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Nathan Baker is forgiven for Aston Villa penalty blunder

Boss Paul Lambert today defended Nathan Baker and insisted Villa will avoid a blame culture after defeat to Liverpool.

moreThe 21-year-old chopped down Luis Suarez for Steven Gerrard's match-winning penalty to keep Villa in the Premier League drop zone yesterday.

Christian Benteke's opener was cancelled out by Jordan Henderson in the Reds' 2-1 victory to leave Villa third-from-bottom.

But Lambert insisted Baker will not be held accountable for defeat.

He said: "I don't blame any individuals because it's a team game and a team sport. We need everyone together and I can't have a blame culture.

"Nathan needs to learn because he's young. If you go to ground in the penalty box, especially against someone like Luis Suarez, things like that can happen.

"There's going to be so many twists and turns. We're playing well and confidence is a big thing in football. For 45 minutes we were excellent and competed brilliantly against a really good side."

And Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers backed Lambert to save Villa from the drop and blasted trigger- happy clubs.

After Martin O'Neill's sacking at Sunderland on Saturday, with the Black Cats a point above O'Neill's former club, Rodgers said: "Paul Lambert is a top manager and the longer he is here the better Aston Villa will become."

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