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Match report: Villa Res 1-4 Liverpool Res
Second string suffered heavy defeat at Villa Park.
2nd Apr 2012
Match report: Villa Res 1-4 Liverpool Res


By Dan Harrison at Villa Park

Daniel Johnson's late penalty was little consolation for Villa as they were well beaten by Liverpool.

The visitors surged into a three-goal lead with strikes from Nathan Eccleston, Suso and Ryan McLaughlin.

Jack Grealish earned a late penalty for the claret and blues which Johnson converted but substitute Michael Ngoo put the contest beyond doubt in stoppage time.

The result means Villa remain six points ahead of West Bromwich Albion at the top of the Reserve League South, although the Baggies have two games in hand.

In stark contract from the last reserve game at Villa Park, there were no players in Kevin MacDonald's starting line-up with first team experience.

But four of the line-up - Johnson, Grealish, Derrick Williams and Samir Carruthers - were buoyed by their inclusion on the bench for Saturday's Barclays Premier League game against Chelsea.

Villa began the game in positive fashion, knowing a victory would stretch their lead at the top of the table.

The home side will have been scratching their heads wondering how they managed to find themselves two goals down at half-time.

Eccleston and Suso capitalised on two defensive lapses to give the Reds the advantage in an opening 45 minutes that had seen Villa create the better chances overall.

A swift counter-attack on six minutes saw Johnson play in Carruthers who shot just over when attempting to catch Daniel Ward out with a lob.

Graham Burke narrowly missed the target with a volley after Michael Drennan neatly laid off a chipped pass from Grealish, while Ward got down to hold low drives from Burke and Carruthers.

Eccleston had given the Villa defence a scare on 13 minutes but scuffed his shot wide from around eight yards.

But the Liverpool attacker went one better on 28 minutes when he breached the back four to find himself one-on-one with Benji Siegrist before tucking into the far corner.

And two minutes before the break, Raheem Sterling's low left wing cross crept through to Suso who fired high into the net.

If Villa felt hard done by in the first-half, there will have been few complaints at the final outcome as Liverpool went on to take total charge.

McLaughlin applied the simplest of finishes to make it 3-0 on 48 minutes after Siegrist pushed Eccleston's effort onto the post.

The impressive Sterling then forced a fine finger-tip save from Siegrist when he looked to bend a shot into the far corner.

The Reds attacker also saw a left-foot strike cannon off the up right after being played through by Suso.

A consolation arrived for Villa on 82 minutes when Grealish was too quick for Conor Coady and the 16-year-old won a spot kick which Johnson duly blasted past Ward.

But Liverpool sprung the counter-attack in stoppage time and Sterling, in acres of space, squared to Ngoo to tap into an empty net.

VILLA: Siegrist, Webb, Donacien, Williams, Stevens, Grealish, Carruthers, Johnson, Cameron, Burke, Drennan. Subs: Ward, Barrett, Graham [for Cameron, 64], Kinsella, Robinson [for Burke, 64].

LIVERPOOL: Ward, McLaughlin, Mendy, Sama, Wisdom, Coady, Suso, Roberts, Eccleston, Adorjan, Sterling. Subs: McGiveron, Belford, Roddan, Smith [for McLaughlin, 90], Ngoo [for Eccleston, 82].

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