It’s hard to declare one match as a championship killer, but considering the other results, Liverpool failing to beat Aston Villa in a home match which ended in a 2-2 draw is close to a disaster. The visitors led 2-0 with goals from Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke; Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard managed to secure at least one point.
The first 44 minutes were about Brendan Rodgers being stunned, using only two central midfielders against the diamond shape Paul Lambert chose to use, which won him complete dominance in the midfield. Liverpool failed to create chances, while Villa found it quite easy to spread the Liverpool defense and create one on one situations for Gabriel Agbonlahor and Benteke.
The first goal was Agbonlahor, coming from the left, beating Kolo Toure with speed. That forced Martin Skrtel to pull back too far, and Weimann had no one covering him, scoring the first goal. Liverpool didn’t do anything different except move Coutinho moving a bit to the middle, but that didn’t stop Aston Villa from looking very dangerous on the counter attack, as the centre backs failed to control or keep up with Agbonlahor, setting up the second goal for Benteke.
Liverpool got one back right before half time, which everyone says is the perfect time, as a combination of passes left Jordan Henderson to pull off a clever pass into the box, leaving Daniel Sturridge to score in a one on one situation.
Rodgers took off Coutinho and brought in Lucas, allowing them to press higher up the pitch without leaving too much exposed behind, and Aston Villa were hurt by Agbonlahor leaving the match due to an injury. A smart move by Luis Suarez in the box and an awful slide from Brad Guzan gave Steven Gerrard a chance to equalize in the 53rd minute.
Plenty of time for Liverpool to equalize, but Aston Villa defended well, not allowing Liverpool any clear cut chances. Aston Villa were probably more pleased with the result, leaving them at 10th, while Liverpool are now 4th, 8 points behind Arsenal, and in a position to fall back another spot if Everton win their next match.