Liverpool ended a run of three defeats with a late equaliser that denied Aston Villa a precious win in their bid to ensure Premier League survival.

Villa went ahead when Chris Herd angled in a shot from Barry Bannan's cutback.

Luis Suarez had two penalty claims waved away and Reds team-mate Dirk Kuyt put a shot over from two yards.

Dalglish praises 'old days' crowd

A Suarez header hit the post before he finally got the equaliser when Daniel Agger's header came off the crossbar and the Uruguayan nodded in.

Andy Carroll then missed the chance to grab a winner when he headed straight at keeper Shay Given from six yards, before the Villa stopper fended away a powerful Gerrard shot as Liverpool finished strongly.

The point at least sends a resolute Villa six points clear of the relegation zone but leaves Liverpool with only one win in eight games, though the Reds can take some heart from the manner of their second half performance.

Before kick-off, a minute's silence marked Liverpool's last home game before the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy on 15 April.

When the action got under way, both teams showed how urgently they needed a win, and the hosts quickly went close.

Analysis

Liverpool peppered Shay Given's goal in the second period and had three good penalty shouts. Villa hung on in there and go home with a very important point in their bid to avoid getting involved in the relegation battle. Alexander Doni on his Premier League debut had very little to do apart from pick the goal out of his goal once. Given was magnificent.

Kuyt's angled shot was smuggled away by Given, the assistant referee ruling the ball had not crossed the line.

But the Reds' recent miserable run includes defeats by Villa's fellow strugglers QPR and Wigan, and the visitors looked set to follow those examples when they took the lead inside 10 minutes.

Keeper Alexander Doni, making his debut with Pepe Reina suspended, flapped at a cross before midfielder Bannan pulled the ball back for Herd to angle a rising shot into goal.

At the other end, Herd almost helped Liverpool to an equaliser when a cross from Suarez struck his arm, but referee Michael Oliver waved away penalty appeals.

Suarez was aggrieved again as he was caught by Alan Hutton in the Villa box, Oliver again unmoved by the Uruguay striker's protests.

As Liverpool's desperation for an equaliser intensified, Kuyt missed a great chance when all he had to do was turn in a Gerrard shot from two yards but sent his effort high.

The hosts then struck the woodwork for the 33rd time this season when a Suarez header from Gerrard's inviting cross came back off the post.

McLeish hails Villa 'lionhearts'

And their sense of grievance grew when they were denied a penalty for a third time after Villa's Eric Lichaj appeared to handle in the area.

Craig Bellamy hit the woodwork again before Villa's creaking defence finally gave way.

Gerrard's cross was headed against the crossbar by substitute Agger and, when the ball bounced in the goalmouth, Suarez was lurking to nod in his eighth league goal of the campaign.

Villa, hanging on for a point in the closing stages, might still have won it when substitute Samir Carruthers appeared to be caught by Agger in the area, but the referee gave them no more joy than he had the hosts.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish: "They got the early goal and that gave them something to hold on to. They had a great deal of resolve in trying to stem the flow of the game.

"From about 20 minutes before half-time until the end of the game I think the momentum was well and truly with us. We pushed forward and got a goal but I think we deserved more than that.

"The attitude and commitment of the players was fantastic and it was a bit like the old days coming back with the crowd willing a goal into the back of the net but it wasn't to be.

"The last one [penalty shout], when Dirk Kuyt takes it on his chest and the boy [Eric Lichaj] looks at him before he's controlled it. He lifts his arms up and the referee says to Dirk he never gave it because he thought the boy was unlucky then we've no chance.

"Somebody would need to be assassinated for us to get a penalty kick."

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish: "We went toe-to-toe with Liverpool in the first half and we took a deserved lead. I thought we had a lot of pressure at that time before, in the second half, we had to withstand a battering ram.

"We stood firm and I am so proud of the guys. All the young players in the team are lionhearts in the Villa tradition.

"It's a huge result. It would've been great if we could've hung on but there's no way I can criticise the players as they were heroes for Aston Villa."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Liverpool

  • 32 Doni
  • 03 Jose Enrique (Agger - 76' )
  • 23 Carragher
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 38 Flanagan
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 14 Henderson
  • 19 Downing (Carroll - 65' )
  • 33 Shelvey (Bellamy - 65' )
  • 07 Suarez Booked
  • 18 Kuyt

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 05 Agger
  • 16 Coates
  • 11 Maxi
  • 20 Spearing
  • 09 Carroll
  • 39 Bellamy

Aston Villa

  • 01 Given
  • 02 Hutton
  • 03 Warnock
  • 06 Collins
  • 32 Baker
  • 07 Ireland
  • 25 Bannan (Carruthers - 86' Booked )
  • 30 Lichaj
  • 31 Herd (Weimann - 73' )
  • 11 Agbonlahor
  • 18 Heskey (Gardner - 58' )

Substitutes

  • 22 Guzan
  • 29 Stevens
  • 37 Williams
  • 35 Johnson
  • 38 Gardner
  • 40 Carruthers
  • 26 Weimann
Ref: Oliver
Att: 44,321

Match Stats

Shots

21 5

On target

5 3

Corners

11 3

Fouls

4 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:37 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +3:51

Steven Gerrard concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Warnock. Shay Given takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +3:22

Craig Bellamy sends in a cross, James Collins manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +3:01

A cross is delivered by Jordan Henderson, clearance made by James Collins.

90:00 +2:49

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Craig Bellamy, clearance by Gary Gardner.

90:00 +2:37

Centre by Craig Bellamy, Alan Hutton gets a block in.

90:00 +2:20

Steven Gerrard produces a drilled right-footed shot from 25 yards. Shay Given makes a save.

90:00 +1:11

Jordan Henderson takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand post.

89:14

Dirk Kuyt delivers the ball.

89:09

Jon Flanagan crosses the ball.

88:02

Luis Suarez produces a cross, Andy Carroll takes a shot. Comfortable save by Shay Given.

87:26 Booking

Booking Samir Carruthers booked for unsporting behaviour.

85:06 Substitution

Substitution (Aston Villa) makes a substitution, with Samir Carruthers coming on for Barry Bannan.

84:28

Corner taken by Steven Gerrard played to the near post, Close range header by Daniel Agger goes over the bar.

82:50

Craig Bellamy delivers the ball, Header on goal by Andy Carroll from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

81:30

Assist on the goal came from Daniel Agger.

81:30 Goal scored

Goal! - Luis Suarez - Liverpool 1 - 1 A Villa Luis Suarez scores a headed goal from close in. Liverpool 1-1 Aston Villa.

81:26

The ball is crossed by Steven Gerrard,

81:25

Daniel Agger takes a shot.

81:04

Corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Eric Lichaj.

80:11

Dirk Kuyt has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.

80:05

Dirk Kuyt produces a cross.

78:38

Craig Bellamy takes a shot.

78:34

The ball is swung over by Steven Gerrard, James Collins makes a clearance.

78:15

A cross is delivered by Daniel Agger, clearance by Nathan Baker.

77:17

A cross is delivered by Andreas Weimann, Jordan Henderson makes a clearance.

76:41 Booking

Booking Luis Suarez goes into the referee's book.

75:27 Substitution

Substitution Daniel Agger replaces Sanchez Jose Enrique.

75:17

Centre by Dirk Kuyt.

73:07

Corner taken by Luis Suarez from the right by-line, James Collins manages to make a clearance.

73:04

Sanchez Jose Enrique crosses the ball, clearance by Eric Lichaj.

72:06 Substitution

Substitution Andreas Weimann joins the action as a substitute, replacing Chris Herd.

70:50

The ball is crossed by Sanchez Jose Enrique, clearance made by Nathan Baker.

69:53

Gary Gardner takes a shot. Comfortable save by Alexander Doni.

67:25

Sanchez Jose Enrique sends in a cross.

65:52

Shot from long range by Gary Gardner misses to the right of the goal.

65:09

Long distance shot from Craig Bellamy misses to the left of the target.

64:08

The free kick is swung in right-footed by Steven Gerrard.

64:08 Substitution

Substitution Craig Bellamy comes on in place of Jonjo Shelvey.

64:08 Substitution

Substitution Andy Carroll comes on in place of Stewart Downing.

64:08

Foul by Stephen Warnock on Jon Flanagan, free kick awarded.

63:45

The ball is sent over by Stewart Downing, clearance made by James Collins.

61:59

A cross is delivered by Sanchez Jose Enrique, Gary Gardner makes a clearance.

61:31

Corner taken by Steven Gerrard played to the near post, Alan Hutton manages to make a clearance.

61:26

Centre by Stewart Downing, Gary Gardner manages to make a clearance.

57:48 Substitution

Substitution Gary Gardner comes on in place of Emile Heskey.

57:37

Centre by Steven Gerrard.

57:29

The ball is sent over by Stewart Downing, James Collins manages to make a clearance.

56:44

Stephen Ireland gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dirk Kuyt. Steven Gerrard crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Eric Lichaj.

56:01

Dirk Kuyt produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.

55:49

A cross is delivered by Sanchez Jose Enrique, clearance by Eric Lichaj.

55:27

The ball is sent over by Alan Hutton, clearance made by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

54:50

Gabriel Agbonlahor concedes a free kick for a foul on Jon Flanagan. Direct free kick taken by Alexander Doni.

53:02

Header from inside the area by Luis Suarez bounces off the post.

52:23

Stephen Ireland sends in a cross, Martin Skrtel manages to make a clearance.

48:39

Steven Gerrard crosses the ball, clearance made by James Collins.

48:04

Foul by Stephen Warnock on Jon Flanagan, free kick awarded. Jon Flanagan restarts play with the free kick.

46:01

Gabriel Agbonlahor concedes a free kick for a foul on Martin Skrtel. Jamie Carragher takes the free kick.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +1:09 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +0:55

Shot on goal by Steven Gerrard from just inside the area clears the crossbar.

45:00 +0:14

Luis Suarez takes a shot. Save made by Shay Given.

43:49

Centre by Jon Flanagan, Eric Lichaj manages to make a clearance. Close range shot by Dirk Kuyt clears the bar.

40:38

The ball is sent over by Jon Flanagan, clearance by Emile Heskey.

40:07

Eric Lichaj challenges Dirk Kuyt unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Gerrard from right wing, clearance by Eric Lichaj.

39:09

Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Herd on Dirk Kuyt. Jamie Carragher restarts play with the free kick.

37:38

Shot from outside the penalty box by Jordan Henderson goes wide right of the goal.

36:37

Centre by Alan Hutton, comfortable save by Alexander Doni.

36:28

Stephen Warnock produces a cross, Martin Skrtel makes a clearance.

35:30

Steven Gerrard takes the inswinging corner, Martin Skrtel has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide right of the target.

35:22

Sanchez Jose Enrique produces a cross, Barry Bannan gets a block in.

34:36

James Collins concedes a free kick for a foul on Luis Suarez. Free kick taken by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

33:18

Inswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing from the right by-line.

32:08

Steven Gerrard has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.

27:25

The ball is swung over by Steven Gerrard, save made by Shay Given.

27:03

Centre by Dirk Kuyt, James Collins manages to make a clearance.

26:01

A cross is delivered by Dirk Kuyt, Headed effort on goal by Luis Suarez from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

24:48

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing from the left by-line, James Collins makes a clearance.

24:43

The ball is sent over by Sanchez Jose Enrique, Barry Bannan gets a block in.

23:57

Effort on goal by Steven Gerrard from just inside the penalty area goes over the target.

23:31

Stewart Downing takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Alan Hutton.

22:16

The ball is swung over by Sanchez Jose Enrique, Nathan Baker manages to make a clearance.

21:53

Luis Suarez fouled by James Collins, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Gerrard takes the direct free kick.

20:15

Corner taken left-footed by Barry Bannan from the left by-line, James Collins has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.

20:00

Emile Heskey takes a shot. Blocked by Martin Skrtel.

17:29

Corner from the right by-line taken by Barry Bannan, comfortable save by Alexander Doni.

16:59

Stephen Warnock fouled by Dirk Kuyt, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Barry Bannan, clearance by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

16:07

Luis Suarez challenges Stephen Ireland unfairly and gives away a free kick. Shay Given takes the direct free kick.

10:51

Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard to the near post, James Collins manages to make a clearance.

9:32

Barry Bannan provided the assist for the goal.

9:32 Goal scored

Goal! - Chris Herd - Liverpool 0 - 1 A Villa A goal is scored by Chris Herd from deep inside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa.

9:25

The ball is delivered by Stephen Warnock, Alexander Doni makes a save.

6:34

Steven Gerrard takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by James Collins.

6:21

Stewart Downing sends in a cross, Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Save by Shay Given.

4:58

Corner taken left-footed by Barry Bannan from the right by-line, A cross is delivered by Stephen Warnock, save by Alexander Doni.

3:53

Luis Suarez concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Warnock. Free kick taken by Shay Given.

2:35

The ball is delivered by Dirk Kuyt, clearance by Stephen Warnock.

0:21

The official flags Steven Gerrard offside. Indirect free kick taken by Shay Given.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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