Suarez salvages draw for Reds
Liverpool - Luis Suarez's late effort cancelled
out Chris Herd's goal as Liverpool fought back to earn a 1-1 draw
against Premier League strugglers Aston Villa at Anfield on
Kenny Dalglish, in his second spell as Liverpool
manager, ended the club's six-year wait for a trophy when he guided the
Merseysiders to a League Cup final win in February and they have an FA
Cup semi-final against local rivals Everton to look forward to at
Wembley next weekend.
But their Premier League form remains a concern, despite this result ending a run of six defeats in seven matches.
have managed just five wins from their 16 home matches in the league
and Villa looked to be the latest to leave with a win when they took an
early lead through Herd.
Liverpool found it hard to create openings but finally secured an equaliser through Suarez eight minutes from time.
to bring their miserable recent form to an end, Liverpool almost got
off to a perfect start when Stewart Downing found space down the left
and his cross picked out Dirk Kuyt at the far post.
But the Dutchman's shot was turned onto the post by goalkeeper Shay Given and hacked away to safety.
Villa took the lead in the 10th minute.
Reds defender Stephen Warnock sent over a cross from the left, with
goalkeeper Alexander Doni, making his Liverpool debut as cover for the
suspended Pepe Reina, failing to make the punch.
Barry Bannan pulled back and Herd swept a shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.
visitors could have doubled their lead when former Liverpool striker
Emile Heskey broke from halfway and had an effort blocked wide by Martin
James Collins then rose above Skrtel only to head wide from a Bannan free-kick.
were struggling to create opportunities despite falling behind and a
Steven Gerrard volley, which flew well over from the edge of the box,
hinted at their concern.
Skrtel headed wide at the far post from a
Gerrard corner and Jordan Henderson curled well over the bar from a
cut-back from Downing.
Suarez, who had earlier gone down under a
Herd challenge in the area, looked to have been caught by Alan Hutton as
he raced on to a Kuyt pass but referee Mike Oliver dismissed the
Kuyt then turned a shot over from just a couple
of yards as he attempted to divert a Gerrard effort into the net and
Suarez was also denied by Given just before the break.
pressure continued after the restart and from a fine cross from the
right from Gerrard, Suarez's header came back off the post before Given
clawed the ball to safety.
Kuyt also sliced wide from the edge of the area after a Gerrard back-heel.
were attempting to sit on their advantage but they almost got the
chance to add a second when Doni attempted to dribble around Gabriel
Agbonlahor five yards from goal before Jose Enrique gave the ball away
But with eight minutes remaining a Craig Bellamy corner
was cleared as far as Liverpool captain Gerrard, whose return cross was
met by Daniel Agger's head, and when the ball came down off the bar,
Suarez touched in from just a yard out.