Graeme Souness believes Aston Villa ‘left the grass long’ for visit of Liverpool

Graeme Souness believes Aston Villa left the grass long to stifle Liverpool.

The Reds were stunned by Villa on Sunday night after romping to a 4-1 lead at half-time, with thanks to an Ollie Watkins hat-trick.

It only got worse when Ross Barkley made it five before the hour mark.

But before the second half got back underway, Liverpool legend Souness claimed that the ball didn't look like it was moving freely on the pitch.

Souness was in the studio analysing the fixtures on behalf of Sky Sports and their coverage.

He said: "What I would say, Villa, and it's the same for both teams, I think they've left the grass longer than normal to slow Liverpool's movement.

"I did say it's the same for both teams but all the top teams want short grass, fast pitch.

"That doesn't look like a fast pitch to me tonight."

Souness added that he did not want to use it as an excuse, but he believes that Villa prepared the pitch specifically for the visit of Liverpool.

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Mo Salah pulled a second goal back for Liverpool on the hour mark of the match but Jack Grealish scored a sixth just minutes later – and then a seventh.

The remarkable result will send shockwaves around the Premier League and beyond.

All of the league's top sides have suffered painful results in the opening four weeks of the season, with Everton leading the table and looking like the only constant in the division.

Everton take on Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby in the first game back following the international break.

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