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Played
April 7, 2012 10:00 AM EDT
Anfield — Liverpool
Referee:‬ M. Oliver‎
Attendance:‬ 44321‎
 
82′ Luis Suárez
Chris Herd 10′
Top of the Match
Shay Given
Shay Given
Aston Villa
Luis Suárez
Luis Suárez
Liverpool
Flop of the Match
Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson
Liverpool
Kenny Dalglish
Kenny Dalglish
Liverpool

Liverpool 1-1 Aston Villa: Late Suarez strike saves point for struggling Reds after Herd opener

The Uruguayan headed home towards the end for Kenny Dalglish's side after the Australian youngster's early strike, though the Reds will feel they could have had a penalty

By Jamie Dunn

Premier League - Liverpool v Sunderland, Luis Suarez
Getty Images
Luiz Suarez headed home late on as Liverpool avoided a fourth straight league defeat with a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa.

Australian youngster Chris Herd had put Alex McLeish's side ahead after just ten minutes with a sweetly struck opener.

The hosts saw a couple of decent penalty appeals turned away but finally bagged an equalizer with less than ten minutes remaining through the Uruguayan, who pounced after substitute Daniel Agger had headed against the bar.

And after an immaculately observed minute’s silence ahead of the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, Liverpool had the first chance of the game as Downing skipped past Alan Hutton and flashed the ball across the six-yard box for Kuyt, whose close range effort was pushed out by Shay Given, though it may have crossed the line.

But the Reds were punished almost immediately after as Doni failed to clear a high ball from Stephen Warnock, which Herd expertly curled beyond the Brazilian from just inside the box after being teed up by Bannan.

Herd might have given away a penalty straight after the restart when Suarez’s knock on for Steven Gerrard appeared to strike the Australian’s arm, but the spot kick was not awarded by match official Michael Oliver.

James Collins headed a corner wide for Villa but Dalglish’s side began to control possession as the half wore on and Skrtel went close after 36 minutes, nodding past the post from a Gerrard set piece.

Liverpool had second appeals for a penalty turned away before the interval as Suarez twisted and turned in the box and went down under minimal contact from Alan Hutton.

The chance of the half fell to Dirk Kuyt however, who latched onto a drilled ball from Gerrard after a Suarez cross, but hammered the ball over the bar and high into the stands from point blank range with a practically open goal at his mercy.

Suarez had the final shot of the opening 45 minutes, shrugging off Stephen Ireland to side foot straight at Given, and the hosts went into the break a goal down.

Shortly after the break it was the Uruguayan who would go close again as he glanced a whipped Gerrard cross from deep at goal, but could only watch the ball bounce agonizingly off the inside of the post, before Given pushed it away from danger.

With over an hour to play, McLeish signaled his intent to hold onto the lead rather than enhance it, replacing Emile Heskey with Gary Gardner.

Dalglish responded, bringing on Carroll for Downing, while Jonjo Shelvey was replaced by Bellamy, who flashed a shot wide within seconds of coming on.

But it was Gardner who was presented with the opportunity to test Doni, but his shot was tame and straight at the stand-in goalkeeper from 20 yards.

Andreas Weimann was brought on for goal scorer Herd with the game approaching the closing stages, while Daniel Agger made his return from injury in place of Jose Enrique.

Suarez was never far from the action and was booked for simulation after going down easily for the second time following a half-challenge from Ireland.

With ten minutes left two of the Liverpool substitutes went close, as Bellamy rifled into the frame of the goal after a Collins clearance and Agger’s driven effort drifted wide.

But just a minute later the hosts finally equalized, when Gerrard’s cross was headed onto the bar by Agger, before Suarez stooped in to force home the rebound.

Gerrard tested Given once more late on, but Liverpool could not find a way through and had to settle for a point against a struggling Villa side.

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Liverpool

32
Doni
Goalkeeper
3.00
3
José Enrique
Defender
76′
3.00
23
Jamie Carragher
Defender
3.00
37
Martin Skrtel
Defender
3.00
38
Jon Flanagan
Defender
3.00
8
Steven Gerrard
Midfielder
3.00
14
Jordan Henderson
Midfielder
2.50
19
Stewart Downing
Midfielder
65′
2.50
8
Jonjo Shelvey
Midfielder
65′
2.50
7
Luis Suárez
Striker
77′ 82′
3.00
11
Dirk Kuyt
Midfielder
2.50

Aston Villa

3.00
31
Shay Given
Goalkeeper
3.00
6
Alan Hutton
Defender
2.50
13
3.00
19
3.00
43
Eric Lichaj
Defender
3.00
2
3.00
32
3.00
46
Barry Bannan
Midfielder
10′ 86′
3.00
17
Chris Herd
Midfielder
10′ 73′
2.50
11
2.50
-

Substitutes

1
Bradley Jones
Goalkeeper
0.00
5
3.00
19
0.00
11
0.00
20
Jay Spearing
Midfielder
0.00
9
2.50
39
3.00

Substitutes

0.00
1
Bradley Guzan
Goalkeeper
0.00
29
0.00
-
0.00
36
Daniel Johnson
Midfielder
2.50
22
Gary Gardner
Midfielder
58′
0.00
40
0.00
10

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

0.00
-
 
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
15 0