Liverpool stay in title hunt with Villa win

Birmingham, May 11 (BNA): Sadio Mane scored the winning goal to lead Liverpool from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 on Tuesday and keep alive their hopes of reclaiming the Premier League title from leaders Manchester City.

The win moved Liverpool to a draw with City with 86 points in the standings, but the champions have a game in hand to play on Wednesday when they travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Reuters reported.

Any hope of coach Steven Gerrard of giving his former team an easy ride was quickly dashed as his side flew off the blocks from kick-off in front of a raucous crowd.

They took the lead in the third minute when Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson hit a header from Douglas Luiz right back in the path of the Brazilian striker, who fired from close range, while both defenders Costas Tsimekas and Joel Matip groped.

Jurgen Klopp’s side equalized less than three minutes later, when Virgil van Dijk met with a free kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold, and although Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez managed to get his hand, Matip fired home.

The visitors, who were uncharacteristically nervous, suffered a setback almost half an hour after defensive midfielder Fabinho was injured, putting their participation in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea in great doubt.

However, they recovered and settled in the second half as Senegalese striker Mane put his team ahead in the 65th minute with a clever header from Luis Diaz’s cross.

It was his fifteenth goal in the league this season, and he is the third Liverpool player to reach that number at least this season after Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota.

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Villa striker Danny Ings made a good save from Alisson in the closing stages and a goal was ruled out for offside less than five minutes from the end. However, Liverpool held firm in moving forward with City, for at least 24 hours.

“It’s always been difficult and we have to keep going,” Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson told Sky Sports. “We are in the same position we were in before the game. It was a big game and three more points.”

“We’re focused on what we need to do. It’s another big game at the weekend, the FA Cup final and we have to recover from that. It’s out of our control (the title race), we don’t need to waste energy on that.”

Villa maintains 11th place and next face Crystal Palace on Sunday.

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