returned to Anfield to face Liverpool, the club at which he started his English Premier League career 12 years ago, and helped Aston Villa earn a
3-1 win over the Reds. The victory, the first of the league season for struggling Villa, was revenge for a 5-0 loss at Anfield in March.
"To win at Anfield is fantastic," said
Friedel. "With the result last year, it does leave a bad taste in the mouth. It's not revenge, but it's pleasing to put in a performance because last year we just didn't turn up."
The 38-year-old Friedel was outstanding the second half when Liverpool piled on the pressure after falling, 2-0, behind.
He stopped Steven
with a diving stop and later made saves on Dirk Kuyt
and Fernando Torres
was outstanding," said Villa manager Martin O'Neill
. "He rolled back the years. He was fantastic against his old club to perform like that at Anfield. He will be delighted with
himself, and rightly so, and we are delighted with him. It was a fantastic performance from the whole side and we fully deserved the victory."
Villa scored on an own goal when
flicked Ashley Young
's free kick into his own goal, Curtis Davies
beat two Liverpool players to Nicky Shorey
's corner kick just before halftime, and Steven Gerrard
fouled Nigel Reo-Coker
for a penalty kick converted by Ashley Young
The loss was the first for Liverpool at Anfield
in league play in 32 games and put more pressure on Spanish manager Rafa Benitez
The loss was Liverpool's second in three games. The club's
difficult financial situation means Benitez has little money to spend on the transfer market.