A Steve Gerrard penalty was enough to earn Liverpool a point against Aston Villa in a hard fought game at Anfield this evening.
Aston Villa started the game the better of the twosides. Liverpool struggled to handle the pace of Andreas Weimann and Gabby Agbonlahor either side of the bullish Christian Benteke - with Fabian Delph providing the hustle in the centre of the park.
Soon enough it paid off.
It was Delph who got the ball rolling - spraying a long ball up field to Benteke who quickly fed Agbonlahor down the left. He drove to the by-line before finding Weimann in front of goal - the Austrian needing just a touch to make it 1-0.
Villa carried on in their onslaught and after Karim El Ahmadi and Leandro Bacuna left Liverpool for dead down the right flank. The cross evaded a flapping Simon Mignolet, who took the ball away from the head of Glen Johnson, and into the path of a stooping Benteke to give Villa a deserved 2-0 lead.
If Villa could get to half-time at 2-0 you felt they would be victorious - but then Daniel Sturridge, against his boyhood club, grabbed a goal back.
Great interplay on the edge of the box saw Jordan Henderson flick a delightful pass into his path - before Sturridge chipped the ball nonchalantly over Brad Guzan into the Villa net.
Liverpool came out much stronger in the second half. A formation shift and the forced withdrawal of the dangerous Agbonlahor saw Liverpool in the ascendency - but Villa will be allowed grievances over the equaliser.
A raking pass from Steven Gerrard found Luis Suarez through on goal. He went round Guzan in the Villa goal and went down under minimal, if any contact, to earn a penalty - which Gerrard duly despatched.
The game then petered out slightly as neither team wanted to lose.
Suarez gave Villa one last scare in the final minutes but the score remained 2-2 until the final whistle.