By Emmanuel Ebimoh
There’s something about the beautiful game of football that humbles the strongest and gives boldness to the average. It doesn’t come as a tale of wishful thinking or on the aisle of past glory, it appears just as real as daylight, demystifying the truth in a pack of disjointed fantasies.
Indeed, the high horses in English football have become like running mice waiting for their special day of judgement on the football pitch, and tonight, reigning Champions, Liverpool, got a bitter taste of football’s cruel judgement in the hands of Aston Villa.
Barely an hour after Manchester United got humiliated 6-1 in their own backyard by Tottenham, Aston Villa presented a fresh copy of ‘How to destroy a Champion in battle’. Before the first kick of the ball, no one would have anticipated such embarrassing result against Jurgen Klopp’s side, but, save to say, the result was far beyond redemption. Liverpool were torn apart, 7-2!
Liverpool are now the first reigning English top-flight champions to concede seven goals in a league match since September 1953. It was a festival that Liverpool would want to forget in a hurry as Aston Villa’s captain, Jack Grealish, made sure he stamped his name on the lips of every Liverpool fan as their greatest tormentor of the night.
It didn’t take long before the goal festival started as Liverpool’s goalkeeper, Adrian, made a calamitous decision in the 3rd minute and gifted Aston Villa’s striker, Ollie Watkins a perfect gift for the first goal. In the 22nd minute, Jack Grealish found Watkins with a delicious pass and the striker finished off to make it 2-0. It was turning into a night of horror for Liverpool as their defence looked shaky every time Aston Villa attacked.
Liverpool had respite when Mohammad Salah made it 2-1 but it was very short-lived as just two minutes later, the home team made it 3-1. From then on, the story started turning sour for Liverpool. Ollie Watkins scored his hat-trick in the 39th minute to make it 4-1. The only regret for Watkins and Aston Villa may be that there were no fans in the stadium to drink of their flow of goals for the night.
With just 10 minutes into the second half of the game, the hope of Liverpool staging another incredible comeback like the one they did against Barcelona at Anfield last season dissipated into the air. Ross Barkley, who just arrived on loan to Aston Villa, made it 5-1 after another pass from Jack Grealish. If Barkley was as clinical as any other top striker that comes to mind, he probably would have had a hat-trick on his debut against Liverpool.
Liverpool, already shocked from the ongoing reality, pressed on and Mohammed Salah made it 5-2 in the 60th minute. But the show wasn’t over for Grealish. The Man Of The Night promptly scored the next two goals to hand Liverpool their heaviest Premier League defeat in decades, and left Jurgen Klopp dejected on his next line of action.
Liverpool’s next game will be against Everton, who are currently unbeaten in the league. Whatever Jurgen Klopp decides to craft for that game, one thing is certain, the humiliation of tonight will rest on the annals of history as one sweet victory to remember for Aston Villa.