Steven Gerrard admits ambition came second to caution on his Anfield return

On his return to Anfield as Aston Villa manager, Steven Gerrard admitted his first priority was to contain his former side, and then perhaps look for an opening later in the game.

Steven Gerrard received a fitting reception from the Anfield faithful on Saturday afternoon, but his Aston Villa side fell to a 1-0 defeat courtesy of Mohamed Salah's second half penalty.

Seeing their former captain on the sidelines would've been an emotional moment for Liverpool fans, and it only seems a matter of time until he takes the reins at Anfield himself.

But while he waits for Klopp to depart, Gerrard can polish up his managerial skills at Villa, and the 41-year-old manager admitted that he may need to look back at his strategy from Saturday's game.

Speaking of his gameplan, Gerrard said "We tried to get the balance right and I thought we did a good job of trying to contain Liverpool; you can try to be too gung ho and get hit for a scoreline which doesn't help.

"The plan was to try to take it to the latter stages and then throw more players on from the side and get more of our attacking players on the pitch.

"We'll analyse and I'll look at myself and whether I should have done it earlier. We didn't want to get gung ho."

Clearly wary of opening up too much against his former side, Gerrard waited until the 75th minute before sending on both Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia, but by then his side were trailing and ran out of time to claw one back.

However, Gerrard can take some positives in holding Liverpool to just one goal, and a penalty at that. Klopp's side recently broke the record of consecutive games in which his side scored two or more goals, so although Villa took no points from their clash, their defensive resilience was praiseworthy.

And the Villa boss also felt like his side were denied a penalty of their own, suggesting Alisson's late challenge on Ings was a foul.

"I thought we had a decent shout for one, there was certainly contact from Alisson on Danny Ings and if you follow it there is a two-hand shove on Ollie Watkins," he said.

"We thought that deserved the referee and VAR taking another look but it looked like they wanted to move on quickly.

"Ultimately we have lost the game in the other box which we felt was a foul on Tyrone, it feels harsh but penalty box to penalty box Liverpool were better than us.

"I thought we were were defensively sound for the majority of the game and to lose it to a penalty was hard but you could see Liverpool were a level above."

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