Liverpool hammered Aston Villa 5-0 at Anfield this afternoon to move within a point of league leaders Manchester United. The result is another serious blow to the Villains Champions League aspirations.
Dirk Kuyt started the rout in eight minutes when he fired home the rebound from an Alonso effort which cracked the crossbar. Villa looked to respond but their defence frailties were cruelly exposed by a clinical Liverpool side brimming with confidence.
Steven Gerrard bagged himself a hat trick scoring two penalties and a freekick but the goal of the match was scored by Albert Riera. The Spaniard latched onto a Pepe Reina kick out, outpaced the Villa cover and hit a sweet volley past Brad Friedel.
Friedel was sent off for a foul on Torres midway through the second half adding insult to injury for Martin O'Neill's side. The result will have sent shock waves through a Manchester United team which appears to have lost its way.