WBA V Liverpool
It was bound to happen really. It was written in the stars that this game would not go according to plan once Roy Hodgson was installed as the new West Brom manager, and it certainly didn’t, well not for us anyway.
The first half was one of those games that seemed to have 0-0 written all over it with both teams having spells where they were on top of the game, but neither of them managing to capitalise on that and taking the lead. We also suffered two injuries with both Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson being taken off the pitch in the first half, being replaced by Sotiris Kyrgiakos and Danny Wilson respectively.
In the second half it started as though nothing had happened, but then in the 50th minute Andy Carroll had a great chance which Scott Carson tipped over the bar. From the resulting corner Martin Skrtel put a bullet header write into the top corner of the net. Kyrgiakos also leapt for the corner but it was Skrtel who connected with it and the ball was going nowhere else but in the goal after that.
We had the lead in the game but it was by no means certain that the game was won after that. It wasn’t long before West Brom had equalised when Odemwingie was brought down by Kygriakos and the penalty was awarded. On first viewing I wasn’t sure if it was just outside the box rather than over the line, but on second and third viewing it looked like it was one of those decisions that could have gone either way.
From one angle it looked like it was just outside the box, from another angle it looked like it was either on the line or just inside the box. It certainly looked to me like Kygriakos got the ball and not the leg of Odenwingie, but it was a rather clumsy challenge in a very dangerous place on the pitch, which more often than that would result in a penalty being given. All players know this but they still make rash challenges in places they know they shouldn’t. Up stepped Chris Brunt who clinically dispatched the penalty to make it 1-1.
From that moment the game once again had a draw written all over it, but there was one more twist in the tale when Reina bought down a wba player in the box and a second penalty was given to Hodgson’s team. Again this could have gone either way, some are given, and some are not, but unfortunately for us this one was given and Chris Brunt hit home a second penalty giving West Brom the lead in the match, and ultimately the victory, which must have been very sweet for Mr Hodgson.
In the end we didn’t try hard enough to go out and put the game to bed after we had taken the lead, and that is the main reason why we didn’t win the game. The two penalties awarded to West Brom didn’t help out cause, but we had enough decent players out there to give West Brom more of a game than we did.
Let’s hope we try and nip these silly challenges in the bud as these are things that can turn games in the opposition’s favour, which is exactly what happened here I am afraid.