Liverpool is equal with Manchester City in the number of points (86 points), but the latter is superior in goal difference, and has a postponed match to play on Wednesday against its host Wolverhampton.
And the German coach of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, made five substitutions for the squad that played the last match against Tottenham, and his team drew 1-1, leaving him 3 points behind leaders Manchester City.
The most prominent of whom Klopp kept on the bench of the reserve players was the Egyptian Mohamed Salah, the league’s top scorer with 22 goals, perhaps to rest him before the FA Cup final, next Saturday, against Chelsea, while he decided to involve the Colombian trio Luis Dias, Portuguese Diogo Jota and Senegalese Sadio Mane in the attack line.
Aston Villa began pressing and had the first chance two minutes later, when Ole Watkins penetrated into the area and fired a powerful ball that was brilliantly blocked by Brazilian goalkeeper Ellison Becker, but Villa succeeded in advancing from the next attack, when Frenchman Luca Digne raised a ball inside the area, which Watkins shot with his head rebounded from Alisson to the Brazilian Douglas Lewis, so he followed her into the net from close range (3).
However, Villa did not enjoy the progress of more than three minutes, because Liverpool equalized by Cameroonian defender Joel Matip, taking advantage of the turmoil inside the penalty area to follow the ball into the net (6).
And the Greek left back Costas Tsimikas crossed a cross that headed by Mane and passed to the right post of Villa (21).
And there was a chance for former Liverpool striker Danny Ings to give Aston Villa the lead, but his header passed over the bar (25).
Guinean Naby Keita missed a very easy opportunity when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ball reached him while he was unmarked in front of goal, but he stumbled on the shot (31).
Mane scored a goal that was canceled by the referee due to the offside of his teammates Dias (33).
Liverpool started the second half strongly, and Dias was alone with the veteran Argentine goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinis, but the latter was the fastest to the ball (48).
After several attempts, Liverpool succeeded in advancing when Dias passed a perfect cross ball into the area, followed by Mane with his head from close range into the net (65). And Mane raised his score this season to 15 goals in the league.
Salah participated in the last twenty minutes, and almost scored a few seconds after entering, but Martinis pounced on the ball before the Egyptian reached it.
Aston Villa threw all his weight to equalize and Ings scored a goal that the referee did not consider for offside (85).
Ironically, Liverpool did not waste any point in front of the teams that entered the match against him while occupying the second section of the standings, by winning all 19 of his matches so far, scoring 54 goals, and conceding only 5 goals.