Anfield Talk: Welcome Back to Anfield, Houllier!

Hello everyone!

It was the 16th Premier League game for Liverpool last night and a comfortable win against Aston Villa. The scoreline was 3-0 and scored by Ngog, Babel and Rodriguez.

Aston Villa coach, Gerard Houllier returned for the first time to Anfield since he left the club in May 2004. For those who don't know, Houllier was a Liverpool manager in 1998 until 2004. We won UEFA Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Charity Shield and two League Cup under Houllier's charge. We also finished 2nd in 2001 with 80 points - 3 points above United. Beating Barcelona, AS Roma, Bayern Munich and United at Old Trafford were amongst the highlights of his managerial career with Liverpool. So, this time he came back to Liverpool as a opposite manager.

Treble season. UEFA Cup winner 2001.

Houllier, Thompson and Houllier-appointed captain - Gerrard.

For Liverpool, we had to play without Gerrard, Torres and Carragher. So Ngog and Babel were given a start and they did well. Nice goal-poacher instinct by Ngog gave us a lead. That goal shows us what he can do - natural goal scoring talent. Hopefully he can do more often. Babel later scored after a nice lob ball by Lucas. Babel had a great game, love to see more from him. Sometimes he doesn't use his brain much while playing. He likes to do whatever he wants, that's what makes him a not-so-good player. But if he plays properly and confident, he can be the best player on the field.

All players did well last night. Johnson had a couple of chances. I think Roy Hodgson should seriously consider to convert Johnson as a right midfielder. If Gareth Bale (Tottenham) can be a great flanker, why can't Johnson be one? Anyway, once again, Lucas & Meireles partnership was outstanding. I pick Lucas as man of the match, again. He has been terrific this season. Good to see all the 'Lucas' haters' suddenly turn to be fans of Lucas. Haha. I told you so he is a good player! Hopefully both of them will continue their good form for the rest of the season. Our defenders were great. Managed to shut Villa's attacker for the majority of the game. As for Reina, he was brilliant yet again. He made one outstanding save and initiated an awesome counter-attack (Rodriguez goal).

Ngog dives to score the first goal.

Overall, Liverpool did very well. I really hope that Roy Hodgson can motivate the lads to maintain this kind of performance. I'm not a big fan of commenting opposite team performance, but I feel sorry for Houllier. It wasn't a very good night for him at Anfield. Villa have great players but they didn't perform. I particularly like Ashley Young, Albrighton and Agbonlahor, also, Downing. Wish that Roy could sign at least one of them this January.

So now, Liverpool are in 8th, with 22 points, 8 points are needed to chase Man City in 4th position. Btw, it's only 10 points behind league leader, Arsenal. 10 points, say if we can make 2 months of winning streak, and probably undefeated until end of the season, who knows, we can be a champion! Shooting for the star, err.. right?

Spotted Xabi Alonso at the stand watching the game. We really miss you man!
So, that's it. Thanks for reading. Until next time, YNWA.

p/s: Remembering my post on Liverpool 5-0 win against Villa last year. It was written for my first blog :P

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