The new season started with a dramatic win from newly promoted Sunderland at the last minute of the game over Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool travelled to Villa Park and fought for the first opening premiership victory under the management of Rafa Benitez. The combination of Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt created threats to defenders of Aston Villa supported by our skipper Steven Gerrard playing a middle role. I had highly rated Kuyt since he came to the club last season because he was fully devoted to the team. The first goal, though an own goal from Villa’s Lauren, was the result of never give up mentality of him after the strike from Torres parried away by Villa’s goalkeeper Stuart Taylor.
Source: GettyImages (Soccernet)
The game went to the way with my anxiety growing up as we could not kill off the game. The home team created greater pressure than first half after halftime rest. We were under threats and I felt sometimes our defenders were not decisive to clear the ball in first time.
Maybe their goalkeeper performed well but our attacking players were still not clinical enough. We were punished for lack of second goal killing off the game when Jamie Carragher handled the ball in the penalty box incidentally though I admitted it was not his intention. I prayed Jose Reina would once again became our hero to save the spot kick but he guessed the way wrong. It was level with four minutes left and that was disappointing with the score dropping two points on the first day of permiership again.
That’s our captain Steven Gerrard! He had serveral chances of getting goals before but his strikes were either over the bar or blocked by home team players or goalkeeper. Soon after restart of the game, he earned a freekick at 20-yard from the goal by himself after foul from Villa’s Petrov. At that time, I strongly believed that he would be our saviour once again. What I didn’t expect was he curled a superb shot into the goal that left Taylor absolutely no chance of touching the ball!
I got wild as we regained the nearly dropped points again, and I celebrated just like I did during the Barclays Asia Trophy at the Hong Kong Stadium when Liverpool scored goals.
In this match, every Reds players performed well but I had my reservation on Jermaine Pennant. He lost balls too easily and his bad temper was still a time bomb.
At last, we grabbed three points in hand to prepare for the next Sunday big match agaisnt Chelsea. Before that, there’d be another important match visiting Toulouse mid-week in the UEFA Champions League Qualifying Third Round 1st leg game. Their confidence would be high because they got a shock 1-0 victory over French defending champions Olympique Lyon.
Anyway, hope our first away victory in the Premier League would be a good signal for this season and getting good results in winning major trophies, of course Permiership being our top priority.