Editorials, News — October 31, 2011 20:54

New look Liverpool – West Brom v Liverpool (Match Report)

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West Bromwich Albion entertained Liverpool for Saturday’s late kick off. Apart from last season’s defeat at the Hawthorns, Liverpool have enjoyed success at this ground in past seasons, winning 5 nil during the 2004/05 season and 6 nil in the 2002/03 campaign.  A good stomping ground for the Reds but would a former Liverpool manager have the final say?

The Match

Liverpool started with the game without Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, both losing out to injuries. A big blow to any team not having the likes of Gerrard and Carragher, but the ‘new look’ Liverpool showing how well they can cope without their big stars.

Liverpool started like their previous games, high tempo, urgency, and carving out chance after chance. The Reds got their just rewards when Luis Suarez was barged down inside the box by Jerome Thomas. At first glance, maybe a soft penalty but after watching replays of the foul it was a correct decision by the referees assistant.

Going away from goal Suarez was needlessly brought down by Thomas. Another reminder of how fearful players are when facing Suarez.  Liverpool were awarded a penalty, and having missed two penalties this season, a new penalty taker stepped up. Charlie Adam, who was a regular penalty taker for his former club, expertly dispatched his effort, sending the keeper Ben Foster the wrong way.

The Reds had taken the lead in the 8th minute but they weren’t finished there, after patient build up play more chances and openings began to come Liverpool’s way. An opportunity did fall to Suarez in the 36th minute from a Adam’s corner but Suarez who was leaning back was unable to convert it. Liverpool looked the better team, and in parts had an air of confidence about their game. The second goal was just round the corner and a matter of time. That goal did come and what started with a poor pass from West Brom to Lucas Leiva’s, turned into a quick counter attack resulting in a marvellous ball from Suarez which sent Andy Carroll through on goal. With only the keeper to beat, Carroll did not make light work of the opportunity and a rather heavy first touch, left him with plenty to do. But Carroll keeping his composure, cooly slotted the ball passed the oncoming Foster for his second Premier League of the season. Liverpool went into the break with a well deserved 2-0 lead.

The second half was very similar to the first, Liverpool dominating and absorbing any pressure West Brom could muster. Liverpool did come close with a volley from Carroll that went straight at the keeper and an effort from Suarez, who went for the spectacular rather than a simple pass to Andy Carroll.  Stewart down who had linked up with Jose Enrique throughout the game came close towards the end of the game when he cut in across on his left to unleash his shot that hit the post. The 10th time Liverpool have hit the post this season. Downing is edging closer to opening his Liverpool account and it won’t be long before Downing goes on a goal scoring spree. The match finished with a thoroughly deserved Liverpool victory. The Reds, controlled the game from the start and absorbed any West Brom pressure respectively. We did not look threatened at any stage and it was pleasing to see a level of maturity in closing the game down.

Suarez – Too hot to handle

There is no getting away from the Premier League’s man of the moment – Luis Suarez. Although not on the score sheet, another Man of the Match performance saw Suarez remaining instrumental in Liverpool’s victory. Forcing the foul for the penalty and then setting up Carroll for his goal and Liverpool’s second, Luis Suarez deserves a special mention.

Taking a closer look at the penalty shout, Suarez who was going away from goal was needlessly brought down by Thomas. Clumsiness from Thomas or a stark reminder of how fearful players are of  Suarez? I would like to think it’s the latter. Whilst Lionel Messi continues to draw headlines week in week out, our very own number 7 is making similar noises.  Having seen Suarez ability to open up defences and tear teams apart, it’s not surprising that Liverpool’s number 7 is developing into a formidable force. It’s not often we see player single handedly make opposition teams nervous and with  Suarez’s, this is quite clearly beginning to be the case. Thierry Henry had this presence about him, he drove fear into defences and was able to make the impossible – possible. Suarez is developing a similar reputation.  Suarez’s first goal against Stoke in the Carling Cup demonstrated this and quite simply Suarez is too hot to handle at the moment.

New Look Liverpool

Another game which saw Liverpool create chance after chance and swarm the opposition half, the Redmen are beginning to look like a whole different proposition. It was pleasing to see free flowing football and an attacking prowess that deserved nothing but 3 points. The Redmen weren’t holding back and started the game from the front foot – they looked like the home team and not the visitors. Charging in with wave after wave of attack, it was like watching Liverpool of the past. Dalglish has his ideas on how he wants Liverpool players to play, and they are taking his ideas on board and the Redmen became the Red-machine at times! No Gerrard and Carragher from the start could we cope without our big gun? I think the performance at West Brom highlighted how far we have come in a year under the stewardship of Dalglish. Liverpool showed incredible versatility and maturity in sticking with their game plan and attacked West Brom from the beginning. The impact of Dalglish clearly rubbing off on his players.

There is something different about Liverpool – the team are now gelling – confidence is growing – in Kenny we trust.

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