runs and crosses.

Pepe (4.5): As usual, his fatal flaw of over-eagerness quite often got the better of him. A few rash challenges and his fancy footwork was not enough to detract from a fundamentally poor showing.

Cannavaro (3): Showed his age. He has been reborn under Juande Ramos, but the pace of the English game appears to be a bridge too far for the World Cup winner. He made a fool of himself when the first goal was scored, and could not get to grips with the game at all. Subbed on the hour when Madrid went all-out attack.

Heinze (5): Was very unlucky to concede a contentious penalty that more or less ended the game as a contest. He was otherwise too slow and not particularly good in possession, but fortune was not on his side.

Robben (4.5): Has said he never enjoyed playing Liverpool, and it's not hard to see why. Rafael Benitez certainly seems to know how to deal with him. He didn't get a run at anyone, and was substituted at half-time, possibly with a slight knock, or maybe Juande Ramos was well and truly furious with something.

Lass (5): Should have got back and helped defend the first goal. That was a cardinal sin on his part. He otherwise closed down well, but was rushed off the ball too easily in the first half.

Gago (4): Could not cope with the pace of the game at all. Was also too slow in possession. Fitness may not yet be perfect, but that is a weak excuse for a performance that wasn't good enough. Criminally, he ended any Madrid chance of an amazing comeback by letting Steven Gerrard run off him and score the third. Only improved when the game was over, open and made easy.

Sneijder (6.5): Was the only promising outfield player in the first half, with good movement, passing and set-pieces. In the second, his shooting was not what it has been and that proved costly. Perhaps a bit too single-minded and selfish at times.

Higuain (4.5): Barely saw the ball. Hard to judge him too harshly, as he was a striker starved of service.

Raul (4.5): Too slow in possession and his shots were scrappy. He tried, but the Champions League legend was not close to being good enough tonight.


Marcelo (7): Made some good runs and looked dangerous from time to time. Efficient in possession.

Van der Vaart (7): Inventive. Good in possession.

Guti (n/a).

Boro 2 Liverpool 0

I hate it when we lost especially we are on title race...

Part 1

Part 2

Related Posts with Thumbnails