After the exertive encounter against arch-rival Manchester United last Monday, Liverpool walked into their home turf at Anfield to hand a two – one defeat to West Brom. It was a match Liverpool dominated for very long spell in the game. The Merseysiders had more possession; they hemmed their opponent back in their own half of the pitch, launched endless waves of attacking play, and had their strikers shown greater precision at shooting when opportunities came their way – Liverpool would have won the match with a wider goal margin.
The first goal of the match was scored by Sadio Mane, who whipped a Roberto Firmino’s cross from the left flank into the far corner of net.Phillipe Countinho made it two in the twentieth minute. The diminutive Brazillian received a pass inside the opponent’s penalty box, sold a dummy to two onrushing West Brom players leaving them for dead – he then cut the ball to the right side and fired a venomous shot into the net. West Brom scored a late goal in the second half through Gareth McCauley, who benefited from a poorly cleared ball from a corner kick that fell fortuitously in front of him. He controlled the ball amidst a knot of Liverpool defenders and shot the ball beyond the hands of Lorius Karius into Liverpool’s goal.
Liverpool came into the match making just a single change to the players that started against Manchester United. Daniel Sturridge was dropped to the bench while Adam Lallana came in to the team to operate in the central mid-field.Emre Can retained his position, leaving the former occupant of the position Georgino Wijnaldum on the bench.
As expected, West Brom took a cue from Manchester United and defended in numbers. Liverpool started with their passing game but were unable to penetrate West Brom ‘s defensive formation in the early exchanges. They Reds showed patience, as they harried their opponent from all areas in their own half of the pitch.
Phillipe Coutinho was a dominant figure in Liverpool’s mid-fielder; the Brazillian would receive a pass in tight spaces and dribble through a tangle of the opponent’s legs and then send a dangerous pass to his team mates.Firmino and Mane were inter-switching position in a manner that continously perplexed West Brom defenders.
In the first half, no clear cut opportunities came to the visitors due to the dominance of play of Liverpool players, and even when they showed sufficient pluck to attack; Liverpool’s back four dealt with their attacking threat without breaking much sweat.
The second half resumed, with Liverpool eager to score more goals. Some many chances came their way, but West Brom players put their bodies on the attacking line to prevent more goals.
Artur Boruc made a spectacular save from Dejan Lovren powerful header from a cross from the right flank. In the 65th minute Emre Can had a chance to increase to score, but his shoot was intercepted by Jonas Olssen. A clear opportunity came for Roberto Firmino to score in the 85th minute, but the Brazilian’s shot was pushed out of danger by Boruc. A similar opportunity came to second half substitute Wijnaldum but the Dutch man’s final shot was wide from the goal post.
In the closing minutes of the match, Liverpool once again conceded a goal from a set piece. Encouraged by the goal, West Brom players poured forward searching for an equalizer. They began floating long balls to Liverpool’s goal mouth, and engaging the home side in aerial duels but the Liverpool were able to contain the last minute attacking play of their opponent till the end of the match.
Liverpool ‘s victory against West Brom took them to second position on the league table, having the same points as Arsenal who top the table due to their superior goal difference; both teams though have played a match more than Manchester City whom they have displaced from the summit of the table. Liverpool’s masterful displays in recent matches give their teeming supporters sufficient grounds to dream of winning the title this term,and should they maintain a winning run from now till the busy December period : the twenty six years wait for the league trophy may well be close to an end.