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Barclays Premier League

Villa Park (ATT 42,788) 29th December 2009 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: L Probert

A Villa Aston Villa vs Liverpool Liverpool

ft

Liverpool 1

F Torres (90+3)

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 9:40 pm, December 29th 2009

  1. FT

    The referee blows his whistle for full-time. Liverpool have won 1-0 with Torres' late strike securing the three points. A draw would probably have been a fair result but the Reds won't be complaining.

  2. 90+5

    Liverpool are taking their time over a corner as they bid to keep their 1-0 lead.

  3. 90+4

    Liverpool make a change after Torres' goal with Fabio Aurelio taking the place of Benayoun.

  4. 90+3

    GOAL TORRES! Late drama as Kuyt takes control of a poor pass from Warnock on the right flank. The ball eventually falls to Torres inside the Villa box and he slides a low shot into the bottom far corner of Friedel's goal. Liverpool lead 1-0.

  5. 90+3

    Albrighton continues to look lively as his cross from the right is easily gathered by Reina.

  6. 90+2

    Villa are on the front foot at the end of this match as Albrighton's corner from the right is cleared by the Liverpool defence.

  7. 90+1

    Liverpool clear the free-kick as we enter the first of four minutes of additional time at the end of this match.

  8. 90

    Skrtel concedes a free-kick right on the left hand edge of the Liverpool box with a clumsy challenge on Milner.

  9. 90

    Gerrard's corner from the right is cleared to Insua on the edge of the box but the defender can only send a poor half-volley wide of goal.

  10. 89

    Liverpool make their expected change with Skrtel replacing Johnson.

  11. 89

    Agbonlahor sends a weak effort from just inside the box straight at Reina. Looks like Martin Skrtel will be the man to replace Johnson.

  12. 88

    Play continues without Johnson as the referee ignores Villa's appeal for a free-kick on the edge of the Liverpool box after Carragher pushes Carew.

  13. 87

    We have a break in play as Johnson receives treatment. Looks like his match is over.

  14. 86

    Liverpool waste another attacking opportunity as Villa clear the ball from the edge of their box. The Reds have not made the most of their possession tonight.

  15. 85

    Villa finally clear the ball away from the edge of their own box after a sustained spell of Liverpool possession. The visitors are currently looking the more dangerous side.

  16. 84

    Gerrard looks to score a storybook goal but his looping effort from the right hand edge of the Villa box goes well wide of Friedel's far post.

  17. 83

    Gerrard's free-kick from the right flank is headed clear by Albrighton as Liverpool enjoy a decent spell of pressure.

  18. 82

    Liverpool work the corner from the left short and the resulting cross narrowly evades Babel as he is left unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box.

  19. 81

    Insua does well to win a corner for Liverpool as he runs out of space on the left flank.

  20. 80

    Villa make their second change with Steve Sidwell taking the place of Downing.

  21. 79

    Agger heads the ball away from Agbonlahor as he looks to reach Carew's flicked header. Another quiet spell as we get ready for what could be a very interesting conclusion to this match.

  22. 78

    Liverpool make their expected change with Aquilani replaced by Babel.

  23. 77

    It looks like Liverpool are now set to make their first change with Babel preparing to come on.

  24. 76

    We could be set for a very interesting end to this game. Villa are currently on top but Liverpool could be able to create some chances if they bring on Ryan Babel or David Ngog.

  25. 75

    Villa are well on top at the moment as Downing's cross from the left races out of play for a goal-kick.

  26. 74

    Villa have a big appeal for a penalty turned down as Insua heads the ball against his arm. It would have been a harsh decision and the referee makes the correct decision to wave play-on.

  27. 73

    Villa make their first change of the match with Marc Albrighton taking the place of Reo-Coker.

  28. 72

    Villa go very close to scoring as Milner's corner from the left is headed narrowly wide of Reina's far post by Carew from five yards. The striker should have done better with that chance.

  29. 71

    The entertainment improves as Agbonlahor races away from Carragher and sees his low effort turned behind for a corner by a strong save from Reina.

  30. 70

    Lucas wins a free-kick as he is caught by a late challenge from Petrov on the halfway line. This is the most disappointing spell of the match at the moment.

  31. 69

    Downing's corner from the right is gathered at the second attempt by Reina after the Liverpool goalkeeper creates some panic with his initial drop.

  32. 68

    Milner's cross from the right is deflected behind for a corner by Insua.

  33. 67

    Agbonlahor's low cross from the right is easily cleared by Johnson as frustration starts to grow for the fans at Villa Park. It will be interesting to see if either side makes a change soon.

  34. 66

    Villa enjoy a decent spell of possession but they struggle to create any problems for Liverpool's defence. Both sides are now looking fairly lackluster.

  35. 65

    Aquilani's frustrating night continues as he sends a poor pass straight through to Friedel. The Italian is still struggling at the start of his Liverpool career.

  36. 64

    Aquilani takes the free-kick but he can only send his effort from 25 yards high over the top of the bar.

  37. 63

    Gerrard wins a free-kick in a decent position as he is knocked down by a high challenge from Cuellar. The Villa defender is lucky to avoid a booking as Liverpool line up the set-piece 25 yards from goal.

  38. 62

    Insua's clearance bounces off Milner and behind for a goal-kick. The fans are starting to get louder at Villa Park as both sides produce some scrappy football.

  39. 61

    Johnson makes space on the edge of the Villa box but his shot is poor and Cuellar clears the danger. Liverpool are starting to spend more time near the home side's goal.

  40. 60

    Liverpool look to create space in the Villa box but they are crowded out as Kuyt concedes a free-kick for a poor challenge on Reo-Coker.

  41. 59

    Agbonlahor beats Carragher to Petrov's long ball forward but he can only hand possession straight to Agger as he runs out of space.

  42. 58

    Gerrard's corner from the left evades everyone in the box and bounces off the corner flag on the opposite flank for a throw-in.

  43. 57

    Reo-Coker looks to cut in from the left flank but he runs out of space as Johnson wins the ball. Villa are the better side after the break but they haven't tested Reina.

  44. 56

    Agger's free-kick from the halfway line drifts over the head of Kuyt and out of play for a Villa throw-in on the left flank.

  45. 55

    First real scrappy spell of the game at the moment as both sides struggle to keep possession. Hopefully that is not a sign of conditions causing problems for the players.

  46. 54

    Carragher's long ball forward is knocked out of play for a throw-in by Warnock as the game struggles to find its rhythm after the delay.

  47. 53

    And here they are. Plenty of boos for the Liverpool goalkeeper as the game gets back under way after taking his time to put his gloves back on.

  48. 52

    We have an unusual break in play as we wait for Reina to change his boots. The Villa fans aren't happy as we wait for the new boots to reach the Liverpool goalkeeper.

  49. 51

    Villa have started this half on the front foot as Carew sends a cross from the left behind for a goal-kick. The hosts are getting stronger as this match goes on.

  50. 50

    Milner shapes to send a half-volley towards goal from the edge of the box but Kuyt is aware of the threat and produces a strong challenge.

  51. 49

    Downing's corner from the right is easily headed clear by Torres,

  52. 48

    Aquilani runs out of space on the right flank as he sends a poor cross straight out of play for a goal-kick. Quiet start to the second half so far.

  53. 47

    Weather update is that nothing has changed as it still snows heavily. Kuyt can't use that as an excuse as he sends a poor pass out of play for a throw-in.

  54. 46

    The action is back under way with Liverpool winning an early free-kick near their penalty area.

  55. The players are back on the field as we near the start of the second half.

  56. Villa are now 23/10 to win this match with Sky Bet, Liverpool are 17/10 and you can back the draw at 13/10.

  57. HT

    The referee blows his whistle for half-time to halt an entertaining night's action so far. Liverpool have been narrowly the better side with Villa producing more attacking football at the end of the opening period. Let me know what you think of the action at Villa Park by sending an e-mail to nick.hext@bskyb.com.

  58. 45+1

    Cuellar's poor header back to Friedel nearly drops for Torres but the Villa goalkeeper is awake and fires the ball clear from the edge of his penalty area.

  59. 45+1

    We are in the one and only minute of additional time.

  60. 45

    Dunne's long ball forward races away from Agbonlahor and out of play for a goal-kick.

  61. 44

    Friedel does well to race out of his goal and gather Gerrard's attempted through ball ahead of Torres. Plenty of action as we near half-time.

  62. 43

    Lucas is the first Liverpool player to be booked tonight as he gets in the way of Agbonlahor. Harsh decision from the referee.

  63. 42

    Young's low cross from the right is easily gathered by Reina at his near post. Both sides look dangerous when they push forward at the moment.

  64. 41

    Dunne becomes the first player to be booked tonight as he charges into Lucas on the halfway line. Only the Villa defender's second yellow card of the season.

  65. 40

    Milner produces some neat skill to make space on the left flank and is cross is turned straight at Reina by Carew's flicked header.

  66. 39

    That was an interesting decision for the referee to make. It was one of those challenges that will always be a free-kick outside of the penalty area but very tarely gets awarded as a spot-kick.

  67. 38

    Kuyt has a shout for a penalty turned down as he tumbles under Dunne's challenge. Poor tackle from the Villa defender but the referee decides to wave play on.

  68. 37

    Torres nearly takes advantage of some confused Villa defending as he heads the loose ball straight at Friedel from eight yards. Very entertaining match at the moment.

  69. 36

    Milner concedes a free-kick as he fouls Kuyt on the halfway line. Weather update as the snow continues to fall heavily.

  70. 35

    Carragher's looping clearance from just inside the Villa half nearly creates an embarrassing moment for Friedel as the ball lands on the roof of his net. That would have been an interesting way for the first goal of the night to have been scored.

  71. 34

    Downing does well to half Insua's run and knock the ball out of play for a Liverpool throw-in on the left flank. This match is becoming more end to end as both sides attack at speed.

  72. 33

    Carew beats Agger to the ball on the edge of the Liverpool box and sends a weak effort wide of Reina's left hand post.

  73. 32

    Less panic for Liverpool as Milner's next corner from the left is easily headed clear by Johnson.

  74. 31

    Milner's corner from the left falls to the unmarked Downing at the far post. The Villa midfielder's powerful volley is turned behind by a strong save from Reina. Awful marking from Liverpool.

  75. 30

    Torres is caught offside as he looks to find space behind the Villa defence. Quiet night for the Liverpool striker so far.

  76. 29

    Reo-Coker finds Petrov with a neat through ball. The Bulgarian controls the ball on his chest before sending an optimistic bicycle kick over the bar from 12 yards.

  77. 28

    Gerrard's initial corner from the right is cleared behind for another flag-kick but the second effort is poor and goes straight out of play for a goal-kick.

  78. 27

    Liverpool work a clever free-kick to Gerrard and the midfielder's driven effort from 25 yards is deflected over the bar by the head of Carew. Liverpool continue to look the better side.

  79. 26

    Superb play from Reo-Coker as he beats three Liverpool players before winning a free-kick on the halfway line as Lucas fails to time his challenge.

  80. 25

    Milner cuts in from the right and sends a weak effort from the edge of the box straight at Reina. Easy for the Liverpool goalkeeper.

  81. 24

    Great work from Carew as he storms back into his own half to win the ball from Aquilani. Villa are working hard so far without having enough possession near the Liverpool goal.

  82. 23

    Agger's long ball forward nearly falls for Torres but Cuellar is equal to the challenge and clears the danger.

  83. 22

    Carew's flicked header fails to cause any problems as Liverpool are easily able to let the ball run out of play for a goal-kick.

  84. 21

    Liverpool are keeping possession with ease as the ball races along the snowy pitch. Plenty of zip to tonight's match without either side reaching top gear so far.

  85. 20

    Villa have been quiet after the first few minutes of this match. We haven't seen much from Downing and Agbonlahor so far as Liverpool's defence is able to watch the action up the field.

  86. 19

    Villa fail to clear Gerrard's corner and allow Benayoun the chance to send a poor effort straight at Friedel.

  87. 18

    Gerrard's looping effort from the edge of the box tests Brad Friedel and forces the Villa goalkeeper to tip the ball over the bar. Best attempt of the game so far.

  88. 17

    Gerrard's free-kick from 35 yards is deflected behind for a corner by the Villa wall. The resulting flag-kick is cleared as Liverpool spend plenty of time near the home side's goal.

  89. 16

    Liverpool win a free-kick in the Villa half as Aquilani is bundled to the ground. Gerrard could have a shot.

  90. 15

    Villa break forward and win a corner. Downing's flag-kick from the right is met by Dunne's header at the far post but Reina is equal to the challenge and gathers the ball at the second attempt.

  91. 14

    Gerrard's corner from the right is cleared to Lucas on the edge of the box but the midfielder's weak effort is easily blocked by Luke Young.

  92. 13

    Kuyt's cross from the right is deflected behind for a corner by Dunne as Liverpoll start to show more attacking threat.

  93. 12

    Stephen Warnock produces some good defending as he blocks Glen Johnson's cross from the right. Torres, Gerrard, Benayoun and Dirk Kuyt are all looking to find space in the final third for Liverpool.

  94. 11

    A scramble on the edge of the Villa box ends as both Gerrard and Benayoun are frustrated by strong challenges from Reo-Coker.

  95. 10

    Milner's free-kick from the right drifts over the head of everyone in the Liverpool box and out of play for a throw-in on the opposite flank.

  96. 9

    James Milner storms down the right and wins a free-kick as Insua shoves him to the floor. Snow continues to fall heavily with Liverpool's white away kit matching the conditions.

  97. 8

    Steven Gerrard's corner from the left is half-cleared by the Villa defence and Liverpool fail to take advantage of their second chance as Carlos Cuellar bundles the ball clear.

  98. 7

    Time for the robin to worry as Yossi Benayoun's pass is deflected behind for a corner.

  99. 6

    There is a robin on the pitch. He is facing the crowd and seems unaware of the game going on around him, although he is positioned by the Villa box and Liverpool haven't pushed forward yet.

  100. 5

    Villa continue to dominate at the start of this match as John Carew's attempted through ball to Nigel Reo-Coker is gathered by Jose Reina.

  101. 4

    Stiliyan Petrov finds space on the edge of the Liverpool box but Alberto Aquilani is aware of the threat and blocks the shot.

  102. 3

    Stewart Downing's corner from the right is headed clear at the far post by Emiliano Isua as Villa make a bright start to the game.

  103. 2

    Good work from Daniel Agger as he halts Gabriel Agbonlahor's forward run. Conditions could be very tricky for the players as snow continues to fall heavily.

  104. 1

    The action is under way with Richard Dunne quickly heading away a long ball from Liverpool.

  105. 'Snow is falling all around me'. The words of Shakin' Stevens but also a great summary of conditions at Villa Park. Definitely a night for gloves, scarf and a warm hat, although not for the players.

  106. Here is some more information about tonight's teams: Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill makes two changes - both of them enforced - for the home Premier League clash with Liverpool. The suspended Ashley Young and groin injury victim Emile Heskey make way for midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker and striker Jon Carew respectively. Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is also forced to make one alteration to the side which had defeated Wolves 2-0 at Anfield on Saturday. Midfielder Fabio Aurelio picked up a stiff calf against Mick McCarthy's side - although he is still named amongst substitutes - and into the starting 11 comes Dirk Kuyt.

  107. Here are the teams for tonight's match: Aston Villa: Friedel, Luke Young, Cuellar, Dunne, Warnock, Reo-Coker, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Agbonlahor, Carew Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Delph, Beye, Collins

  108. Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Kuyt, Lucas, Aquilani, Benayoun, Gerrard, Torres Subs: Cavalieri, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Ngog, Spearing, Skrtel

  109. The referee for tonight's match is Lee Probert from Wiltshire.

  110. Aston Villa are 9/5 to win tonight's match with Sky Bet, Liverpool are 6/4 and you can back the draw at 9/4.

  111. The festive football continues with tonight's big clash between Aston Villa and Liverpool. Send your thoughts ahead of kick-off to nick.hext@bskyb.com.

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 32 76
2 Manchester City 34 67
3 Arsenal 32 66
4 Manchester United 33 65
5 Liverpool 33 58
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 58
7 Southampton 34 57
8 Swansea City 34 50
9 Stoke City 34 47
10 West Ham United 34 44
11 Crystal Palace 34 42
12 Everton 33 41
13 West Bromwich Albion 34 37
14 Newcastle United 34 35
15 Aston Villa 34 32
16 Hull City 33 31
17 Leicester City 33 31
18 Sunderland 33 30
19 Queens Park Rangers 34 27
20 Burnley 34 26