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5 things we learned as Liverpool beat Aston Villa 2-1 in dramatic finish

Liverpool beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Anfield today thanks to a dramatic late winner from Trent Alexander-Arnold. Here are five things we learned from the game.

Go again

Jurgen Klopp named roughly the same XI that lost to Real Madrid, with only two changes – James Milner for Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino for Sadio Mane.

It suggests he wants some momentum going in the Champions League fixture – that or he doesn’t trust many squad players. Either way, Klopp didn’t ring the changes here despite a run of intense games.

Rest?

One notable absence was Thiago. This is now back-to-back games where he hasn’t started.

For such a brilliant player – and one who played well in wins over RB Leipzig, Wolves and Arsenal – it’s a big call from Klopp.

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We can only imagine the boss is resting him fully to face Real on Wednesday. Otherwise, it feels like a strange omission.

Repeat

Well, it happened again. Liverpool bossed possession and made things happen in the first half at Anfield – and then conceded the first goal.

It’s a story we’ve seen repeatedly in 2021 but one we hoped had ended. Instead, the same old problem remains.

He’s actually very good

Trent Alexander-Arnold is a right-back capable of winning games? Who knew? He was the most overrated player in the world a few days ago.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Of course, it’s obvious to every Red and sensible person that the Scouser is a magnificent player and the world’s best right-back.

And he offered everyone an elite reminder to those who doubt him.

Perfect timing

Alexander-Arnold’s goal ended a horrific run of Anfield form. Liverpool hadn’t won there since before Christmas, after all.

But they’re back in a winning mood ahead of the game against Real Madrid on Wednesday. That’s the biggest game at Anfield this season and Liverpool really, really needed some momentum going into it.

Thankfully, Liverpool found it with the 2-1 win over Villa.

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