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Aston Villa was involved in one of the more bizarre games of the weekend. Despite being absolutely dominated by Liverpool, Villa came out on top 3-1.
Liverpool had 72 percent of the possession and outshot Villa 29 to 11, but Villa made the most of its counterattacks.
Led by the brilliant play of Christian Benteke, Villa came out of the match with all of the points.
Brad Guzan, starting between the sticks for Villa, did his part in the win with a number of smart saves.
He was strong off his line, catching and punching away multiple Liverpool crosses into his area. He also had a great hockey stop in the second half, knocking away a loose ball in the ball with a kick save.
Guzan’s greatest contribution on the day was a terrific save on a Daniel Agger blast in the second half.
Additionally, Guzan had several other good catches, especially with Luis Suarez coming in each time looking for loose balls.
On the one that did get by him, there was nothing Guzan could do as a Glen Johnson shot deflected off Steven Gerrard and in.
Eric Lichaj also started for Villa, again as a right wing-back.
Early in the match, Lichaj struggled to get into the game. In the fifth minute, Lichaj was lucky not to score an own goal on a dangerous Liverpool ball into the area.
And for the first half hour, Liverpool was able to repeatedly take advantage of the space in behind Lichaj’s more advanced wing-back position and shred Villa’s three-back.
However, Liverpool wasted their chances, and Lichaj eventually settled into the match.
In the 29th minute, Lichaj dispossessed Suarez on the play that led to Villa’s opening goal.
Then, in the 43rd minute, Lichaj finally had enough of Raheem Sterling’s runs and chopped him down.
Considering he was facing Sterling and Glen Johnson for most of the game, Lichaj did fairly well. Lichaj even frustrated Johnson enough that when Lichaj dispossessed him early in the second half, Johnson wrestled Lichaj to the ground in retaliation.