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    • Report by Dave Usher   It turned out ok in the end but for a while this was turgid, pedestrian, uninspired shite. Understandable to a degree and we might see a fair bit more of this before the season is out, but in the end they found a way to get it done and it’s three points closer to a potential points record.   It’s easy to over-analyse these behind closed doors games and put any below par performances down to the lack of fans, or blame it on the fact we’ve already won the title and our intensity has understandably dropped. There’s almost certainly an element of that, but how do we really know?    Let’s not forget what happened last time we played Villa. It wasn’t exactly vintage was it? We needed two goals at the death to win it. At least this time we didn’t leave it that late. We probably played slightly better at Villa Park than here but until the triple substitution around the hour mark this was poor.   The thing is, we’ve had a number of games like this one this season and most of them took place in front of full houses (not many at Anfield though to be fair) so maybe we can’t just put it down to ‘lockdown footy’. It sure feels like it is though, doesn’t it?    The first half was largely a non-event. To be completely honest I was bored stiff watching it. Have we had a half that bad at Anfield this season? I’m struggling to remember one. We’ve had loads away from home, I know that, so this performance wasn’t actually THAT unusual.   Villa were resolute and did their jobs well but it was too easy for them. I can only think of one shot we had in the first half, and that was a tame volley from Mo that didn’t trouble Reina at all. We had a couple of penalty shouts too, both when Salah went down after being grabbed. The first one was never a pen, it was more of a coming together than anything else.    I thought the second one was a pen though. The defender reaches out and grabs Mo’s shoulder, pulling him back. He’s got no need to be putting his hands on him there. It would have been soft, but I’ve seen them given for less. I was more upset with our lack of creativity than any refereeing decision though. We offered virtually nothing.   You could even argue that Villa posed more of a threat. Not much more, but it was more than us. I can only remember them having one first half chance when Alisson made an easy save to deny Luiz, but if they had a bit more quality up front there were some counter attacking opportunities to be had.    They just weren’t good enough to make anything of them. Big difference to facing a fired up De Bruyne and Sterling, that’s for sure.   Klopp had freshened things up a little by resting Firmino, Henderson and Wijnaldum. That made for a more attacking looking midfield which in theory should have been ideal against a deep defending side like Villa. Having Origi up front should have helped too, giving us that penalty box presence and aerial threat.   It wasn’t ideal though. In fact, it was only when two of those players were replaced that we actually started to look like ourselves.     This is just a teaser, click here to view the full article   Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 
    • Has Ali ever cost us points like Ederson did yesterday?
    • They have already started the revolution by signing a new contract with the soon to be 32 year old Nemanja Matic - locking down this silky midfield lynchpin until he will be 35. You see them winning the CL??
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