Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa
Liverpool's Raheem Sterling (L) challenges Aston Villa's Tom Cleverley during the match at AnfieldReuters

Liverpool seem to be missing Daniel Sturridge badly as poor finishing saw them succumb to a 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday.

Gabriel Agbonlahor's early strike proved to be enough for the visitors as they were unable to find a way back into the game, despite dominating possession and creating 18 chances.

The game started with Lazar Markovic getting a good chance to put his side ahead in the third  minute. But his volleyed effort, following a cross from Alberto Moreno, was wide of the target.

Despite Liverpool's good start, it was the visitors who took the lead in the ninth minute through Agbonlahor. Some sloppy defending from a corner saw the ball drop kindly to the Englishman, who poked it into the bottom corner.

Philippe Senderos nearly doubled Villa's advantage in the 13th minute as he managed to break free of his marker to get at the end of a long free-kick. However, in the end, the opportunity was wasted as the Swiss defender planted his header wide.

Villa created another chance in the closing stages of the first half with another corner as Alan Hutton whipped the ball towards Senderos. However, the defender's header was again off target.

Liverpool also threatened to equalise in the dying minutes of the first half as they created three successive chances through Adam Lallana, Mario Balotelli and Moreno.

While Lallana's powerful drive in the 43rd minute was just wide of the target, Balotelli's effort went wide after taking a deflection off Alan Hutton. Finally Nathan Baker did brilliantly to block Moreno's effort and keep his side's lead intact going into the break.

After the break, Liverpool started to dominate as they restricted Villa to their own half. Balotelli got another chance to level the scores but his 48th minute header from a corner flew wide of the post.

Brendan Rodgers brought in Raheem Sterling in place of Lallana at the hour mark in a desperate attempt to find the equaliser, but even the influential winger could not do much to trouble Brad Guzan.

Balotelli and Markovic were also replaced by Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert in the 71st minute, but Aston Villa held on firmly to their lead, inflicting Liverpool their first home defeat of the season.

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