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Gerrard penalty keeps Liverpool's Champions League hopes alive

Steven Gerrard boosted Liverpool's chances of Champions League qualification as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Aston Villa.

The result left Liverpool seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, although they have played a game more.

Defeat means Villa missed an opportunity to move out of the relegation zone. They are level on points with 17th-placed Wigan having played a game more, and are just a point behind Sunderland.

Newcastle are just three points clear of Villa, with Southampton, Stoke and Norich one point better off. QPR and Reading looked doomed, as they are seven points adrift of safety.

Gabriel Agbonlahor set up Christian Benteke to give Villa a 31st-minute lead against Liverpool.

Joradn Henderson equalised two minutes into the second half and Gerrard scored the winner from the penalty spot on the hour, after Nathan Baker had bundled Luis Suarez over in the area.

"We are playing well enough to win and I certainly have the belief that we will be fine," said Villa boss Paul Lambert. "We had chances and we didn't look like a team down there at the bottom."

Villa have now conceded 58 goals this season, just one less than their highest total of 59 in a season, set two years ago.


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