Home Match Day Durán salvages a draw in a six goal thriller against Liverpool

Durán salvages a draw in a six goal thriller against Liverpool

Aston Villa's Columbian striker #24 Jhon Duran (L) celebrates scoring the team's third goal during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Liverpool at Villa Park in Birmingham.

I have mentioned a couple of times how this season has emotionally taken it out of me. Yesterday was no different.

Unai Emery talks about his players being in a privileged position and not under any pressure. In the hours building up to last night, I felt the nerves well and truly kick in.

It was simple. If Villa can beat Liverpool at home, they would qualify for the Champions League.

Report: Aston Villa 3-3 Liverpool

Matty Cash dropped out of the squad following Thursday night’s defeat in Greece with a calf injury. Youri Tielemans returned, recovering from a knock.

The home side couldn’t have got off to a worse start and came from the World’s number 1, Emi Martínez. Harvey Elliot’s cross deflected off Pau Torres, leaving Martínez grasping for the ball but it bounced off his chest and as he reached out to reclaim the ball, pushed it into his net.

Mo Salah could have doubled their lead soon after but he was denied.

Villa were then back-level following some fantastic work from Ollie Watkins. He got the better of Jarell Quansah and then picked out Tielemans to smash in the equaliser.

The game was open and both defenses looked vulnerable and it was highlighted moments later when the visitors were back in the lead. Luis Diaz picked out the overlapping Joe Gomez on the overlap and Cody Gakpo for the tap-in.

A lengthy VAR check ruled that Gomez was onside in the build-up despite different frames showing he was offside. I can’t wait for the new European offside rule to come into play next season, hopefully, it should stop these subjective offside decisions.

A few minutes later, Villa should have been level Leon Bailey played a wonderful ball across the goal but Diego Carlos somehow mis-hit his finish when it looked easier to tap the ball in.

Villa fans were left even more frustrated when Moussa Diaby broke free just before half-time only to fire his effort over the bar.

Despite Villa losing, it was certainly building up to be a classic for the neutral and the second half didn’t disappoint.

Emery’s side paid for their misses early in the second half when Elliot picked out Quansah who got free from Lucas Digne to send a looping header into the far post to make it 1-3.

Despite the scoreline – the game still felt like it had goals in it and it wasn’t long before Villa had the ball in the back of the net. VAR once again got involved and ruled it out through offside as Baily was ruled off in the build-up.

Watkins then squandered a chance, followed by Liverpool coming close again only for them to be offside.

Jhon Durán was introduced by Emery and it wasn’t long before he had Villa back in the game. Durán latched on to a poor touch from Alexis Mac Allister before setting himself up for a stunning finish from the edge of the box.

The home side were soon back on level terms. Diaby ran forward with the ball before slipping Durán through on goal but the ball deflected off his thigh and into the back of the net. The comeback was complete.

Diaby had a chance to win the game late on but Alison was equal to the Frenchman with the game ending in a draw.

A fair result on the balance of things as Villa take one more step closer to Champions League qualification.

What the managers said

Emery: “We have one match left at Crystal Palace on Sunday and we are very motivated to get there because today we had the opportunity to get three points today and we didn’t do it,”

“We played matching Liverpool. Congratulations to them because they played very honestly and competed very well.

“We competed very well even though we played more chaotic than usual when we needed to exploit our emotions with our supporters and try to push with everything.”

Jurgen Klopp: “It got away from us tonight, there is no doubt about that, we played a really good game. One team was playing for absolutely everything and one team was playing football and wants to win the game.”

Up Next

Aston Villa will finish their season away at Crystal Palace. Liverpool will host Wolves in Klopp’s final game as Liverpool manager. Both games will kick off at 4 pm on Sunday.

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