Late goals from Sadio Mane and substitute Curtis Jones did the job for Liverpool as a hard-earned 2-0 win over Villa made it 17 wins from 17 at home in the Premier League this season to maintain their hopes of breaking Man City’s points record.
Sitting on 89 points with 15 still left to play for, Liverpool can still end up with 104 points for the season, and are four wins away from breaking City’s 100-point record.
Four more wins would also see the Reds better City’s record of 32 in the one season, while victories in their remaining two home games would see them complete an incredible perfect season at Anfield. No top flight team has won every home game of the season since Sunderland way back in 1892.
Klopp insisted though: “We didn’t come here and have the numbers we have because we thought about breaking records. We were always focused 100 per cent on the game and that will not change.
“Hopefully in the future, when the record ends or the season ends, I can start thinking about it. I don’t even know the numbers – I know we have 89 points but it is not a big thing.
“If we can do something special it is great but we really don’t think too much about it.
“If we want to have record points pretty much we have to win all the games, it’s not complicated. The boys know it and it’s not necessary to mention it to this group.
“These boys are really fighting for these three points in a difficult game.”
Reds made to work hard by Villa
Klopp wanted a response after Liverpool’s 4-0 thumping at City, and while he got that in terms of the scoreline they were hardly at their free-flowing best.
Again, similar to at the Etihad, the Reds just lacked that few percent of intensity, and with Dean Smith’s well organised and hard-working side playing for their Premier League salvation they offered more than a few problems for the hosts.
Villa were left to rue their missed chances though as they made Alisson work harder than returning ex-Liverpool keeper Pep Reina throughout the game, at least for the first hour or so, but just faded at the end.
Just one bit of quality broke the deadlock as Naby Keita’s smart pass inside the box allowed Mane to lash the ball in off the crossbar in the 71st minute – it was the latest Liverpool had scored their opening goal at Anfield in the league all season.
Substitute Jones celebrated his new five-year contract with a late second as Klopp’s side sealed a 24th consecutive home league victory – and move them just two wins against Burnley and Chelsea from becoming the first team to win every home game in the top flight for 128 years.
Time is now running out for Villa who remain just the one point behind Watford and safety, although with a slightly worse goal difference, while they’re four points off West Ham.
Liverpool 2–0 Aston Villa Opta stats
- Liverpool have now won each of their last 34 Premier League matches when scoring the first goal of the game, since a 1-1 draw with West Ham United in February 2019.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 57 Premier League home games (W47 D10), winning each of the last 24 in a row.
- Aston Villa have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 24 Premier League away games, since a 0-0 draw with West Brom in January 2016. It’s their longest such run in the top-flight since September 1989 (38 games).
- Aston Villa are without a victory in nine Premier League games (D2 L7), the longest current winless run in the competition.
- Liverpool have had 17 different goalscorers (excl. own-goals) in the Premier League this season (17); a joint-high with Newcastle.
- Liverpool’s Sadio Mané has been directly involved in eight goals in his last five Premier League appearances against Aston Villa (6 goals, 2 assists).
- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah registered his 100th Premier League goal involvement in what was his 116th appearance (73 goals, 27 assists) – only Alan Shearer (100 apps) took fewer games to reach this milestone in the competition (Eric Cantona also 116 games).
- Curtis Jones (19 years, 157 days) is the youngest Liverpool player to score a Premier League goal since Trent Alexander-Arnold (19 years, 80 days) versus Swansea City in December 2017.