Suarez salvages draw for Liverpool against Villa

Published Apr. 7, 2012 7:02 p.m. ET

Luis Suarez scored in the 82nd minute for Liverpool to draw 1-1 with Aston Villa on Saturday and avoid a fourth straight Premier League defeat.

Liverpool's second-half pressure finally told when Suarez nodded the ball home after Daniel Agger hit the post with a header.

Australian midfielder Chris Herd had given struggling Villa the lead in the 10th minute with his first goal for the club.

Despite Suarez's goal, Liverpool has taken only nine points from its 13 games in 2012 and remains eighth in the standings. Villa is 15th, six points clear of the relegation zone.

Kenny Dalglish had found the pressure on him increasing after overseeing Liverpool's worst league run since 1953 - six defeats in seven matches.

A draw at least stopped the rot but Liverpool remains behind crosstown rival Everton in the standings and 15 points adrift of the top four.

Dalglish feels refereeing decisions have gone against his team. He said Liverpool should have had two penalties against Villa, and was also upset Suarez was booked for diving.


''We have to try to do the best we possibly can in what we are trying to achieve,'' Dalglish said. ''But there are an awful lot of coincidences you can take just over the last three games in the number of decisions which have not gone our way.

''We just have to make sure the football club maintains the integrity they have as a club. If other people have to look at themselves to see if they have integrity, that is fine.''

After Herd's angled finish gave Villa a surprise lead, Liverpool pressed forward in search of the equalizer. Suarez had a penalty claim turned down after he was caught by Alan Hutton and Dirk Kuyt shot over the bar from five yards out.

The second penalty appeal came in the second half when the ball hit Eric Lichaj's hand as Dirk Kuyt tried to beat him.

Suarez also hit the post with a header as Villa settled for defending the lead rather than looking for a second goal to kill off the game.

Suarez finally scored when substitute Agger headed Steven Gerrard's cross onto the bar and the Uruguayan was there to nod in from close range.

''The boys are disappointed they capitulated but the first-half performance was great,'' Villa manager Alex McLeish said. ''It was a tough second half but I felt, for the bad luck we have had in recent weeks, we deserved something.''