Despite a bright beginning, Liverpool found themselves behind when Stewart Downing found space in the area when Marc Albrighton’s deep cross found him on a tight angle and he was able to fire into the roof of the net for eighth goal of the season.
The Reds again enjoyed more possession following the goal and would have been hoping that the beach ball that appeared on the pitch after half-time would not impede them like it did against Sunderland last season.
They should have equalised right on the hour-mark when Raul Meireles hit a well-struck shot from the six-yard box which somehow Brad Friedel kept out before Fabio Aurelio was only inches away with his 70th minute free-kick.
Liverpool’s Jay Spearing needed to be replaced by Jonjo Shelvey in just the 12th minute as he came off the pitch with an injury whilst Jamie Carragher returned to the field just prior to the half-hour mark after having five stitches for a gash on his head but nonetheless, the visitors were beaten and have to deal with a sixth-place finish after Tottenham beat Birmingham City.
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: Lee Probert
Yellow cards: AV - Nigel Reo-Coker 7’, Kyle Walker 56’
Brad Friedel (gk) – Kyle Waker, James Collins, Richard Dunne, Luke Young – Stewart Downing, Fabian Delph (Albrighton 28’), Stiliyan Petrov, Nigel Reo-Coker (Agbonlahor 68’), Ashley Young (Bradley 89’) – Darren Bent