Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard returned to Anfield as Liverpool continued their hunt for Premier League leaders Manchester City with a hard-earned win.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard made a losing return to Anfield as Liverpool continued their pursuit of Premier League leaders Manchester City with a hard-earned victory., football, sport
Steven Gerrard made 710 appearances and scored 186 goals in his 17-year career at Anfield

Former Liverpool captain Gerrard was, as expected, received enthusiastically after playing 710 games and scoring 186 goals for the club while winning the Champions League, FA Cup, Uefa Cup and League Cup.

Gerrard’s reaction to the hymn of praise was cautious as his Villa side, who had won three of their first four games since arriving from the Rangers, made life difficult and frustrating for Liverpool.

Villa reached her goal, aided by fine saves from keeper Emi Martinez, until she placed one point behind Manchester City in 67.

Substitute Danny Ings almost took advantage of a late mix-up between Liverpool keeper Alisson and Joel Matip, which resulted in Villa fans calling for a penalty in vain, but Jurgen Klopp’s side took the win.

Gerrard made it clear that he wanted points, not sentimentality, on his emotional return to Anfield, and his body language made this clear from the start.

He stepped out onto the lawn he’d blessed for so long and got a predictable reaction, but his first step was to show exactly where his loyalty was by warmly applauding Villa’s fans before waving politely in the direction of the head .

And his Villa side, although there were no offensive ideas, kept Liverpool working tirelessly for all the rewards, defending with resistance and being supported by a top-notch goalkeeper in Martinez before Mings Salah allowed the one moment he needed before allowing it Case brought.

Martinez was heading in the right direction, but Salah’s penalty was unstoppable when Anfield roared in relief.

Villa then began to push, and Ings almost wrote another story for the old Anfield boy when he just failed to take advantage of that Liverpool defensive mix-up in the final minutes.

Gerrard will be disappointed that his side failed to maintain the defensive discipline that kept Liverpool at bay for so long. Villa also fought for attack impulses until it was too late when they briefly threatened to land an unlikely point.

However, he will be pleased with many aspects of Villa’s performance. It wasn’t the victorious Anfield return he wanted, but the impact is already visible and he has raw materials to work with.

Liverpool train keeps rolling

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp’s signature triple fist pump before the head after the final whistle brought a touch of relief and cheer after a game in which their perseverance and patience were tested by Villa’s organization and determination.

It wasn’t the flowing Liverpool that has overtaken so many teams so often, but they stuck with it and finally got their reward in the form of the decisive penalty.

The success of Villa’s game plan was reflected in the frustration of the Kop and the sound of regular penalty court judgments until referee Stuart Attwell finally pointed to the point.

Liverpool rarely had problems at the back, although for a long time it looked like old boy Gerrard was leaving his former Anfield stage with a point.

Klopp’s side can’t wreak havoc on teams every week and on a day when their rivals City and Chelsea have also been penalized for narrow wins, Liverpool will take their win as it came and move on.

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