Albion Smash And Grab Stuns Reds
Liverpool were left stunned by West Brom after dominating most of the game and missing numerous chances. Liverpool even had a Steven Gerrard penalty brilliantly saved by Foster before goals from McAuley and Lukaku gave the visitors the 3 points.
Brendan Rodgers made only one change to his team that faced Manchester City last weekend, with Shelvey replacing the injured Daniel Sturridge. Lucas made his 200th appearance for Liverpool and Glen Johnson made his 100th league appearance for Liverpool. The team read Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Enrique, Henderson, Gerrard, Lucas, Downing, Shelvey and Suarez.
Shelvey thought he had given Liverpool an early lead in the 9th minute but it was correctly chalked off for offside. Suarez snatched at a couple of opportunities that came his way and Agger missed two good headed chances as Liverpool dominated possession.
Gerrard fizzed a shot just wide and Steven Reid miskicked under his own bar as Liverpool looked for the opener.
The second half followed the same theme with Liverpool on the front foot. Downing and Johnson combined resulting in Henderson back heeling towards goal but Foster was alert to parry away the danger.
Borini and Sterling were introduced by Rodgers for Shelvey and Henderson as he looked for a change of fortune. Borini went close with a dipping volley but Foster was equal to it. Foster made another good save from a Gerrard blockbuster and got a slice of luck as Borini put the rebound into the side-netting. New signing Coutinho was given his first appearance for Liverpool with 12 minutes to go for Downing.
Then Liverpool were awarded a penalty when Suarez went down under pressure from Olsson, but Gerrard’s spot-kick was superbly saved by Foster.
The miss seemed to knock the stuffing out of Liverpool and the visitors seized their chance when McAuley headed past Reina from a corner kick, Lukaku rapped up the points late on after a surging run.
I like the way that Rodgers is trying to keep a settled team and only making changes when he is forced to, unfortunately he was forced to replace Sturridge with Shelvey this time, and Liverpool’s new signing was sorely missed. A very disappointing result for Liverpool losing to a West Brom side that has been struggling. Like so many games this season when Liverpool don’t score an early goal they struggle. Once again Liverpool found it difficult to break a team down with all their possession and they must become more clinical with their finishing if they are to become a top side. The penalty was soft but Suarez didn’t dive he was bundled from behind, but when Gerrard misses a penalty you know it’s not going to be your night. But Liverpool defended poorly at both goals and Agger in particular should have defended better.