Liverpool ended a run of consecutive winless games with a tight 2-1 victory over West Bromwich on their home. A loss could’ve easily ended with Liverpool dropping close to the relegation zone at the end of this weekend.
Without the presence of Daniel Sturridge upfront yet again, Lambert was given the reins in a sole striking role with Balotelli dropped to the bench. Sterling and Lallana were on the wings and Gerrard, Henderson and Coutinho played as the three midfielders.
The first half saw very little action with Liverpool showing inconsistency and falling short of the dazzling displays that graced Anfield so regularly in the last season. But after Lallana’s wonderful piece of individual skill and the consequent goal, the match opened up and a glimpse of Liverpool’s last season was soon evident in the second half.
Despite of West Bromwich coming back to equalize with a 56th minute penalty – which might be termed as unfair by most, since it wasn’t conceded inside the box – Henderson made sure that the parity didn’t last long with an excellent finish after Sterling slid the ball to him despite being brought down by a West Bromwich player.
Liverpool’s game picked up an astonishing tempo after Lallana’s goal as last season’s energy and confidence slowly surged back into the team. Soon after, Balotelli was brought on to replace the misfiring Lambert whose effect on his first Anfield start went unnoticed.
Wonderful link-ups could be seen between Lallana and Coutinho, who’ve quite evidently formed a mutual understanding to each other’s game. Sterling wasn’t his usual sharp self but did provide the assist to Henderson’s winner. Henderson and Lallana were undoubtedly the best players on the field today.
Once Lucas was brought on to further galvanize the defence and consolidate the lead, Gerrard went further up to play in his former attacking midfield role and we saw a glimpse of old Stevie G back in his prime.
Liverpool were determined not to give away their lead easily this time and held on with resilience, thereby sealing a well-deserved and long awaited win. The Reds will be getting some reinforcements with possibly Sturridge and Emre Can both returning to the starting line-up after international break.