Aston Villa 1-3 Liverpool: Salah, Van Dijk on target as Klopp’s men bag 3 points at Villa Park

Liverpool returned to the Premier League with a win over Aston Villa at Villa Park. Mohamed Salah scored within 5 minutes of the game before Virgil Van Dijk doubled the lead in the 37th minute.

Ollie Watkins pulled one back in the second half but Stefan Bajcetic put the game beyond Aston Villa in the 81st minute.

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Goal! Aston Villa 1-3 Liverpool

Nunez involved, of course. He gets in behind, cut back is parried out into Bajcetic’s path.

Dinks it past Olsen, and somehow the finish finds a way through the bodies who had rushed back on the line.

Goal! Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool

It’s been coming. McGinn on the right lays it back to Luiz, great cross to the back post where Watkins nods it into the far corner.

Half-time

Liverpool in complete control after 45 minutes.

They’ve been really impressive, Salah and Van Dijk with the goals and the visitors are good value for their lead.

Villa have had a couple of bright moments in forward areas themselves, not clinical enough though.

Goal! Aston Villa 0-2 Liverpool

Great run from Oxlade-Chamberlain, bundles his way through a couple of challenges and plays it wide to Nunez.

He drives into the box, cuts inside onto his right foot and the shot deflects wide before Mings boots it behind for a corner.

Alexander-Arnold whips it in, ball bobbles around and comes back to Van Dijk… WHO SMASHES IT HOME! Great finish.

Goal! Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool

They didn’t have to wait long. Alexander-Arnold with a stunning pass over the top to Robertson, he squares it across the six-yard box and it’s a simple finish for Salah!

Kickoff

A minute’s silence is observed ahead of kick-off, in memory of 1966 World Cup winner George Cohen.

We’re underway for the penultimate Premier League match on Boxing Day.

Starting XI

Olsen gets the nod in goal for Villa in the absence Martinez, while Watkins starts up front as Ings has to settle for a place on the bench.

Buendia and Bailey also start, with Coutinho also among the substitutes along with 16-year-old Kadan Young.

As for Liverpool, it’s six changes from the side that lost in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

Henderson and Alexander-Arnold are back in the side, with Matip and Van Dijk the centre-back pairing. Oxlade-Chamberlain is fit to start too.

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