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Chris Houghton was fired earlier today from his managerial post at Newcastle despite a rather encouraging start to the season after getting the Magpies promoted from the Championship, and if that’s any indication about life in the Premier League, Gerard Houllier needs to start worrying. West Ham’s Avram Grant might be ahead with the bookies in the ‘next sacking’ race, but Aston Villa, with three consecutive defeats and only one league win in their last seven matches, are in trouble (16th with 17 points, 2 above the relegation zone).

A frosty evening at Anfield didn’t do well from the troubled club, as Liverpool, despite missing Torres and Gerrard, easily went 2-0 up after only 16 minutes through David N’Gog and Ryan Babel. It was far from a brilliant performance from Roy Hodgson’s men, but Villa defense and middle of the field are so soft and easily spooked when pushed and attacked, the Reds hardly needed more than a few moments of spark to muster an easy win, with Maxi Rodriguez finishing a well executed counter attack in the second half.

With the win, Liverpool’s fourth consecutive at home, they climbed to the 8th with 22 points, 7 behind Manchester City at 4th and 10 behind league leaders Arsenal. The win isn’t a great indicator for a bright future for Liverpool, who faced a very weak opponent, very similar to West Ham a couple of weeks ago, but did earn Liverpool a few things – the ability to win without their two star players, and maybe getting the lost potential of Ryan Babel back on track.

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One last thing – Congrats to Pepe Reina, who kept a clean sheet for the 100th time as a Liverpool keeper in his 198th appearance with the club.