Two things Gerrard got right and three things he got wrong in Liverpool loss

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Liverpool spoiled Steven Gerrard's emotional homecoming after the Reds swept aside Aston Villa in a one-sided 1-0 win.

Saturday afternoon marked Gerrard's first trip back to Anfield since he was appointed as Villa's new boss last month.

But he was powerless to prevent Jurgen Klopp's side from spoiling his return to Merseyside.

Villa survived a first half onslaught but Mohamed Salah fired Liverpool into the lead from the penalty spot in the 67th minute.

It could hardly have been more comfortable for the hosts, who spurned a string of excellent chances and found Emi Martinez in stunning form.

But how did Gerrard get on in a clash that many had billed as an audition for Klopp's potential successor?

Daily Star Sport takes a look at the calls that the Reds legend got right and wrong at Anfield…

Two things he got right…

Marvellous Martinez

Gerrard was indebted to Martinez after the Argentinian goalkeeper put on a clinic at Anfield.

Martinez pulled off a string of super saves to keep the scores level in a one-sided first half.

The ex-Arsenal goalkeeper hasn't been at his best this year, with the 29-year-old has blotting his copybook with a couple of high-profile gaffes.

But Martinez was back to his best against Liverpool – frustrating their potent strikeforce time and time again before he was finally beaten from the spot by Salah.

Without his goalkeeper, Gerrard would have been on the wrong end of a drubbing on his return back to his beloved Reds.

Keeping faith with the kids

How do you think Gerrard did on his return to Liverpool? Let us know in the comments section.

Already during his short stint in charge, Gerrard has done his best to blood some of Villa's most promising young prospects.

It would have been easy for him to change that strategy for such a big at Anfield.

But he stuck to his guns, starting young midfielder Jacob Ramsey once again with Carney Chukwuemeka on the bench after being involved in Villa's last two games.

Gerrard's stance could prove crucial in persuading Chukwuemeka, who is a man in demand, to commit to a longer stay in the Midlands.

It might have been a tough afternoon for Gerrard and Villa, but the likes of Ramsey will be all the better for experiencing it.

And three things he got wrong…

Going toe to toe with Liverpool

Gerrard has made a stunning start to his tenure at Villa Park, winning three of his four games in charge prior to Saturday's clash with the Reds.

That sole defeat came against Premier League champions Manchester City. But Gerrard and his new side endured a rough afternoon against Liverpool.

Villa made the fatal error of trying to go toe to toe with Klopp's side – and they were punished emphatically for it.

Arsenal made a similar error when they fell to a 4-0 drubbing at Anfield last month. This may have been a vastly different scoreline, but it was a similar game in truth.

Villa may have escaped a first half battering unscathed, but Salah's penalty after the break finally broke their resistance.

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They were fortunate to ship just the one goal against the rampant Reds – with Gerrard's ambitious game plan coming undone.

Benching Buendia

Emiliano Buendia has struggled to live up to expectations at Villa Park since his club-record £35million deal.

He's managed just one goal and two assists during his 13 league appearances this season.

And although those returns are disappointing, it was a bit baffling to see Gerrard leave, arguably, Villa's most creative player on the bench.

It was a decision that came back to bite him, too. Villa struggled to create anything of note and could have done with Buendia's technical ability to pick a pass for Ollie Watkins, who was pretty much left marooned upfront.

No bite

Villa's lack of creativity bordered on woeful at times at Villa Park as they struggled to threaten Liverpool's defence at all.

The Reds' rearguard has looked wobbly this season, but Gerrard and Villa turned down the chance to have a real go at Liverpool.

Their only chance in the first half came through a mishap by Alisson Becker, with Watkins absent from the game for large spells.

By focusing on stifling Liverpool's rampant attacking player, Villa didn't manage to ask their own questions of Liverpool's backline – and they failed to register a single shot on target all game.

That's a big disappointment considering that Liverpool's defence has already buckled under intense pressure this season.

Gerrard rolled the dice by introducing Buendia, Morgan Sanson and Danny Ings for the closing stages, but it was too little too late for Villa – who should have gone for it sooner.

  • Premier League
  • Liverpool FC
  • Aston Villa FC
  • Steven Gerrard
  • Jurgen Klopp

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