West Bromwich Albion 1
I have lost count over the number of times I’ve had to sit down this season and write a piece on yet another game like this.
One can try and put a positive spin on it and say that we had numerous chances to win the game and were unlucky. Even Roy Hodgson, who must have enjoyed yesterday more than anyone else, suggested that his side “rode their luck”. However, it’s the same old problem an inability to turn the advantage and dominance into something tangible which handed West Brom their first victory at Anfield since 1967.
Apparently we produced something around twenty five shots and half a dozen corners but not one of them hit the back of the net. One can only assume we are using up all our bad luck for the next five seasons in this one. Kenny said this
“It has been the same theme, hitting the crossbar, people clearing it off the line, us missing chances or hitting our own players. The lads are playing well enough so I can’t complain about their effort or spirit. It’s difficult for them to take but it’s great credit that it doesn’t seem to be knocking them down.”
Nonetheless a record of five home wins from seventeen games, our ninth defeat and only seven points from a possible thirty in 2012 suggests that there is more to this than just being unfortunate? Looking at it logically in the cold light of day we are creating the chances it just seems that we can’t stick them away! Is it that simple if it was presumably we would have done something about it by now?
Kenny made four changes from the semi bringing in Maxi, Enrique, Kuyt and Reina who was back from suspension, no room for sentiment it appears as Doni, also back from the naughty step, was preferred over Brad Jones as back up. Steven Gerrard had picked up a slight knock so was rested. I suspect Roy Hodgson was perhaps a little more sensitive about the reception he might receive from the Liverpool fans than his pre match utterings suggested. However he need not have worried, as they showed distinctly more class than their Aston Villa counterparts did with Martin O’Neill, by giving him a warm welcome.
So the familiar story unravelled Henderson and Kuyt hit the woodwork, Suarez went close twice as did Carroll, Spearing had a shot cleared off the line. Henderson’s effort provided good evidence to those who think we are unfortunate. His shot hit the underside of the cross bar and rebounded on to Foster’s back and away to safety. Compare this to the Sunderland game earlier in the year when a similar effort rebounded off the woodwork onto to Jose Reina, back on the post and into the path of a striker for a goal!
West Brom’s goal was an all too familiar tale. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve had to attribute an opposition goal to the defensive inabilities, or lack of concentration of Glen Johnson. Perhaps you feel I’m picking on him however, this blog has the power of hindsight. Go through all the pieces since he joined us (I know you won’t be sad enough to do this) and just read about the goals he has been responsible for. I know we are on dodgy ground by picking on individual players but in my book enough is enough.
This time it was a carless, misplaced pass which allowed Mulumbu in. He put Odemwingie through on goal who managed to achieve what we failed to.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Maxi (Downing – 74′ ), Henderson, Spearing (Shelvey – 83′ Booked ), Suarez, Carroll, Kuyt (Bellamy – 68′ ) Substitutes: Doni, Coates, Carragher, Kelly, Downing, Shelvey, Bellamy
West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Olsson, Ridgewell, McAuley, Jones, Brunt, Thomas (Andrews – 69′ ), Dorrans (Cox – 86′ ), Mulumbu, Long, Odemwingie (Scharner – 83′ ) Substitutes: Fulop, Shorey, Dawson, Tchoyi, Andrews, Scharner, Cox