Villa down Liverpool to sit second in EPL

LONDON – Liverpool crashed to a surprise 1-0 loss at home to Aston Villa on Saturday, after Chelsea beat Swansea City 4-2 to move clear at the Premier League summit.

Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor scored the only goal at Anfield in the ninth minute, hooking home from close range after Philippe Senderos’s header was blocked by Javier Manquillo.

While Villa who have not lost at Anfield since December 2010 remain unbeaten this season, Liverpool have now lost twice, following last month’s 3-1 loss at Manchester City, and trail Chelsea by six points.

“I think the players gave everything today,” said Rodgers.

“We just couldn’t find that quality in the final third of the field and Aston Villa defended well.”

Asked to explain Villa’s victory, manager Paul Lambert told Sky Sports: “Just pure hard work.”

He added: “It is one of the toughest places to come in Europe, let alone Britain, but I think we deserved the win.”

Villa climbed to second, two points behind Chelsea, who came from behind to beat Swansea at Stamford Bridge.