Hodgson Gets Last Laugh Over Liverpool
Hodgson and Daglish shake hands before kick off...
A tough game for Liverpool from the onset after injuries meant a complete reshuffle of the defence early on. Skrtel put the Reds in front but the talented Odemwingie just back from injury was fit enough to cause several problems for Liverpool's back four and West Brom took all three points with two conversions from the penalty spot.
Hodgson isn't the kind of man to set out for revenge but if i was him even i would be smiling sweetly tonight. Perhaps we put elements to our own downfall but there is no denying the Baggies played well and Roy must have learnt something from his time managing at Anfield because his set up did the trick today.
An early Kuyt header saved from close range by Scott Carson set the tone for Liverpool who would have few chances and be unlucky when they arose. Luck wasn't on our side either when two injuries within the first twenty minutes meant Glen Johnson had to be replaced with Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Daniel Agger with Danny Wilson.
With Carragher already out of position at right back, this was a mish mash of a back four to say the least but the job was still more than doable.
The first goal of the match came in the second half for the away side. The Reds took full advantage of their corner with a good ball in from Raul Meireles. Skrtel from inside the box with a fantastic header put Liverpool in front and it's fair to say i don't think anyone saw that coming.
Of all the players on the pitch, no offence to Skrtel but you wouldn't have put money on him scoring. Whenever Skrtel gets a chance he always seems to fluff it but for a fairly difficult one he did well, so fair play Lurch!
It's alright having your defenders scoring goals but it's worrying when they are struggling to fulfill their actual job description; defend. For Kyrgiakos who also fancies the odd goal now and then he certainly appeared to be struggling.
He just wasn't on it today, a player with bags of experience but the first incident involving himself i feel he has no excuses for. It was simply a bad challenge and a penalty was in my opinion the correct decision.
West Brom equalised from the spot just after the hour mark. Chris Brunt got the Midlander's underway and their confidence began to build from here on in.
Joe Cole entered the field for Liverpool at 85minutes and replaced Dirk Kuyt. This raised the discussion again about Liverpool's width. Everybody appreciates Kuyt's efforts but he's not really a winger is he?
A forward moulded into a role in the Rafael Benitez era who is reliable and will get you a goal but he's not exactly the best crosser of the ball is he? Joe Cole is more of a natural in this area but even he seems to be having problems settling in.
At the moment for me, Fabio Aurelio is the best supply from the wing for the likes of Andy Carroll but one he's injured and two he's technically a full back so can't always be used in a more forward position. In the transfer window Liverpool desperately need a talented winger.
The second penalty decision again involved Odemwingie. Maybe I'm being a bit bias here but i thought it was a bit harsh. I can't seem to decide whether Reina's leg was an intentional movement but either way i think West Brom were given a helping hand. Some people would class it as a stone waller but i think there may have been a cause for an argument.
Brunt scored again from the spot to seal the deal for West Brom and the game ended 2-1. Usually a result like this and I'd be livid but in all honesty, does it really matter? A bit frustrating due to Spurs dropping points but realistically i think this 6th spot is where we're going to stay.
Don't get me wrong i want us to win every game but after our season I'm happy to know we're safe, never mind worrying about the Europa League. Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, finish the season within the top 7 and that's ok with me for now, in the knowledge that we now have good owners, a top class manager and also the resources to compete in the transfer window this summer.
Now bring on City!