Christian Benteke scored twice to hand Aston Villa a shock victory against Liverpool at Anfield.

After reaching the Capital One Cup semi finals on Tuesday the Midlands side extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to six games with an impressive win on Merseyside that lifts them three points clear of the relegation zone.

It was only a second defeat in 12 games for Brendan Rodgers’ men and another sobering afternoon on home turf that brought some perspective to their hopes of challenging for a Champions League place.

The Reds could have been behind only for Benteke to head Barry Bannan’s free kick over in the early stages before captain Steven Gerrard fired wide from 12-yards at the other end soon after.

Villa slowly grew into the game and took the lead just before the half hour mark when Benteke fired a low shot in off Pepe Reina’s post from Brett Holman’s set up.

The visitors then silenced Anfield five minutes before half time as Andreas Weinmann finished confidently past Reina from inside the penalty area after a brilliant interchange with Benteke.

Rodgers threw Joe Cole on for Jonjo Shelvey at the break in an attempt to increase his sides creative output as they struggled to breakdown a staunch visiting defence, although Ciaran Clark was lucky to get away with a shirt pull on Daniel Agger in the box.

And a mistake from Cole gifted Benteke his second of the game in he 51st minute, the Belgian international skipping through a cavernous opening in the hosts defence before slotting the ball past Reina.

It wasn’t until three minutes from time that Liverpool mustered a telling response as Gerrard had a final say, heading Glen Johnson’s cross past Brad Guzan but the day belonged to Villa and Lambert.