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Sadio Mane brings Liverpool back to Aston Villa's lost field

Liverpool Aston Villa's 2020

The key figures will not be surprising. Liverpool kept their 100% record at home in the Premier League at the expense of a relegated team that did not keep its nets clean on the road throughout the season. Striped below, however, this was a valuable missed opportunity for Aston Villa.

New Premier League champions Juergen Klopp were back in procession, not to the point of defeating on Thursday in Manchester City, but enough to cheer on any solid and strong team looking for a point or three needed with urgency. Villa that they did not have to take advantage of.

Dean Smith scored his counter-moments in the opposing defense and defended comfortably for 71 minutes. is not sufficient. Sadio Mane punished Villa's first loss of focus to reach the 20-goal mark for the third consecutive season in the Liverpool jersey. Curtis Jones, a day after signing a new long-term contract with his childhood club, took off from the bench to score his first Premier League goal, and Liverpool scored 17 wins in 17 home games in the competition, with hand brake.

No team has scored a flawless home rally campaign through the Premier League best flight campaign and Liverpool are just two wins, against Burnley and Chelsea, to add this achievement to the honors list for this season. Sunderland was the last team to end a 100% record flying campaign in England. It was in 1891-92.

Klopp said: "We don't have these numbers because we are thinking about the records, but because we are 100% focused on the game." "I hope that doesn't change. When it's over we can think."

Liverpool has been enhanced with a procession of high-grade alternatives. Villa did not have this luxury and the point was not lost on his manager. "That certainly had an effect," said Smith, who saw Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino and Jorginho Wiegenaldum off the bench to raise the champions before Jones entered the battle. "I said that when the [Five Alternatives] rule was mentioned, I think Chelsea. I felt that we shouldn't change the rules during the season and we would benefit the bigger and healthier teams."

Klopp agreed and said: "It was easier with fresher legs against a team that was really busy until then."

Villa's players, their alternatives, coaches and even match officials have been an honor guard to welcome Liverpool in their first appearance at Anfield since they were crowned champions.

The last time Liverpool started a game here was the Champions League on May 1, 1990, a 1-0 loss in Derby County that demonstrated Kenny Dalglish's last appearance for the club. Dalglish was one of the few assistants who returned home 2019-2020 title winners, sat without a company in the managers box and faced the platform that now bears his name. A banner announcing "Liverpool - Champions Again" spread across the first-level seats of Sir Kenny Dalglish's booth. But this was not a proper feast for the king.

Liverpool's performance in the first half lacked the zip code, conviction and aggression that shaped their dominance at the Premier League stadium this season. An indisputable and energetic villa in the wings went through Mahmoud Trezeguet and Anwar Al Ghazi, but it was less than the creativity required to fully utilize the performance of the Liverpool team in the lowest gear.

Liverpool Aston Villa's  2020

Mercy Party broke out in the second half. The Liverpool winger has begun to find his range, while Villa, with Jack Grills increasingly, has faced many of his most promising attacks. The visiting captain instigated a detachment that ended with Alison pushing Al Ghazi's first shot towards their nearby location. From the resulting angle, Tyrone Minges was dangerous through Liverpool's goal, but Divock Origi was clear.

Virgil Van Dyck got in the way of Greelish's attempt to beat Alison after another counterattack. The chances of a villa were not golden, but a more ruthless team punished Liverpool. They also had reason to regret a rare fall in defense when Mane opened the scoring with his 50th goal at Liverpool's Anfield.

Smith will have good reason to question the space available within the villa area when Trent Alexander Arnold shows up and elects Napi Kita. The midfielder was completely indistinguishable, and with the slow reaction of the defenders, they had time to control their options and size. A road passed in Mane and Pepe Reina couldn't stop Senegal from scoring along the bottom of the crossbar.

Jones started the move that led to his first league goal and a second goal for Liverpo.