Flashback 1992-93: Saunders bags Villa winner in cracking Kop clash
Paper: Sunday Express
Dean Saunders, Ray Houghton and Steve Staunton made a triumphant return to Anfield.
And it was almost inevitable that Saunders would bring Liverpool to their knees - just as he did with two goals at Villa Park in September.
That was only his second game in claret and blue after being sold to Villa for £2.3m. And Liverpool were left nursing the wounds of a 4-2 defeat. He had scored 23 goals in his only season at Anfield.
And yesterday Saunders turned the screw by smashing Villa's winner in front of the Kop.
Villa had to come from behind to win the game and victory could only have been sweeter if it had hoisted them to the top of the league.
But Manchester United had something to say about that, 35 miles down the road at Old Trafford.
Paper: Sunday Mercury
Dean Saunders claimed his 11th goal in a Villa shirt on a triumphant return to Merseyside - and he may well look back on it as the most important of his career.
His 64th minute winner gave Ron Atkinson's men their first win at Anfield since 1977 and confirmed emphatically that they have the potential to go on and become the first Premier League champions.
Villa are still not top of the table but they certainly held their heads high after a compelling performance in the face of difficult circumstances.
They trailed to a John Barnes goal at half-time and had to reorganise when leading scorer Dalian Atkinson failed to appear for the second half.
But Villa simply refused to submit and eventually stunned the Kop into silence with two smartly taken goals to edge into second place behind Manchester United.
It was a fine team effort, although the outcome was particularly satisfying for Saunders, Ray Houghton and Steve Staunton, all of them are former Liverpool players.
All three produced excellent performances, but it was Saunders who claimed the glory.
Paper: Sunday Mercury
Dean Saunders celebrated the goal which gave Villa victory over former club Liverpool but admitted: "At one stage I thought we were finished."
Saunders's 64th minute strike earned Villa their first win at Anfield since 1977 with a 2-1 success.
And a delighted Saunders revealed afterwards: "I don't think I have ever played in a visiting team that has even scored at Liverpool - let alone won a game!"
Saunders's winner lifted Villa into second place in the Premier League behind new leaders Manchester United.
"We didn't look like we were going to get back into the game before Garry Parker's great goal," said the Welshman.
"Then I sneaked one in but I hadn't really thought about scoring the winner. It was a team effort and that's what matters.
"I said to Ray Houghton that we would either come away devastated or over the moon.
"After going 1-0 down we've got to be pleased with that result.
"It's a hard place to play, particularly with 40,000 people cheering on Liverpool.
"Obviously it was great to get the winner - I think I'll be having a couple of lemonades later."
Paper: Daily Telegraph
"Bring on the champions" is a familiar cry before big matches at Anfield.
Cheekily chanting it on Saturday were the visiting supporters from Aston Villa, who made up the famous stadium's third 40,000-plus crowd of the season.
By the end of an engrossing, fluctuating contest it was apparent why there is such confidence in the West Midlands about the outcome of a wide open title race.
It may be some time before Merseyside supporters are able to deliver that ditty again.
Liverpool, despite manager Graeme Souness's comments in the match programme that they remain capable of launching a typically powerful late challenge, appear now to have only their defence of the FA Cup.
Villa, who along with Manchester United look best equipped to cope with the demands of the run-in, put 12 points between themselves and Liverpool thanks to a winning goal by Dean Saunders on his return to Anfield following a £2.3m sale in September.
Make sure you're there to back the lads against Southampton.
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