Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2022-23Getty Images

Don't forget about Salah in world's best debate! Liverpool winners, losers and ratings as Egyptian King and Nunez shine in win over Aston Villa

This was just the Christmas present Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool wanted. Their Premier League season, belatedly, is coming to life, and Klopp was certainly smiling here as his side picked up a third successive league win with a hard-fought 3-1 win at Aston Villa.

First-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk had the Reds in control at Villa Park, but when Ollie Watkins reduced the deficit just before the hour mark, Klopp's men needed to show the kind of resilience that has been lacking too often in this most stop-start of campaigns.

They did so. Substitute Stefan Bajcetic, only just on the field, made the game safe nine minutes from time, showing remarkable composure to score his first professional goal, become the Reds' third-youngest Premier League scorer and allow his team to play out the remainder of the game with a degree of comfort.

With Tottenham having dropped points at Brentford earlier in the day, Liverpool are now within five points of fourth place and have a game in hand too. After a slow start, the Red machine is beginning to find some sort of groove.

GOAL runs through the winners and losers of an exciting Boxing Day clash...

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