Premier League - Gerrard penalty gives Liverpool draw against Villa

Premier League, Anfield - Liverpool 2 (Sturridge 45’ Gerrard 53’) Aston Villa 2 (Weimann 25’ Benteke 36’)

A controversial Steven Gerrard penalty rescued a point for Liverpool in a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa at Anfield.

In a breathless first half, Villa shocked Anfield by taking the lead through Andreas Weimann. Gabby Agbonlahor sprinted down the left wing, and squared a great pass for the lurking Austrian.

Liverpool fans would have expected an instant response, but Villa then extended their lead. Agbonlahor, again, this time had space on the right, and Simon Mignolet flapped at the cross, allowing Christian Benteke to stoop at the back post to head into an empty net.

Just before the break, Daniel Sturridge pulled a goal back after getting onto a neat flick from Jordan Henderson.

On the 52nd minute, Luis Suarez went to ground easily after being clipped by Brad Guzan, earning a penalty for Steven Gerrard to slot into the corner.

Liverpool continued to press but never really truly threatened to score another.

KEY MOMENTS

24’ - CLARK HITS THE POST - Cieran Clark heads a thundering header at goal from a corner, but it hits the post.

36’ - BENTEKE GOAL - Agbonlahor again in space crosses for Benteke to head into an empty net after a Mignolet error.

45+3’ - STURRIDGE SCORES - Suarez finds Henderson inside the box, who cleverly flicks the ball for Sturridge to dink the ball over Guzan.

53’ - GERRARD PENALTY - After Suarez goes to ground on the edge of the six yard box, Guzan has only himself to blame for rushing out so quickly. Gerrard coolly converts.

77’ - SUAREZ FREE KICK - 30 yards from goal, his effort is just wide of the top corner.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

KEY STATS

Christian Benteke has scored four goals in four Premier League appearances against Liverpool.

Liverpool have scored 53 goals in the Premier League this season, already six more than they managed in 2011-12 (47).

Luis Suarez failed to score despite having scored 22 goals in 16 appearances before this match.

Steven Gerrard has scored more goals against Aston Villa (12) than he has managed against any other opponent in the Premier League.

TALKING POINT

Liverpool need reinforcements at left-back. Thiago Llori will probably leave this winter, Cissokho has not convinced and Jose Enrique is injured. Conceding goals down the wings demonstrates an obvious weakness in their squad, and time is running out for anything to happen in the winter transfer window.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Gabby Agbonlahor (Aston Villa): The most dangerous player on the pitch until he had to go off with an injury, he created both Villa goals and gave them an outlet against Liverpool's pressure.

PLAYER RATINGS

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet 6, Johnson 5, Cissokho 5, Skrtel 6, Toure 6, Gerrard 6, Henderson 6, Sterling 7, Coutinho 6, Sturridge 6, Suarez 6. Subs: Lucas 6, Allen 6.

ASTON VILLA: Guzan 6, Bacuna 6, Vlaar 6, Clark 6, Bertrand 6, El Ahmadi 5, Westwood 6, Delph 6, Agbonlahor 7, Weimann 6, Benteke 6. Subs: Sylla 6, Luna 6, Holt 5.

MATCH IN A TWEET