Liverpool 1 – Aston Villa 3 (Premier League, August 24, 2009) Liverpool came close to breaking the deadlock when Gerrard and Torres had chances saved off the line after ten minutes. Fernando Torres had an effort superbly saved by Brad Friedel just after the half hour, and then Villa when up the other end and saw Ashley Young’s free-kick go in off the head off Lucas Lieva. On the stroke of halftime Villa then took an incredible 2-nil lead as Curtis Davies headed home a corner at the near post. (First half highlights here.) Liverpool looked for a foothold in the game after the break, Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt (hit the post) coming close. Eventually the breakthrough came when Fernando Torres was able to turn home an Insua cross. But Villa immediately went up the other end, Stevie G recklessly took out Reo-Coker in the box and Ashley Young confidently slotted home the resulting penalty. (Liverpool’s missed chances can be seen here.)
Norwich 1 – Sunderland 4 (Carling Cup, August 24, 2009) Teemu Tainio set the ball rolling after 26 minutes, and then Andy Reid netted a well-taken double to put the tie beyond Lambert’s men before halftime. Wes Hoolahan reduced the deficit just after the hour, only for Owain Tudur Jones to quickly deflect a corner into his own net.