"Top, Top" Goals In A "Top, Top" Performance
Liverpool put on a simply sublime display at Anfield yesterday as they put four goals past West Brom. A consolation spot kick for the away side had them wondering whether they could have been in a different position if an early penalty decision had also gone their way. I think when looking back on the game though Steve Clarke would fail to deny Liverpool the win here, a hat trick from Suarez including some great goals and then an absolute stunner from Daniel Sturridge secured all three points for the Reds.
Liverpool once again decided to field a variation on their three at the back system and I must admit I wasn't expecting that for this game. People appear to have confused what I was saying on Twitter pre-match because I am a fan of three at the back, I really like it especially when Jose Enrique is available but I thought Rodgers may opt for four at the back for this one, however I'm glad he didn't!
Things got under way very quickly for Liverpool on Saturday as they managed to get themselves on the score sheet after just ten minutes and in superb fashion. Suarez after receiving the ball from Kolo Toure took on three Albion defenders, took it through the legs of one and then finished without even looking at the target. The Baggies were left dumbstruck whilst Suarez felt vindicated after appealing for a shirt pull in the box earlier on.
West Brom themselves also felt they had a case for a penalty prior to the Suarez goal when Skrtel was involved in a shirt pull himself. Things got worse for the Albion when they were denied again later in the match but this was after another stunning goal from yes you guessed it; Luis Suarez
A cross from Aly Cissokho made its way to Luis Suarez who had the confidence to "have a pop" at a header. Most players wouldn't even consider giving it a go from here because the feat looks impossible but nothing seems to phase Luis Suarez. From 17 yards out he smashed his perfectly placed header at more than 30mph into the back of the Albion net. It was literally gob smacking, fans in the crowd were left with mouths agape as the rest of the Liverpool team jumped to celebrate with their Uruguayan magician.
I'm not sure how West Brom were supposed to even attempt to deal with Luis Suarez on Saturday but what made things more difficult for Steve Clarke's side is that they weren't creating any chances either.
Shortly after the Suarez goal Jordan Henderson nearly saw an effort go in but his shot curled well but fell wide of the mark. I'm not sure if Alex Ferguson bothered to keep up to speed with our fixture whilst he was watching his shower of crap against Stoke but he may have felt like revoking some of his comments... unlikely!
Both Henderson and Steven Gerrard had a fantastic game on Saturday and they've shut any doubters up with performance and not hollow words.
After Henderson's effort West Brom managed to get a break and Anelka very nearly put himself through on goal his first touch was ok but he took it past the keeper that bit too far and allowed Martin Skrtel in to make a clearance. The resulting corner was then scrambled away by Mignolet and the Liverpool defence to ensure the Reds kept their clean sheet. In the midst of the scramble though West Brom were appealing heavily for a penalty after another incident involving Martin Skrtel. I do feel they had a case to be honest and whilst I agree with the argument that a game poised at 2-1 could have been very different for the visitors I seriously don't think the Baggies would have picked up any points on Saturday even in that position, Liverpool were just on fire.
In the second half Liverpool once again didn't waste much time getting into the swing of things. The Reds found themselves with a free kick on the left wing early on. A lovely cross in from Steven Gerrard was then met easily by a free Luis Suarez who converted another, less impressive header! The Reds were now 3-0 up and looked completely out of sight. Shortly after Suarez's completed hat trick our other star man Daniel Sturridge saw an effort smash out off the bar but he wouldn't be too disappointed come the end of the 90 minutes.
Just after the hour mark West Brom perhaps received some justice when the linesman awarded Steve Clarke's side a penalty. The referee didn't look as though he had any intentions of giving the spot kick but in the end he pointed to the spot and the Baggies had a chance to put one in the back of the net. James Morrison who entered the field of play just before half time successfully converted the penalty for his side.
The real magic of the game though came at 76 minutes. Luis Suarez indicated the confidence levels of our front two with his header in the first half but Daniel Sturridge futher instilled this with perhaps one of the best goals seen in a Liverpool shirt.
From outside the box Daniel Sturridge saw a chance that nobody else would, with the keeper not even off his line Sturridge decided to risk a chip. Timed, weighted and placed to perfection the ball majestically hung in the air for what seemed like forever and then cascaded into the back of the net behind a stunned Myhill.
The goals sent Anfield crazy, most people would have never seen anything like that and Liverpool were seriously looking immense. Daniel Sturridge of course followed his goal with the now famous dance of his, it would have been an absolute travesty if he didn't. A simply awesome goal.
And with that, Liverpool had sealed all three points.
The Reds now find themselves nicely placed in 2nd. Chelsea are to play City today and a draw for me would be ideal here, if things work out well in other results the Reds could find themselves heading into the Arsenal game with the prospect of going top of the league and having the control of it in their own hands!
This is both an exciting and scary prospect at the moment but I cannot wait until next weekend now!
As always I asked you to send in your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received, thank you to everybody that replied!
Just a final note too can I just say a huge, huge thank you to each and every one of you that voted for the blog in this year's football blog awards. The votes are now being counted and so we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed!
Whatever happens though I seriously appreciate your support! This blog and my chance to win awards would not exist if it wasn't for you lot so thank you! #YNWA