Celebrations for Lucas's newborn baby boy...
"STEVE BRUCE! You've got a big fat head! You've got a big fat head!"... Oh sorry, that's right, i have a match report to type up.
Bruce's Sunderland fell to a 2-0 defeat yesterday at the hand of Dalglish's Liverpool. A progressive performance which got better as the 90minutes went on saw Kuyt, Suarez and Spearing conspire to find the Reds those 3 points.
With Sunderland's Gyan having an intense rivalry with Suarez after the World Cup saga, we knew from the start the reaction our Uruguayan would get on the ball. Starting up front with our number 7 was none other than Andy Carroll, back in his more familiar number 9 jersey this was the Geordie's first Premier League start.
In midfield Dalglish had once again opted for youngster Jay Spearing with Lucas alongside him. Meireles and Kuyt made up the rest of the midfield line up with Agger, Skrtel, Carragher, Johnson and Reina making up the defence.
Sunderland had to make two substitutions before even half an hour was played after key men Muntari and Richardson both had to leave the field. Unfortunately for Liverpool, replacements in the likes of Malbranque and Cattermole meant the black cats were if anything in my opinion improving their starting line up. The substitutions didn't appear to have much of an effect on Sunderland's start to the game.
Jay Spearing who was easily the liveliest player on the pitch for Liverpool was at the centre of controversy when the linesman overruled the referee and awarded the Reds a penalty. Quite clearly, i think we can all agree, it definitely wasn't a penalty, at least a yard out of the box the challenge should have meant Liverpool were awarded a free kick and a free kick only.
Due to the fact that Spearing fell into the box perhaps it may have appeared "close" to the linesman who was a lot further away from the referee but hey ho, it happens and Liverpool once again deserve a bit of luck in the league.
Dirk Kuyt sporting a lovely black eye stepped up for the penalty. The Dutchman confidently converted to put Liverpool a goal ahead as half of the team ran off to celebrate. Baby in a cradle was the theme to welcome Lucas's newborn son Pedro into the world.
Once again, even the little things like celebrating as a unit make me feel a lot happier about Liverpool these days. When we truly seem like a team and to work so well together, well, it's half the battle isn't it?
In the run up to half time we saw Andy Carroll bringing the ball down and in to play time after time. Despite the fact that he was subbed at 70 minutes (let's not forget he's still coming back to match fitness) i think he played well. His link up with Suarez was looking good, they seem to have a good knowledge of when either one of them is in enough space so i have no qualms about that partnership shining in the near future.
Second half and although personally i didn't think Liverpool played that well in the first, it was important to note that Sunderland had barely bothered Pepe Reina. Possession wise perhaps they had the edge but in terms of doing something with it, for a side playing at home, they were poor.
The Reds picked up their act a bit in the second half as they looked to keep hold of their clean sheet and find a second goal.
Another moment to highlight for the referee and his officials came after Andy Carroll was fouled on a threatening run pushing to the box. A certain foul but as the ball splayed out to Raul Meireles on the wing the referee played advantage, Meireles's shot went over the bar but then to his surprise the referee blew his whistle and brought back play. Once again though, I'm not complaining, makes a change to have a ref making bad decisions that don't affect us haha.
Luis Suarez's free kick was tantalizingly close as it just brushed wide of the post. Shortly beforehand an Andy Carroll header was superbly blocked by Sunderland's man on the line, Carroll was unfortunate to not be celebrating his first Liverpool goal.
A powerful and and accurate shot by Jay Spearing only added to the attack from the Reds and the local lad was only denied by a great save from Sunderland keeper Mignolet.
It was the magic number 7 though who would find Liverpool's second goal. Out of nothing after taking on a tentative Lee Cattermole who was already on a yellow card, the Uruguayan spotted his chance and from an impossible angle sent the ball straight across goal, behind the Sunderland keeper until it hit the inside side netting. Absolute class.
The travelling fans went wild and it wasn't long before Depeche Mode began to ring out around The Stadium Of Light.
Even after the poor penalty decision, Sunderland never deserved to win here and topped off by a brilliant Suarez goal the Reds walked away with 3 points and an impressive performance away from home, something we've been searching for.
With West Bromwich Albion up next this is a great chance for Liverpool to add some pressure on Spurs.