West Bromwich Albion 0
Adam (pen) (9), Carroll (45)
Another win, two in four days and, as with Stoke in the Cup, this was a game that perhaps the Liverpool side of twelve months might have been expected to lose.
The win was a sign of how things have progressed under Kenny Dalglish. No disrespect to Roy Hodgson who lined up against us but would he have adopted the same approach in which you trust your players, let them express themselves and get them playing in a way that suggests they believe three points are there for he taking rather defending for just one of them? As it turned out our approach paid dividends which was aided and abetted by a West Brom side that offered very little resistance. We were worth every point.
The future was inadvertently mirrored in Kenny’s line up. There was no Carragher or Gerrard (both injured) instead in came Jordan Henderson and Daniel Agger a sign of what will happen in the future – it can’t be avoided, the next generation have time on their side?
Kenny also opted to play Andy Carroll alongside Luis Suarez. An interesting change from previous games however I suspect it’s immaterial to Suarez, he just goes about his business which is basically to create havoc! Such is his movement and all round “fizziness” that I wonder if Kenny just winds him before ever game and lets him go!
The amount of chances Suarez has may lead some to look at strike ratios and suggest that he should score more however, how many strikers just wait for the ball to be served to them rather than, as our man does, actively carve out chances for themselves through the guile and trickery? Equally, how many also set up chances? Suarez obliged twice in this area on Saturday being up ended by Thomas for our first, a penalty that was easily converted by Charlie Adam, and then setting up Andy Carroll for our second just before the break with a superb volleyed through ball.
The penalty incident said a lot about people’s preconceived impressions of Suarez. He went over, the referee didn’t see it but the linesman did therefore he must have dived? Roy Hodgson on Match of the Day said
“I think the 25,000 people watching, even the Liverpool supporters, will probably agree with me that it looked like a very, very harsh decision”
No Roy and those 25,000 fans who might have tuned in with millions of others must have agreed that it was a penalty. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that when you were interviewed you, like the referee, didn’t have the best of views. Later Hodgson said of penalties
“They should be harder to earn than that”
HRH should consider himself lucky particularly after Reid’s hand stopped Carroll’s header going for goal however, I agree and until something is done about this players will always act in this way and exploit a rule that is weighted in favour of the forward and the fact that football is fast becoming a non contact sport. In this case I think Suarez didn’t go down too easily nonetheless others will disagree because well… because it’s Suarez. We have got ourselves the sort of player that fans of his club love to love but everyone else loves to hate? Part of it is attitude and demeanour but a large part if it is because he is a bloody good player. He’s Rooney, he’s Ronaldo but above all, and ya boo sucks to you all, he’s ours!
Adam, despite having to wait an age while the referee farted and faffed around thus allowing more than one of West Brom’s players to sidle up to him and attempt to put him off, patiently put us in front. After that one might have expected the home side to come at us but we were allowed to settle and the only surprise was that it took so long to make it two. There were chances throughout the half mainly involving Suarez, a free kick fired over and the same from a corner. Finally Suarez set up the second. The chance was nearly wasted as Carroll‘s touch wasn’t the best however, he was quick enough (yes quick to those who say’s a slow old cart horse) to recover and knock it past an advancing Foster.
In the second half West Brom finally came out of their shell however you sensed that we were always in control. Suarez attempted a cheeky chip into the corner when perhaps leathering might have been easier? May be not though, Carroll tried this from more or less the same position and Foster saved well. Enrique forced Foster to tip over and Downing hit the base of his right post. Apparently we have hit the woodwork more times than any other Premiership side this season, should we be proud of that? Discuss or may be like me, you don’t really care!
So a good win and as it turned out this was a game we needed as everyone else around us, although Newcastle play tonight, also got three points. However, perhaps we shouldn’t worry too much about what others are doing, if we carry on performing in the way we’ve done this week we should be OK?
West Brom: Foster, Olsson, McAuley, Jones, Tchoyi (Cox 71), Brunt, Reid, Thomas, Mulumbu (Dorrans 62), Scharner (Morrison 58), Odemwingie Substitutes: Fulop, Shorey, Dawson, Morrison, Dorrans, Gera, Cox
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Henderson, Downing, Lucas, Adam, Suarez (Bellamy 81), Carroll Substitutes: Doni, Coates, Flanagan, Maxi, Spearing, Kuyt, Bellamy