Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Gerrard explains how Aston Villa made Liverpool uncomfortable; addresses Man City focus

Samuel Bannister
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard was “frustrated” that his “ambitious” Aston Villa players were beaten by a Liverpool side they made uncomfortable despite defeat.

Villa gave Gerrard’s former club Liverpool a glimmer of hope in the title race by suffering a 2-1 defeat to them. However, they made them work for it; Liverpool had to respond to an early setback after Douglas Luiz had put Villa ahead.

But the Reds hit back quickly through Joel Matip and then won it via Sadio Mane in the second half.

It means they are level on points with leaders Manchester City, having played a game more. For Aston Villa, 43 points remains the current tally, as they sit in 11th place. A top-half finish is still possible, but they are only three points above 15th too.

That said, they competed quite well with Liverpool. Indeed, ex-Reds captain Gerrard felt the opponents were “never comfortable” thanks to the commitment of his own men.

But he knows they need to sharpen up in some aspects – as seen with the goals they conceded – to be even more competitive.

Steven Gerrard told Sky Sports: “In terms of commitment, heart and application I cannot ask for any more and at times we showed quality as well.

“Disappointed in terms of the goals we conceded but we will look at that. In terms of what we brought to the game with and without the ball I can’t ask for any more.

“We want to be bold and ambitious. The other option is to wait and you can still lose that way and you will have more regrets.

“We have good players and if we are calculated about it we can hurt teams but we have to cut moments out and need to be better. In summary we are disappointed with the goals and frustrated with the result.

“We are a lot more dangerous with two number nines. At times we had to suffer. You are never going to play Liverpool off the pitch; they are high-level opposition and have a top manager but for large parts of the game we were in the ascendancy and we showed a lot of ambition. We had a lot of chances and Liverpool were never comfortable.”

Steven Gerrard asked about Man City meeting

Villa could yet have an influence on the title race again, since they play Manchester City on the final day.

There are fixtures to fulfil before that, but naturally the attention is already shifting there thanks to Liverpool’s three points.

It would be quite the script if Gerrard could take points off City to help Liverpool. But he insists Villa can only focus on their own aims of a top-half finish.

Gerrard added: “We will wait and see what situation we are in at the end of the season but we have a purpose to try and finish as high as we can.

“We want to push for the top 10 and it has to be about us. Let’s hope we can put ourselves in a good place going to City.”

Villa are next in action when they host Crystal Palace – the side one place and one point above them – on Sunday. They will then welcome Burnley to Villa Park a few days before the City showdown.

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