LIVERPOOL 2 – 1 WEST BROM

Liverpool are back to winning ways.

Reds fans around the world have become increasingly worried as Liverpool have played 7 games now and only gotten 10 points out of the potential 21 points. We have lost against West Ham, Aston Villa, Man City and we only managed a draw against Everton. I think it’s safe to say that most of us were expecting to start our season with better results than those we’ve seen.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that Liverpool have been plagued with injuries already though. Losing Daniel Sturridge was the low point of the season by far. He’s one of most regular goalscorers and without him, we’ve been lost. The rest of the squad just simply wasn’t “replacing” him – meaning they failed to score as many goals as he would have if he wasn’t injured. The others couldn’t do what he does. He does it best and we have missed him. I’m certain we could have won against Aston Villa, West Ham and maybe even Everton if Sturridge was in the side for those games. One player CAN make a lot of difference.

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There were reports that Sturridge could have recovered enough by now to have been a part of the squad for this game, but it seems he wasn’t at 100% fitness because he wasn’t even picked to be a substitute.

There were also reports leading up to this game that Mario Balotelli wasn’t living up to the expectation of the manager and people said he could be dropped altogether, completely left out of the squad. It wasn’t entirely true as he was chosen to be a substitute, but there may have been some truth to it because Brendan Rodgers chose Coutinho, Sterling and Lambert to be the main three attackers that would start the game, instead of using a fully fit Balotelli from the very first minute. If Mario doesn’t improve soon, there may be more games where he won’t be a part of the starting eleven line up. We have a need for GOALS and if he isn’t fulfilling that purpose, WHY pick him over someone else who probably will put the ball in the net?

Soccer - Pre-Season Friendly - Preston North End v Liverpool - Deepdale

Simon Mignolet seems to not be able to any wrong in the managers eyes, however (or perhaps Rodgers knows that it’s too late to use Reina and he doesn’t have any confidence in Brad Jones so is left with only one choice for the role of GK), he gets used for each and every game in most competitions. However, the fans know that he isn’t in the best of form and that it’s possible he may even be replaced if someone like Victor Valdes or Iker Casillas joins the club in the January transfer window, both having been linked with the club already. Will a bit of competition for the number 1 position be just what’s needed to bring the truly GREAT performances out of our goalkeeper?

Liverpool started well in this game, within the first quarter of an hour, Liverpool had three shots on target either blocked or saved.  It was a bit of a rough game at times, Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard would both receive yellow cards from the referee. However Liverpool dominated possession and wouldn’t allow West Brom to counter attack, attempting to take the ball away from them with each attacking piece of play. According to fans who actually went to Anfield to see the Reds at their own ground, “it felt like one of the games from last season”, we played that well and it really is refreshing and encouraging to hear that.

It would be almost half time before the first goal of the game would happen as Jordan Henderson would assist Adam Lallana who hit a left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner of the goal, to give us a 1-0 lead at the break. Lallana later spoke of his delight to start his scoring (from open play) record for the club. Lallana has also previously scored penalties in the Capital One Cup.

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The second half would begin with some debatable and controversial decisions by the match officials. There would be an opportunity for Liverpool to increase their lead as Lallana saw Coutinho in a dangerous position and fed him the ball, only for the linesman to raise his flag and call it offside. Shortly after this, the referee would award a penalty for what clearly should have a been a free kick – the foul by Lovren was OUTSIDE the penalty area.

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I hope you can see that inside the area I have marked with a circle, the defender (Lovren) challenges the attacker (Saido Berahino) just past the white line which marks the edge of the penalty area. IF a foul is to be called for this, it is a FREE KICK that should be given. Awful refereeing. Every reds fan in Anfield could tell from the stands that this should never have been a penalty and the referee has the advantage of being on the pitch with the players, he should have seen this for what it was. A FREE KICK.

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Once the ball had been put on the penalty spot, Saido Berahino would hit a right footed shot to the top corner of the goal and it would make the score level. Liverpool 1 – 1 West Brom. There was still 35 minutes left to play, so Liverpool’s only advantage was that there was plenty of time to cancel out their opponents gifted goal by scoring again in front of the home crowd.  Not that Liverpool needed much time to start their comeback.

It would be only five minutes later when Raheem Sterling assisted his teammate Jordan Henderson with a great ball and Hendo would hit a clean and powerful right footed shot to the bottom left hand side of the net, making it LIVERPOOL 2-1 WEST BROM. The tension around the stadium lifted as our Reds fans at Anfield felt a bit more at ease at having not to worry if the referee would steal two points away from them, since the draw did not look likely any more after the second goal. Liverpool would play half an hour more without any further incidents from the match officials and eventually made sure that the victory was theirs.

Henderson celebrates his goal with Steven Gerrard

Henderson celebrates his goal with Steven Gerrard

It look slike we’re now to starting to do what we should have been doing in other games this season – scoring goals and winning games, even while Daniel Sturridge is out. It makes the club feel less like a “one man team” and more like a FAMILY that gets the job done, by helping each other. Everybody pitches in and we do just fine.

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It will be two weeks more until Liverpool play again now, then we will face QPR at their own ground. This game will be the start of 4 fixtures in 9 days for Liverpool – we will also have played Real Madrid in the Champions League, Hull in the Premier League and eventually Swansea in the Capital One Cup by 28th October.

There’s going to be plenty of action until the end of October for the Reds fans. We’ll go through this all together and YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE.

[Written by] Stuart Drewery.

stu-1

I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.

I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.

I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.

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