Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Suarez inspires Reds victory

Martin Skrtel (right)

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish celebrated his first league win as a manager at Villa Park as goals from Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel ensured a comfortable 2-0 victory over Alex McLeish's side.

Bellamy and Skrtel struck inside the first 15 minutes to seal the Reds' fifth away win in the Barclays Premier League this season.

But the star of the show was striker Luis Suarez who tormented the Aston Villa defence and was twice denied by the woodwork.

Former Villa winger Stewart Downing was booed by the home fans after his £20million summer move but he and Bellamy caused problems down both flanks.

After 11 minutes Downing played a part in Bellamy giving Liverpool the lead. His corner found Suarez inside the box and a back heel forced a fine instinctive save out of Brad Guzan but Bellamy reacted first to the rebound for a simple tap-in.

After 15 minutes Liverpool doubled their lead through Skrtel - and from another corner. Villa failed to pick up the central defender as he attacked a Bellamy cross and his glancing header flew past Guzan.

Villa tried to counter-attack and Nathan Delfouneso had a 20-yard shot deflected wide and a long-range attempt from Charles N'Zogbia was just off-target. Delfouneso then teed up the over-lapping N'Zogbia whose shot contained plenty of power but flew into the side-netting.

Suarez showed sublime skill in evading the challenges of Richard Dunne and James Collins and from 10 yards out he crashed his shot against the crossbar.

JoseReina was forced into a rare save in getting his body behind a low effort from N'Zogbia. But Suarez was denied by the woodwork again after chipping Guzan following a pinpoint 40 yard ball from Downing.

Dalglish brought on Andy Carroll after 74 minutes for Suarez who was given a standing ovation by the Liverpool fans. Villa substitute Barry Bannan appealed in vain for handball when his shot struck Daniel Agger late on.

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