Suarez leveller helps Liverpool stop the rot
Luis Suarez's late effort cancelled out Chris Herd's goal as Liverpool fought back to earn a 1-1 draw against Premier League strugglers Aston Villa at Anfield here on Saturday.
Kenny Dalglish, in his second spell as Liverpool manager, ended the club's six-year wait for a trophy when he guided the Merseysiders to a League Cup final win in February and they have an FA Cup semi-final against local rivals Everton to look forward to at Wembley next weekend.
But their Premier League form remains a concern, despite this result ending a run of six defeats in seven matches.
Liverpool have managed just five wins from their 16 home matches in the league and Villa looked to be the latest to leave with a win when they took an early lead through Herd.
Liverpool found it hard to create openings but finally secured an equaliser through Suarez eight minutes from time.
Looking to bring their miserable recent form to an end, Liverpool almost got off to a perfect start when Stewart Downing found space down the left and his cross picked out Dirk Kuyt at the far post.
But the Dutchman's shot was turned onto the post by goalkeeper Shay Given and hacked away to safety.
Villa took the lead in the 10th minute.
Former Reds defender Stephen Warnock sent over a cross from the left, with goalkeeper Alexander Doni, making his Liverpool debut as cover for the suspended Pepe Reina, failing to make the punch.
Barry Bannan pulled back and Herd swept a shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.
The visitors could have doubled their lead when former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey broke from halfway and had an effort blocked wide by Martin Skrtel.
James Collins then rose above Skrtel only to head wide from a Bannan free-kick.
Liverpool were struggling to create opportunities despite falling behind and a Steven Gerrard volley, which flew well over from the edge of the box, hinted at their concern.
Skrtel headed wide at the far post from a Gerrard corner and Jordan Henderson curled well over the bar from a cut-back from Downing.
Suarez, who had earlier gone down under a Herd challenge in the area, looked to have been caught by Alan Hutton as he raced on to a Kuyt pass but referee Mike Oliver dismissed the penalty appeals.
Kuyt then turned a shot over from just a couple of yards as he attempted to divert a Gerrard effort into the net and Suarez was also denied by Given just before the break.
Liverpool's pressure continued after the restart and from a fine cross from the right from Gerrard, Suarez's header came back off the post before Given clawed the ball to safety.
Kuyt also sliced wide from the edge of the area after a Gerrard back-heel.
Villa were attempting to sit on their advantage but they almost got the chance to add a second when Doni attempted to dribble around Gabriel Agbonlahor five yards from goal before Jose Enrique gave the ball away to Bannan.
But with eight minutes remaining a Craig Bellamy corner was cleared as far as Liverpool captain Gerrard, whose return cross was met by Daniel Agger's head, and when the ball came down off the bar, Suarez touched in from just a yard out.