West Bromwich Albion 1
Sahin (17), (82)
Despite making our worst start in the league for just over a century the games in-between continue to provide encouragement.
Many members of the young side that had gleeful and recklessly exchanged a stack of goals with The Young Boys of Berne last week were on duty tonight. This time despite a dreadful start, it was a more disciplined and resolute performance. Slowly they settled and visibly seemed to grow in confidence as the game unraveled despite the fact that West Brom also fielded a “shadow side” The reward, besides revenging the defeat of the more experienced first team on the opening day, is a home tie against Swansea, BR’s old club.
As mentioned the side was different in every position from Sunday. It was also greener with only Jones, Carragher Henderson and Downing having any experience of note. Perhaps Jones, on a rare outing at the expense of Jose Reina, wished he’d stayed at home? He appeared to be confidently heading off his line to pick off Ridgewell’s free kick however he failed to collect and Tomas was on hand to punish his spill.
Unsurprisingly the nature and timing of the goal (just three minutes into the game) seemed to knock us back and inspire West Brom. Lukaku’s pace and strength gave us early problems and he was unfortunate to see his effort deflected off Carragher to safety. I guess there will come a time when Jamie has to concede that enough is enough, the heart is still willing but the flesh is looking increasingly weaker? Lukaku exposed him again simply brushing him off and feeding Rosenberg. Jones atoned slightly for his earlier gaff by keeping out the Swede’s shot at his near post.
Slowly we settled and got back into the game. Our equalizer was deserved although the nature of it, another keeper error, was fortunate. Andre Wisdom overlapped on the right exchanged passes with Downing before feeding Sahin. His low shot was on target but didn’t look like providing Foster, in the West Brom goal, with anything other than a routine pick up. However, he somehow managed to let the shot squirm through his arms.
After that we more than held our own. Pacheco had a good effort blocked in the first half and hit the bar in the second with a measured, curling shot from the outside of the area. He then nutmeged Thorne before planting another shot in the direction of Foster, again the keeper’s save was unconvincing. Before that Yesil had a good effort nervously blocked by Foster and in general Assaidi proved a lively and tricky proposition for the West Brom defence. Faced with this it was no surprise that Sahin capped what eventually turned out to be good night by turning Assaid’s cross into the roof of the West Brom net from six yards after some good, positive approach play from Suso.
A good night and some morale boosting, encouraging and, most importantly, confident play from the youngsters On the basis of this performance and the make up of the team it seemed appropriate that Jerome Sinclair came off the bench to become Liverpool’s youngest player at sixteen years and six days. In short it was encouraging night. BR complains about his lack of strength in depth on this evidence he may have more of it than he thinks?
West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Olsson, Ridgewell, (Dawson – 22′ ), Jones, Tamas, Thorne, Dorrans, Mulumbu Booked, Rosenberg, Lukaku (Long – 70′ ), Fortune (El Ghanassy – 87′ ) Substitutes: Daniels, McAuley, Dawson, Yacob, El Ghanassy, Long, Berahino
Liverpool: Jones, Coates, Carragher, Wisdom Booked, Robinson, Sahin, Henderson, Downing, Assaidi, Pacheco (Suso – 81′ ), Yesil (Sinclair – 81′ ) Substitutes: Gulacsi, Wilson, Sterling, Conor Coady, Sama, Suso, Sinclair