James Milner calls for Liverpool to kick on: How Villa win can be used as reference point

Liverpool recorded a big win over Aston Villa in a season full of inconsistencies, but it could be used as a reference point for the side to kick on.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner hopes the side can kick on after their 6-0 thrashing of Aston Villa at Villa Park yesterday afternoon.

Milner was one of six different scorers; with Daniel Sturridge, Emre Can, Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne and Kolo Toure all managing to get on the scoresheet to move the Reds up to eighth in the Premier League - and into positive goal difference in the process.

The Reds' vice-captain told the official Liverpool website: “We’ve played a lot better at times and not had the rewards we’ve deserved. It was pleasing, we had a lot of chances that hadn’t been going in for us, but did go in.

“Hopefully that can kick-start this final period of the season with some important games coming up, get the boys some confidence in front of goal and hopefully a lot more chances will go in.”

Certainly, Liverpool have started a crucial period of their season very well with Europa League games against Augsburg coming up before the League Cup final against Manchester City at the end of the month. 

There is no doubt that the Aston Villa side that Liverpool were up against were abject - and that's being kind - but you can only beat what's in front of you and the Reds were very professional and weren't complacent as they got among the goals. Sometimes it's wins like this that can be big confidence builders for sides.

Fans may reference a win from another season - in 2012/13 - where towards the end of the season Liverpool humiliated a similarly abject Newcastle United side on their own patch by the same scoreline. It was one of those results from that part of the season which showed that Liverpool had the talent and goalscoring prowess which reflected better on them than their league position, and a good reference point to kick on. The following season, the Reds challenged for the Premier League title in a similar vein. 

The Reds fielded a side that contained Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino for the first time under Jurgen Klopp's management - having those three available as well as options from the bench makes a huge amount of difference to this side, and with half a dozen goalscorers it actually shows there are goals from other areas of the team.

Liverpool know that eighth place is not good enough for the side, and they will hope to keep their key players fit for between now and the end of the season to show how good they can be. They want to go as far as possible in Europe and pick up some silverware, but they also need to string a decent run of wins together in the league.

Lack of goals has been something that has been hanging over Liverpool this season, and they have been unable at times to beat sides that shouldn't be competing with them. Games like Villa, and Newcastle from three seasons earlier, are important markers to build up some sort of momentum.

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