Date: 17th January 2015 at 7:26pm
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Liverpool made it four Premier League wins from five games with an impressive 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Goals in each half from much-maligned strikers Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert ensured the Reds recorded a third consecutive away win, and moved Brendan Rodgers side to within four points of fourth spot.

Simon Mignolet also silenced some critics with a fine save to deny Christian Benteke with the score at 0-1.

Brendan Rodgers made one change from the team that beat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last weekend, with Raheem Sterling in to replace the injured Steven Gerrard.

Liverpool have been steadily growing in confidence over recent weeks, and the early tempo of their passing proved just that.

Alberto Moreno had a goal correctly ruled out for offside on 17 minutes, when Alan Hutton had produced a last minute challenge to deny Borini just moments earlier.

The Italian was making only his third Premier League start of the season at Villa Park, and it was he who broke the deadlock with his first goal of the season after 24 minutes.

The Reds worked the ball quickly from a throw in on the right hand side, and captain for the day Jordan Henderson delievered a pinpoint cross which Borini finished well on the volley from close range.

This was Borini’s first Liverpool goal since April 2013, whilst the cross from Henderson means he has a record six assists for the campaign.

Philippe Coutinho was bright and busy as ever, and orchestrated and almost finished an excellent move – however his header was tame and straight at Brad Guzan.

Raheem Sterling had a wonderful chance to make it 2-0 when racing onto a Borini flick on, however the 20-year-old tried to be too clever with a chipped finish, and Guzan made another comfortable save.

Tom Cleverley fired over from a tight angle in what was Villa’s only real chance of the first 45 minutes, but more were to come in the second half.

Martin Skrtel almost put the game out of sight on 49 minutes, when his header from Jordan Henderson’s corner was superbly tipped onto the post by Guzan.

That escape seemed to lift the Villa crowd – who have only been witness to 11 goals from their side all season – as Paul Lambert’s side went in search of an equaliser.

The moment looked as though it had come when Cristian Benteke collected Alan Hutton’s cross in the box. The Belgian has four Premier League goals to his name against Liverpool already, but a superb block from Simon Mignolet ensured he didn’t add a fifth.

Two more clear opportunities fell Villa’s way – but on both occasions it was the wrong man in Nathan Baker. The Villa defender first headed wide from a corner, and then missed the ball completely when it dropped invitingly in the box.

Brad Guzan produced a stunning save to deny Lucas Leiva his first goal in 132 matches when he tipped his low curling shot around the post. But from the resulting corner, the Reds made the game safe.

Reported target Fabian Delph failed to properly clear and gifted the ball to Raheem Sterling on the edge of the box. Sterling fed substitute Rickie Lambert, who fired a superb low shot across Guzan into the bottom corner.

Lambert’s celebrations with the travelling Kop saw him pick up a yellow card, but few cared about that come the final whistle, with supporters leaving the game with a real feeling things are starting to turn around.


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