Liverpool kept their Premier League title hopes alive with a hard-fighting 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Tuesday night at Villa Park.
Any results other than a win for Jurgen Klopp's side would have seen Manchester City crowned champions before Liverpool next kick a league ball. Their fears were realized just in the opening minutes when the hosts took the lead through Douglas Luiz.
Lucas Digne's cross caused havoc in the box, allowing Douglas Luiz to direct his header goalwards. The effort was parried by Alisson, but Luiz was on hand to prod home and hand Villa a surprise lead.
Five players have scored 15+ Premier League goals this season:— William Hill (@WilliamHill) May 10, 2022
▪️ 22 - Mohamed Salah
▪️ 20 - Son Heung-min
▪️ 18 - Cristiano Ronaldo
▪️ 15 - Diogo Jota
▪️ 15 - Sadio Mané
Ronaldo, Sonaldo and the LFC front three. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/w7oUUnGL57
The lead was however cut just minutes later by the Reds when defender Virgil van Dijk's shot squirmed past Emiliano Martínez allowing center-back partner Joël Matip to finish from close range; the 1-1 draw being maintained by both teams heading to the halftime break.
In a game of chances, a pair of Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kicks sailed past the goal frame before Klopp turned to Thiago Alcântara in search of a spark with 62 minutes gone. The impact was almost immediate when the Spaniard won the ball back for Liverpool to break at pace.
Having missed a headed opportunity in the first half, Sadio Mané made no mistake this time, showing his predatory instincts to get on the end of a Luis Díaz ball and put Liverpool in front.
Liverpool are now unbeaten across their last eight away games in the Premier League.— Squawka (@Squawka) May 10, 2022
◉ 8 games
◉ 6 wins
◉ 2 draws
Another crucial win. 👏 pic.twitter.com/RSs7ZPAric
Villa had several opportunities to equalize but the blunt Danny Ings was susceptible to many missed chances with the Reds holding a late pressure to go level on points with City who have played a game less.