Liverpool vs Aston Villa half-time match report: Reds come unstuck as Gabrial Agbonlahor's close-range finish gives Villa the lead at the break

Villa's stand-in captain picked up the ball in the box and poked it into the back of the net to give Villa an unlikely lead at the break

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The Independent Football

Gabriel Agbonlahor scored from close range to give Aston Villa a shock 1-0 lead at half-time as Liverpool failed to find a way to break down a well-disciplined Villa side at Anfield.

Coming from a loose ball in the area, Liverpool failed to find safety and when the ball fell to Agbonlahor, the striker poked the ball beyond the flailing Simon Mignolet to put Paul Lambert’s side ahead in the ninth minute.

Liverpool supporters were still getting used to seeing new arrivals Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana, with the Serbian making his first appearance at Anfiled and Lallana selected for the very first time due to injury.

Givent hat the Reds were trailing at the break, manger Brendan Rodgers may have question his decision to leave Raheem Sterling on the bench, although he will have one eye on their return to the Champions League when they take on Ludogorets on Tuesday.

The Independent's Tim Rich, who was at Anfield, commented: "A goal from Gabby Agbonlahor gave Aston Villa a deserved lead at the interval in the late kick-off at Anfield.


"Villa, who have an excellent recent record at Anfield, opened the scoring from one of six first-half corners they forced. Philippe Senderos' header struck Javier Manquillo on the back and Agbonlahor scooped the loose ball home.

"Liverpool had a couple of chances from Lazar Markovic and Philippe Coutinho but seldom threatened Brad Guzan's goal."