written by Jamie McLaughlin website at www.anfieldnews.com
Liverpool travelled to the Hawthorns on the back of a great midweek win at Stoke in the Carling Cup, but Liverpool were hoping to get back to winning ways in the League after two draws in their last two league matches. West Brom were going into the match with some decent form too and on the back of a great win over their local rivals last weekend. Liverpool lost at the Hawthorns in this fixture last season soon after former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson had taken charge, so Liverpool were hoping for a better result this time around as they try to keep in touch of a top four place.
The big team news regarding Liverpool was the absence of Gerrard and Carragher who had injuries, but better news for the travelling support was the news that Suarez was starting after shaking off a knock from Wednesday night. Glen Johnson came back into the side at right back with Enrique coming back into the side at left back, Agger partnered Skrtel in the middle of defence. The midfield saw Downing start on the left with Henderson on the right and Lucas partner Charlie Adam in the middle. Andy Carroll got another start up front alongside the form man, Suarez.
Liverpool went on the offensive from the first whistle with Enrique splitting the home defence with a raking pass, but for once Suarez failed to control the ball when clean through. Moments later Suarez teed up Adam but his effort went well over.
Liverpool were asking all the questions and they took the lead in the 9th minute after Suarez was impeded in the box by Jerome Thomas, but the penalty was only given after referee Lee Mason noticed his assistant’s flag. The West Brom players protested the decision, but Charlie Adam kept his nerve to send Foster the wrong way from the spot and give the visitors a deserved lead.
Liverpool continued to press after taking the lead and were continuing to create chances and they thought they had won another penalty after a Carroll header struck the arm of a West Brom defender. Suarez seemed to be involved in everything and most of the chances were falling to the striker, but his luck in front of goal was deserting him, his best chance came when Skrtel teed up 6 yards out but his effort went high over the bar.
West Brom were not giving the Liverpool defence much trouble in the first half although Scharner saw his long-range effort well blocked by Skrtel. Liverpool scored a second on the stroke of half-time when a superb first time pass by Suarez sent Carroll clear, the big striker stabbed a low shot beyond the advancing Foster and into the net. The 2-0 score line was well deserved by the visitors.
West Brom almost pulled a goal back right at the start of the second half but Tchoyl saw his low shot just miss Reina’s far post. The home side were starting to have more possession as they tried to get back into the game but Liverpool were dangerous on the break and continued to create chances. Suarez had a few efforts on goal and he eventually saw an effort end up in the net only to be flagged offside.
Enrique saw a brilliant effort spectacularly saved by Foster as it looked like he would score his first goal for his new club. Andy Carroll had a stinging shot well saved by Foster as Carroll and Suarez showed glimpses of a blossoming partnership.
West Brom continued to press for a goal but they never really threatened Reina’s goal and Liverpool almost got the icing on the cake when Downing smashed a shot in injury time off Foster’s near post, but it was a very good performance from Liverpool and got them back to winning ways in the league.
I thought this could be a tricky fixture for Liverpool especially with Carragher and Gerrard absent. But I do believe we have strength in depth now this season and Kenny still managed to field a very strong team. I have to say I expected more from West Brom but you can only beat the team you face and I thought Liverpool totally dominated the match. Reina was virtually redundant as Liverpool dictated the play away from home. This time last year we feared every away game but credit to Kenny and his coaching staff he has Liverpool taking the game to his opponents away from home, especially with sticking two up front. Stonewall penalty kick and the ref should have gave it himself with no need of help from his assistant. Great to see Carroll score and this could be the making of him, with glimpses of an understanding with Suarez in this match. Impressed with Lucas again in the middle of the park complimenting Adam and Enrique is superb at left back, but Suarez is unbelievable and is so important to Liverpool right now. Overall it was a great professional performance from Liverpool away from home.
Man Of The Match – Suarez- just for a change, well its getting so obvious now isn’t it, another superb game, amazing how he failed to score.