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Disappointing afternoon for Liverpool's Coutinho and Lucas Leiva

Lucas is in the mix for a World Cup call
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Liverpool's title challenge faltered against Aston Villa as the hosts fell eight points behind leaders Arsenal following a 2-2 draw at Anfield.

There was further alarming news for Kop fans as the club's two Brazilians failed to finish the game for differing reasons.

Heavy favourites Liverpool, who have at times been irresistable at home this season, could not have wished for a poorer first half as the Villains streaked into a two-goal lead through Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke. Daniel Sturridges's goal just before the break restored a little respect but so ineffectual was Phillipe Coutinho in the opening 45 that he was hooked at half-time for countryman Lucas.

With more solidarity anticipated through Lucas' introduction, Liverpool managed to get the equaliser by way of a Steven Gerrard penalty but, sadly for his Brazilian colleague, injury struck after 66 minutes and Joe Allen had to replace him.

It is not yet known the extent of Lucas' ailment but he will be hoping to get back into first team matters promptly in a World Cup Year; he has 24 caps for Brazil.


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