Gerrard was welcomed with gentle applause as he emerged from the tunnel, but there was no great fanfare for the man who scored 186 goals in 710 games as a Liverpool player. Even a brief chant of his name from the Kop was drowned out by cries of ‘Liverpool’ as the crowd focused its attention on maintaining pace with Manchester City at the top of the table.
Salah has now scored 21 in 22 matches this season and finally made the difference for the only goal of the game on 67 minutes. Villa central defender Tyrone Mings was roped into a clumsy challenge on Salah and at the third time of asking, Liverpool got its spot-kick.
Salah made no mistake from the spot for Liverpool (37 points), which is now only a point behind leader City (38 points) after 16 PL matches. City defeated 10-man Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 while Chelsea got the better of Leeds United 3-2 in a goal fest.
Results: Liverpool 1 (M Salah 67(P)) bt Aston Villa 0; Manchester City 1 (R Sterling 66(P)) bt Wolves 0; Chelsea 3 (M Mount 42, Jorginho 58(P) & 90+4(P)) bt Leeds United 2 (Raphinha 28(P), J Gelhardt 83)