Liverpool 1-0 Reading Match Report
Back to league business this weekend after the international break, as Liverpool entertain Reading at Anfield, still looking for their first home league win of the season. A win is vital for Liverpool, as they look to climb the league table after a difficult start to the season. Reading has also struggled since returning to the Premiership this season so this is a big game for both teams.
Liverpool suffered a couple of injuries to players during the international break, Fabio Borini suffering the most serious injury suffering a fractured foot which could keep him out of action for a few months, while Pepe Reina picked up an injury warming up before Spain’s match with France midweek, so Brad Jones started in goal for Liverpool. Andre Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger and Johnson lined up in defence, with Sahin, Joe Allen and Gerrard in the midfield and Suso and Sterling the wide players supporting Suarez up front.
Liverpool was quick to stamp their authority in the early stages of the match as they bossed possession. Nuri Sahin had a dipping effort in Liverpool’s first real effort, followed by an effort by Sterling, but goalkeeper Alex McCarthy wasn’t overly troubled by either effort.
Jones, a spectator for most of the first half, collected a cross and bowled quickly into midfield, where Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard seized possession before dispatching Sterling down the left. The 17-year-old might have had too much time to ponder, for his decision to stall and try to beat a man led only to a goal kick.
Moments later Suarez created a yard of space before conjuring a chipped effort just over the bar.
Sterling then set-up the onrushing Sahin but his effort went high over the bar and Liverpool must have been wondering if it was going to be another one of those days.
Reading were forced into a change midway through the half, Jem Karacan coming off worse from a 50:50 with Gerrard and having to be replaced by Gareth McCleary. It made little difference to the McAsway of the contest, and soon dominance was rewarded.
There were 29 minutes on the clock when Suarez poked his toe at the ball to direct it through the Reading defence ready for Sterling to take a touch and guide right-footed beyond McCarthy into the bottom corner of the Anfield Road net.
Suarez almost made it 2-0 soon after, when his 30 yard rocket narrowly missed the target. There was a moment of levity on 38 minutes when referee Roger East awarded Suarez a free-kick on the edge of the area, and more than 40,000 home fans stood in unison for a sarcastic round of applause.
Liverpool was well on top and the chances kept coming, Johnson stung the palms of McCarthy’s hands with the next effort.
The half ended with Suarez hobbling off the field after receiving another thumping challenge from a Reading defender without protection from the referee.
Suarez was the last player to enter the field as he tried to recover from his late first half knock, but it wasn’t long before he was causing havoc as he danced past Gorkks before being denied by McCarthy.
At the other end there was a first chance for the visitors as McCleary ghosted in behind Andre Wisdom only to be denied by the feet of Jones, whose concentration was superb.
The chance was a warning to the home side that their lead was precarious and Reading started to come into the game as Liverpool showed concern.
Jones had to make another good save, palming away a long range McAnuff strike as the visitors started to create a few chances.
Usual service then resumed, Sterling proving difficult to stop down his flank before crossing to Suarez, whose first-time shot flew into the stand.
Martin Skrtel flashed a header inches over after meeting a Gerrard corner at the near post, while substitute Jonjo Shelvey should have done better at the far when Suarez sent an inviting cross his way.
Johnson was then thwarted on the line as a second Liverpool goal was proving elusive. Suarez was wasteful after being teed-up by substitute Enrique, but the one goal proved to be enough as Liverpool recorded their first home win of the season to great relief for the Anfield faithful.
Relieved that Liverpool recorded their first home win of the season. But 1-0 or 5-0 it doesn’t matter, a win is a win. Sterling scored a great goal and this will be the first of many and will boost his confidence so much. Brad Jones made a couple of vital saves after being redundant for most of the day and his clean sheet was vital in giving Liverpool the win as they could only muster the one goal. Concerning the amount of chances Liverpool was wasteful of and this will need to improve against more difficult opponents. Suarez showed his good and bad side, he caused the Reading defence all sorts of problems but he was guilty of being wasteful of so many chances too. Glen Johnson had a very good game, making a couple of important headers in defence and was a big attacking threat going forward. The supporters showed great backing when they cheered when Suarez received a free-kick. But the most important thing was obviously the win and hopefully Liverpool can build on this victory.