West Brom 1-2 Liverpool Match Report
Liverpool travelled to the Hawthorns for a very tricky tie as they try to defend the trophy they won last season. Liverpool would be looking for a bit of revenge after being humbled 3-0 on the opening day of the season by the hosts. West Brom have made a good start to the season, whereas Liverpool are still looking for their first league win after losing at home to Manchester United on Sunday.
Brendan Rodgers made 11 changes to the team that lost to Manchester United, as his main priority is the league. But his changes made way for many of Liverpool’s youngsters to receive an opportunity to impress. Jamie Carragher and Stewart Downing gave experience to a very youthful side which included Wisdom, Coates and Robinson alongside Carragher in defence in front of Brad Jones who replaced Reina. Sahin partnered Henderson in the middle of midfield with Assaidi on the left and Downing down the right flank, Pacheco supporting Yesil upfront.
Liverpool were stunned in the first couple of minutes when Liam Ridgewell floated a pass into the heart of the Reds’ penalty area and Jones rushed out to intercept; however, the ‘keeper spilled the ball into the feet of Tamas, who fired into the empty net behind.
Moments later Romelu Lukaku went close to doubling their advantage. The Belgian darted past Jamie Carragher but the veteran Liverpool defender made amends for his momentary lapse in concentration by hurling himself in front of the striker’s attempted finish.
Lukaku was causing Liverpool’s defence all sorts of problems as the visitors tried to stay in the game and in 7 minutes he cut the ball back to Rosenberg , his low powerful effort was well saved by Jones.
Assaidi made Liverpool’s first real chance when he darted down the left flank before crossing towards Foster’s near post but the arriving Yesil just failed to connect.
The attack seemed to galvanise the visitors as they started to come into the game. The away fans, packed into the stand behind Jones’s goal, played their part as they chanted ‘One Brendan Rodgers’ in a passionate show of support for the manager and, within a minute, Sahin had fired past Foster to level proceedings.
Stewart Downing found Andre Wisdom out on the right wing and the young full-back showed composure when he rolled the ball to Sahin, who took a touch before smashing home from 30 yards. Foster should have dealt with the effort but the Reds were not complaining.
A tempestuous minute of play, just prior to the interval, saw Wisdom flick a powerful free-kick yards wide of his own goal before Jack Robinson hooked the ball to safety and the Reds broke. Assaidi fed Yesil, who was visibly caught as he attempted to break free of the West Brom defence but the young striker remained on his feet allowing Jonas Olsson to dispossess him.
Liverpool started the second half brightly and were looking a threat going forward. The Reds started brightly after the interval. First Daniel Pacheco and Yesil exchanged passes on the edge of the West Brom box but Yassine El Ghanassy poked the ball clear as the Spaniard shaped to shoot.
Then Assaidi crossed deep towards the back post, Billy Jones ducked out of the cross but the loose ball caught Downing by surprise as he arrived at the far post to nod home.
Then Yesil spun and fired at Foster from range, the ball bobbled between the stopper’s legs before bouncing over the crossbar.
Sahin was influencing the play from the middle of midfield as Liverpool looked for a winner, West Brom’s attacks were rare as Liverpool’s youngsters continued to impress.
Pacheco went close with two efforts. First he twirled past a marker after bringing the ball down with a delicate touch before looping a shot over Foster and onto the crossbar. Then he fired low and hard at the ‘keeper, who managed to push his goal-bound effort wide.
Sahin whipped a tantalising pass in behind a back-tracking West Brom defence and Sebastian Coates barged his way to the front of the pack to divert the ball towards goal but Foster was there once more.
With 10 minutes of normal time remaining, 16-year-old Jerome Sinclair became the youngest-ever Liverpool player when he replaced Yesil and Suso came on in place of Pacheco.
And within seconds Suso unlocked the West Brom back four sliding a pass into Assaidi who squared play for Sahin to tap home.
Liverpool held out for the remaining minutes as West Brom tried to stay in the Cup. A tremendous win for Brendan Rodgers and his young side as they now look forward to a home tie against Rodgers’s old side Swansea in the next round.
11 changes from Sunday’s team and worries of a squad that lacks depth, after this performance against West Brom many people will take on a different view of Brendan Rodgers’ squad. After falling behind so early many teams with so many youngsters could have crumbled, but this Liverpool team showed great character to respond in the way they did and fully deserved the victory. Jamie Carragher martialled the younger players brilliantly from the back, who played some very good stuff, with great passing moves with a high tempo on winning the ball back. Sahin was instrumental in midfield and capped of a great performance with his two goals. Yesil looked very sharp up front with Pacheco supporting him and Assaidi was a box of tricks as he looked to run at defenders whenever he received the ball. Every player was superb in a terrific team performance that must give everyone connected with Liverpool so much encouragement in this difficult start to the season.