Duran’s double and Elliott for England? Five things we learned from Aston Villa 3-3 Liverpool

Aston Villa fought back from 3-1 down to draw with Liverpool thanks to substitute Jhon Duran’s dramatic double.

Youri Tielemans had levelled the score at 1-1 after an earlier howler from Emi Martinez before goals from Cody Gakpo and Jarell Quansah put the Reds 3-1 in front in boss Jurgen Klopp’s penultimate game in charge.

But Duran’s two late goals mean Villa sit five points ahead of fifth-placed Spurs, who still have two games left to play compared to just one for Unai Emery’s side.

Here are five big talking points from the game…

Duran’s double

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It looked as though wasted opportunities would cost Villa from gaining anything against Liverpool but Duran’s quick-fire double off the bench gave his side no less than they deserved. Duran’s first was a brilliantly taken low finish beyond Alisson and while he got a big slice of luck for his second, with Moussa Diaby’s attempted pass deflecting off his thigh beyond the Liverpool goalkeeper, he proved to be the spark Villa needed to capitalise on all the positive play Unai Emery’s side had, and it is perhaps a surprise that he has not played more minutes for the club this season

Martinez’s shocker

Villa fans have dubbed Martinez as “the world’s number one” for good reason. Usually so dependable in between the sticks, the Argentine World Cup winner had a nightmare two minutes in when he failed to deal with a deflected cross from Elliott and inadvertently palmed the ball over his own goal-line while trying to recover.

Emery’s side have struggled of late and the last thing they need at such a crucial time in the season and with so much on the line is Martinez to make uncharacteristic mistakes. He perhaps could have done better for Liverpool’s second too, with his low save falling straight into the path of Gakpo to tap in. While Villa got a well earned point, perhaps it could have been all three had they not got off to such a bad start.

Mistakes and wastefulness costs Villa victory

Aston Villa created plenty of chances but their wastefulness before Duran’s introduction cost them from taking charge of the game. How Diego Carlos did not tap home from a couple of yards out in the first-half from Leon Bailey’s drilled cross is a mystery and Moussa Diaby was guilty of a poor evening in front of goal. They got something to show for their efforts in the end, but certainly deserved to outscore Liverpool on the night with an expected goals figure of 3.36 compared to Liverpool’s 1.73. Mistakes at the other end, including conceding from a set-piece for the away side’s third, meant they were always coming from behind.

Harvey Elliott deserves to be in England discussions

Elliott’s nine assists across all competitions in 2024 is only bettered by Kevin De Bruyne’s 15, and his pinpoint free-kick for team-mate Jarell Quansah for Liverpool’s third was a perfect demonstration of the quality he possesses. He is enjoying his best season yet in a red shirt and absolutely deserves to be in the discussion of midfielders who could go the Euros as part of Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Klopp’s final away game

This was Klopp’s final away game in charge of the club, and he understandably looked emotional when he went to thank the travelling supporters after the final whistle. It may not have been the dream ending he and the fans were hoping for this season, but the post-game scenes were a sign of what is to come next Sunday when Klopp bids farewell to the Anfield crowd for the final time. and the Premier League says goodbye to one of its best ever managers.

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