Villa upset Liverpool at Anfield

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> An own goal by Brazilian Lucas, Curtis Davies' header and Ashley Young's penalty helped Aston Villa to a surprise 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Updated: August 25, 2009 09:24 IST
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Liverpool, England:

An own goal by Brazilian Lucas, Curtis Davies' header and Ashley Young's penalty helped Aston Villa to a surprise 3-1 win over Liverpool, who pulled one back through Fernando Torres, at Anfield, on Monday.

Midfielder Lucas glanced Young's free kick into his own net 11 minutes before the interval and Davies made it two in added time.

Torres halved the deficit with 18 minutes left but after Steven Gerrard tripped Nigel Reo-Coker, Young made it three from the spot to make it two defeats from their opening three matches for the Reds.

It was also the first time since December 2007, when they were defeated 1-0 by Manchester United, that Liverpool were defeated in the Premier League at Anfield as Rafael Benitez's side's frustrations at home, where they drew seven matches last season, surfaced once again.

Liverpool piled forward from the start and Yossi Benayoun glanced a header wide from Torres' lob into the area with just 34 seconds gone.

But Villa should have taken the lead when Nicky Shorey's whipped cross was headed straight at Pepe Reina by the unmarked Davies.

In the ninth minute, it was Liverpool's turn to fail to take a string of chances as Torres and Benayoun scuffed shots before Steven Gerrard's effort was turned over by Brad Friedel.

The Reds continued to dominate and after patient possession around the edge of the area, Benayoun fed Gerrard, whose curling shot flew narrowly high and wide of Friedel's goal.

But 11 minutes before the interval, Villa took a shock lead with a free kick 30 yards from goal.

Young curled an apparently innocuous effort towards goal but it glanced off the head of Lucas and into the Liverpool net.

The Reds looked for an immediate response as Glen Johnson broke into the box and laid off for Torres, whose shot on the turn was pushed away by Friedel.

But Villa looked even more dangerous on the break and after a quick counter-attack, Nigel Reo Coker's low strike flew just wide of Reina's post.

Liverpool's frustrations were summed up when Javier Mascherano's harmless shot from 30 yards was held by Friedel.

And as Villa continued to take every chance to get forward, Steve Sidwell's cross was met by Shorey's header only for Reina to save.

Sidwell had a shot deflected wide off Skrtel and in first-half added time, Shorey's corner was headed in by Davies at the near post.

Benitez's side were full of fire after the restart and Johnson's impressive foot-work set up Gerrard, whose drive was pushed away by Friedel.

And the American goalkeeper did well again to block from a Mascherano block-buster as the Anfield side looked for a foot-hold in the game.

Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt then passed up a series of chances as Liverpool continued to pile forward.

He saw a header from Gerrard's corner pushed over by Friedel and then hit the post with another header after Villa failed to clear.

The Reds thought they had got back in the game with 18 minutes left when Torres guided Emiliano Insua's cross in off the bar.

But just a couple of minutes later, Villa restored their lead from the penalty spot.

As Reo-Coker burst into the area, he was tripped by Gerrard's despairing lunge and Young sent Reina the wrong way with a powerful set-piece to put Villa back in control.

Torres and Johnson both went close but Liverpool slipped to a miserable defeat.

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