After The Match 


ASTON VILLA-LIVERPOOL 0-0         Sunday Aug 24     Premier League
Team: Dudek, Carragher, Henchoz, Hyypia, Riise, Kewell, Diouf, Gerrard, Murphy, Owen, Heskey.
Subs: Baros (Heskey 58), Biscan (Murphy 87)
Not used: Kirkland, Finnan, Smicer
Yellow: Diouf (42)
Red: None
Referee: Paul Durkin (Dorset)
Attendance: 42.573

                                                             FIXTURES & RESULTS 
On target: 9-9
Off target: 5-6
Fouls: 16-7
Corne:rs 8-9
Yellow: 0-1
Red: 0-0





"It's nice to get
off the mark."

                 Steven Gerrard

2408: Houllier pleased with Villa draw
2408: O'Leary: We deserved victory
2408: Gerrard happy with Villa draw
2408: Villa in Liverpool deadlock

Houllier pleased with Villa draw

By Gary Purvis - LFC Online

Gerard Houllier was happy with Liverpool's performance at Villa Park, and believed the result was a deserved one.

"We knew it was going to be a difficult game," he said after the game. "We knew they'd be full of energy and they were up for it.

"It was a very entertaining game and there were chances at either end. We had ours, they had theirs and the goalkeepers made good saves.

"Hopefully the season starts now. The players showed a lot of character. We had chances and the effort was fantastic.

"We thought we needed to strengthen the defence and against Chelsea we didn't get the result we deserved because of that.

"We played with four up front - Harry, Diouf and two strikers - and I think we had a very offensive set up and we'll work at it.

"I'm pleased that today we showed temperament and character and when we had to defend the whole team defended.

"We could have won but on the back of a defeat against Chelsea we consider that a good result."

O'Leary: We deserved victory

Villa boss David O'Leary was pleased with his side's display in the goalless draw at home to Liverpool - and believed they should have emerged victorious from the clash.

He said: "I'm delighted with the players' attitude and the way they worked for each other.

"I thought we deserved to win, although our goalkeeper [Thomas Sorensen] has pulled off a fantastic save at the end."

He added: "We should have taken some of the chances - and I'm disappointed we haven't come away with three points - but the main thing is we're creating chances.

"Missing chances was a problem. We were missing them all last season but the footie we're playing is excellent."

O'Leary was pleased with the performance of Swedish defender Olof Mellberg, recalled to the line-up at the expense of Alpay. The Irishman continued: "He played fantastic last season and he was disappointed to miss out against Portsmouth.

"But he's responded well on the pitch - and not in the newspapers. I wanted him to shut me up so I can look him in the eye and say 'you've played well'."

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier did not believe his team deserved to win the match, and said: "We knew it was going to be a difficult game - we knew Aston Villa would be full of energy and they were up for it.

"But it was a very entertaining game despite the score. There were chances at either end and the goalkeepers made some saves.

"It was an exciting game we could have won - but we could also have lost."

Gerrard happy with Villa draw

LFC Online

Steven Gerrard reflected on Liverpool's first point of the season and admitted: "It's nice to get off the mark."

Liverpool battled to a goalless draw at Villa Park to end their run of three successive league defeats and Gerrard says the clean sheet in particular will send the Reds into Wednesday's clash with Tottenham in high spirits.

He said: "It's nice to get off the mark. We would have obviously preferred the three points but they played well and a draw was definitely a fair result.

"It was their first game at home with their new manager and they were up for it. They closed us down well and worked very hard.

"We had chances in the game, especially in the first half, and I'm sure when the lads sharpen up a bit the goals will come.

"The manager told us before the game that the most important thing was keeping a clean sheet and getting our defensive play back to normal. We know the goals will come, hopefully starting against Spurs on Wednesday.

"We're looking now to get a win on Wednesday to set us up nicely for the derby next weekend."

Villa in Liverpool deadlock

BBC Sport Online

Aston Villa and Liverpool are both still waiting for their first win of the season after battling out an entertaining stalemate at Villa Park.

Villa boss David O'Leary will be the happier of the two managers after his side dominated for long periods - but Liverpool also forced several outstanding saves from new goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.

Sorensen denied Liverpool victory with a brilliant late save from John Arne Riise - while Villa also had opportunities to take all three points as they gave a spirited performance.

But the two sides had to be content with picking up their first point having each lost on the opening day.

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier restored El-Hadji Diouf to the starting line-up - and he almost helped create an opener for Harry Kewell after nine minutes.

The Senegal striker forced Sorensen into a fine block, and just as Kewell seemed certain to score from the rebound, the Australian fired hopelessly wide of an open goal.

Sorensen was in action again seven minutes later, diving acrobatically to turn away a 20-yard drive from Danny Murphy.

Villa had also looked dangerous and squandered a great chance to take the lead after 20 minutes.

Juan Pablo Angel was clean through on goal, but took an age and eventually set up Peter Whittingham, whose shot was scrambled off the line by Diouf.

Liverpool's other main threat in he first half came from communication breakdowns between new goalkeeper Sorensen and defender Olof Mellberg.

The Sweden defender twice failed to hear shouts from his keeper, first heading inches wide and then causing mass panic in the Villa penalty area.

Liverpool had a narrow escape after 54 minutes when Diouf lost possession in the danger zone, forcing Jerzy Dudek to race out and clear from Mark Delaney.

And Dudek was the hero two minutes later, diving at the feet of Darius Vassell to rescue Liverpool.

Liverpool were suddenly under the cosh and were fortunate to escape on the hour when Angel's free-kick from 25 yards bounced to safety off an upright.

Houllier sent on Milan Baros for the injured Emile Heskey, and with time running out he tested Sorensen with a right foot volley.

Sorensen had enjoyed an eventful afternoon, and he produced a miraculous save from Riise as he powered a header goalwards from Steven Gerrard's corner.

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Thor Zakariassen