HomeViews and OpinionsA Summer Stroll for Dominant Liverpool

A Summer Stroll for Dominant Liverpool

With Anfield bathed in sunshine, Liverpool strolled past a surprisingly poor Aston Villa team, in achieving a comfortable 3-0 victory. Two-up after 20 minutes, after a stunning left foot strike from Dominik Szoboszlai and an own goal, it was left to the irreplaceable Mo Salah, tapping in at the far post in front of the Kop to make the points secure.

Liverpool’s rapid start to the game, one-up inside five minutes, did little to change Villa’s game plan – a plan that seemed to consist almost entirely of lethargy, loose passing and no obvious desire to play forward with any purpose. Liverpool, however, pursued the ball relentlessly, with Trent Alexander-Arnold left in acres of space throughout the game to pull the strings from a roaming ‘quarter-back’ position. Time and time again he split the porous Villa defence and found Salah down the right flank.

It was one such pass that led to Liverpool’s second on 20 minutes. Salah receiving the ball in enough space to find a rejuvenated Darwin Nunez. His first-time strike rebounding off the post, hitting a hapless Matty Cash and the ball flew into the net at the Anfield Road end. In truth, Liverpool should have scored more as the visitors wilted in blistering heat, with Nunez hitting the bar as he terrorised Villa’s back-line.

Although the visitors came out with more purpose in the second-half, Salah, who has now scored in 150 games for Liverpool, tapped in a headed assist from Nunez. With half an hour remaining, Villa were in danger of being embarrassed, with Salah missing a chance with his right foot to add to his record of scoring or assisting in ten consecutive Premier League games.

With the game well beyond the visitors, Jurgen Klopp took the opportunity to rest some players ahead of the international break. Nunez, Luis Diaz, and Trent, who suffered a hamstring strain, making way for Diogo Jota, Wataru Endo and Jarell Quansah. Harvey Elliot and Cody Gakpo also got some game time, on an easy afternoon for Liverpool.