|Suarez nods home...|
First of all folks may i say how nice it is to be back blogging! If you didn't know i was in Majorca for 10 days hence the missing Valencia post, whilst i was out there i luckily managed to watch the Liverpool match in an Irish bar, it was bloody sweltering heat and i had to squint all the way through the match but I'm glad i got to watch it all instead of relying on highlights for a quick round up.
For the Reds first game of the season Dalglish shook things up a bit, in the starting eleven brand new signing Jose Enrique was given his chance, Dirk Kuyt had been dropped for Jordan Henderson. Downing started with Lucas and Adam in midfield. Reina in goal with Flanagan, Carragher and Agger in front of him and the strike force consisted of Carroll and Suarez.
It didn't take long at all for Liverpool to put a spark into the game. Referee Phil Dowd had his first major decision early on in the match after Suarez was brought down by Richardson in the box. I'm not Phil Dowd's biggest fan and he didn't help himself when only giving Richardson a yellow card, he was last man, it was a soddin' red!
To make things worse when Suarez stepped up 9 out of 10 people would have bet their house on him scoring his first goal of the campaign from the spot but what followed was pretty terrible. It's a good job we can look back on it now and laugh because the Uruguayan's skyward penalty was atrocious. Who knows what happened there.
Sunderland still had all eleven men on the pitch which they should have been very thankful for but the bad decision would not phase the Reds who quickly came back in attack, again with Luis Suarez.
Charlie Adam whipped in a lovely cross and a neat little header got Suarez off the mark for the season and put Liverpool in front.
For the whole of the first half Sunderland seemed to struggle with any real attempts. Liverpool however looked like they could put this game out of the away sides hands.
A stinging shot from Adam on a different day would have been in the back of the net, followed by a superb weaving run from Stewart Downing topped off with a strike that rattled the cross bar.
Liverpool's brilliant start would unfortunately fade in the second half and with Sunderland netting just before the hour mark, it didn't help the momentum for Dalglish's side. A cracking strike from Larsson showed superb skill and Pepe Reina could not really do anything to stop the effort.
Dalglish brought on Dirk Kuyt after the conceded goal for Henderson. Luis Suarez was also substituted with 15 minutes to go, some people saw this as a peculiar decision but we have to remember he hasn't had as much time in training or to recuperate after his Copa America win so it was probably a wise call by Dalglish. Meireles took his place.
The introduction of Kuyt and Meireles didn't really benefit Liverpool who had already lost their pace in the game anyway. Kuyt suffered a knock to the head and was running round in a bandage but he still portrayed that familiar never give up attitude that we all love.
It's not necessarily a disappointing result, more annoying than anything. Everyone would have liked to have got the season underway with a win but i think we can take some real positives from the game, especially from the performances of Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing.