Highlights and report as Andrew Robertson (87) and Sadio Mane (90+4) keep Liverpool's six-point lead
Saturday 2 November 2019 23:07, UK
Sadio Mane's 94th-minute header gave Liverpool a stunning 2-1 comeback victory against Aston Villa to keep their six-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
With Manchester City fighting back from behind to beat Southampton 2-1, Liverpool's lead looked to be reduced to four points before Mane stooped low deep into injury time to extend their unbeaten run to 28 in the Premier League.
Villa had taken a shock lead during a breathless first half as Trezeguet tucked home at the far post (21), adjudged just onside by VAR, while Liverpool had a leveller chalked off as Roberto Firmino was marked just off by VAR (29).
Liverpool knocked on the door incessantly times in the second half, but their leveller didn't come until the 87th minute as Andrew Robertson headed home at the far post, before Sadio Mane's last-gasp winner.
Aston Villa: Heaton (7), Guilbert (6), Mings (7), Engels (8), Targett (6), Nakamba (6), McGinn (7), Luiz (7), Trezeguet (8), El Ghazi (6), Wesley (6)
Subs: Elmohamady (6), Hourihane (5), Kodjia (NA)
Liverpool: Alisson (6), Alexander-Arnold (8), Lovren (5), Van Dijk (5), Robertson (7), Wijnaldum (6), Lallana (6), Henderson (6), Mane (8), Salah (5), Firmino (6)
Subs: Origi (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (7), Keita (NA)
Man of the match: Sadio Mane
Villa resisted sitting back too deep and contributed to a relentless first half; Anwar El Ghazi struck straight down the throat of Alisson in the first minute, before Bjorn Engels missed a clear header from Matt Targett's cross as Liverpool's offside trap failed.
At the other end, Mane headed inches wide on the stretch from Trent Alexander-Arnold's ball and Mohamed Salah forced a save from Tom Heaton at an angle. Villa's boldness on the ball seemed to unsettle Liverpool's defence, but it was a set piece that gave the hosts the opener.
Villa took advantage of Liverpool's high line again as John McGinn's deep free-kick found Trezeguet at the back post, and the Egyptian made no mistake in controlling a low finish under Alisson. After VAR Martin Atkinson intervened for three minutes, Trezeguet was judged just inches onside.
The big news for Villa was that Jack Grealish didn't make the squad due to injury, so El Ghazi came in for the only change from the 3-0 defeat at Man City.
For Liverpool, Lallana came in for Fabinho in the only change after the 2-1 win over Tottenham.
Minutes later VAR was involved again as Mane found Firmino to tap home at the far post, with the assistant instantly raising his flag, but VAR again judged the Liverpool man to be just inches the wrong side of the line.
Villa eventually had to retreat, but their defence did everything to keep Liverpool at bay. Heaton's unorthodox save with his shoulder denied Mane at the far post, before Salah was replaced with half-an-hour to go after an under-par performance.
A triple block from Engels, Tyrone Mings and Targett denied sub Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Adam Lallana miscued unmarked from eight yards, but as the clock ticked into the late 80s, Liverpool finally broke Villa's resistance.
Mane's deep cross from the left caught El Ghazi napping as Robertson sneaked in at the far post, heading into the roof of the net despite Heaton's best efforts, and then came the dramatic, last-gasp winner with reverberations up the M6 in Manchester.
|Points won from behind
Alexander-Arnold's low corner was met brilliantly and bravely by Mane, who diverted it to the far corner beyond the stretch of Heaton to send Jurgen Klopp and the travelling Liverpool fans into a frenzy.
Liverpool never know when they're beaten. They have now won 10 points from losing positions already this season, a welcome trait as they look for their first title in 30 years.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "It's a very tough one to take. I thought we frustrated them, which not many teams do. I thought there was a lot of inconsistency with some of the officiating today. All in all I'm disappointed because I think we deserved something out of it today. We were always a threat going forward.
"We take a lot of pride; I want the players to feel hurt as that's the only way to move forward and take it into the next game."
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "It is not possible [to go an entire season unbeaten] if you play like we did until we conceded the goal. It was not bad, it was actually the opposite, it was good football, but it was not the winning mentality we need.
"It is probably not possible, but we don't think about it to be honest. We think about how we can win the next game and the next game."
Move over Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane might just be the main man in this Liverpool side now. He won the game for Liverpool almost single-handedly, setting up the equaliser with a brilliant cross then heading home the winner to send the away fans crazy at Villa Park.
While many of his team-mates struggled, he was a threat throughout the afternoon too, attempting six shots in total, setting up three chances and generally causing mayhem in Villa's defence.
Liverpool now host Genk on Tuesday night in the Champions League at 8pm, before a huge Premier League clash with Manchester City on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 4.30pm. Villa go to Wolves next in the Premier League, also on Super Sunday at 2pm.