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Gerrard: Two points dropped

Steven Gerrard says Liverpool will consider a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa to be two points dropped despite salvaging something from the tie.

Last Updated: 19/01/14 at 10:37 Post Comment

Villa stunned Anfield with their first half display, swarming all over the hosts as Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke fired them into a two-goal lead.

Liverpool hit back through Daniel Sturridge before the break and a much-improved second half display saw Gerrard convert from the penalty spot after Luis Suarez had been felled by Brad Guzan.

The Reds skipper concedes that Brendan Rodgers' side would have been expecting more than they got from a tie on home soil, but was also quick to praise Villa for making life so difficult.

Gerrard told Sky Sports: "If we looked at this fixture before the game, we'd see it as two points dropped. But I think, the way Aston Villa played today, they deserved a point.

"We were nowhere near good enough first half, we improved a lot after the break and showed good character to get back in it. Now, after the game, it's probably a fair result.

"They went for a diamond and I think they outnumbered us in the middle of the park. They got it forward really quickly and murdered us on the counter attack. We expected them to be good on the counter attack, but they were even better than we thought today.

"Credit to them, they could have scored more than two goals, but we did well to keep it down to two. We changed our formation as well, and I think we got control of the game. From half-time, we were the better team."

Much had been made in the build-up to the game of Gerrard's recent deployment in a holding 'quarterback' role, but he admits that approach was well countered by Villa.

He added: "They put a lot of men around me. Every time I tried to get the ball under control they swamped me in the first half.

"It didn't work for myself or the team. I openly admit that it wasn't one of my better 45 minutes, but I improved after the break with the team and we managed to get back in it, but it's still two points dropped for us."

While disappointed to see points slip, Liverpool remain in fourth spot and Gerrard admits that UEFA Champions League qualification is the sole target.

He said: "That was our main target at the beginning of the season.

"I think the problem today and the reason why the fans will be so disappointed is that because our home form has been immaculate and we have almost spoilt the supporters at home.

"They will probably see this as a disappointing result but, hopefully, this point could be important for us at the end of the season. It is no time to panic, we keep going and keep fighting for fourth."

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C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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