Liverpool thrashes last-place Villa 6-0 in Premier League
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Liverpool scored four goals in 13 second-half minutes to complete a 6-0 win at last-place Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday for the team’s biggest victory under manager Juergen Klopp.
Making his first league start in four months, striker Daniel Sturridge sparked the rout with the opening goal after 16 minutes before James Milner’s curling free kick from the left wing eluded everyone and bounced into the far corner in the 25th.
Emre Can, Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne and Kolo Toure scored in quick succession from the 58th minute in another embarrassing result for Villa, which is eight points from safety. It was Villa’s heaviest home defeat in 81 years.
Liverpool climbed to eighth place, three points behind fifth-place Manchester United.
Villa came into the game in its best form of the season, having lost only once in its last five games. But dreadful defending saw the hosts slip 2-0 down early on and it just got worse against a Liverpool team that looked more threatening with Sturridge leading the line.
The England striker hadn’t started a league game since the Merseyside derby on Oct. 4 — or even appeared in the league since Dec 6 — because of a string of injury problems, but he showed typical opportunism to head home unmarked from Philippe Coutinho’s curling cross.
Can drilled in a low shot from just outside the area to set off a run of goals as Villa’s defense fell apart. Seconds after replacing Sturridge, Origi ran onto Coutinho’s through-ball and scuffed a shot into the net in the 63rd, Clyne tapped in after his initial shot was saved in the 65th and Koure headed in unmarked from a corner in the 71st.