Gerrard said he would gladly relinquish some of his legendary status amid Liverpool support for the outcome of his first visit to Anfield as part of the visiting team.
However, Villa barely put a glove on Jurgen Klopp’s men, who should have been a more confident winner as they went back within a point. Premier League Leader Manchester City.
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Gerrard was greeted with applause as he exited the tunnel, but there was no great fanfare for the man who scored 186 goals in 710 games as a Liverpool player.
Even a brief chant of his name from Cope was drowned out by cries of “Liverpool” as the crowd focused their attention on keeping pace with City at the top of the table.
The Reds should have been well ahead at half-time after a disappointing 45-minute domination.
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Salah has now scored 21 goals in 22 games this season, but showed remarkable restraint to resist a shot on goal from Andy Robertson’s cut-back, which allowed Trent Alexander-Arnold to detonate an effort, Joe headed for the top corner until deflected by Matt. Aim and back for a corner.
Robertson was a major threat to Klopp’s men as they exploited the space that had been given to them on the left.
The Scotland captain’s deflected header nearly waved wrong-footed Emiliano Martinez to challenges by Marvelous Nakaba before making two strong appeals for a penalty, which had already been booked.
Klopp became increasingly agitated when referee Stuart Atwell took over as Liverpool failed to demonstrate their dominance on the scoreboard.
Points for the Reds in the @PremierLeague under Boss! https://t.co/8VWqDYgLsn
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Villa had won three of Gerrard’s first four matches, but could not hold the ball long enough to be in danger of attacking himself.
A slip from Alison Baker created the visitors’ best chance of the first half, but Ashley Young failed to score the ball past Joel Matip’s impressive figures.
Martinez came down sharply to his left to deny Salah just before the break and the Argentine number one saved the fine for the first time.
Virgil van Dijk was rejected by the former Arsenal keeper as Liverpool camped Villa inside their own half for the first 20 minutes of the second half.
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Salah made another attempt moments later, but in the end he made the difference for the only goal of the game on 67 minutes.
Tyrone Mings was involved in a clumsy challenge on Salah and in the third time of the asking, Liverpool got his spot-kick.
Martínez has earned a reputation as a penalty specialist, but Salah’s strike was too accurate for the Villa stomper, despite being correctly guessed.
exact. #LIVAVL https://t.co/QmSMoECdNO
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The retreat suddenly brought the villa to life as Gerard introduced Danny Ings and Emiliano Bendia to offer up the threat of another attack.
And he also had a huge appeal for a penalty that was turned down of late when Alisson’s effort turned Matip over to his goal and avoided a clash with Brazilian goalkeeper Inges.