Mistake Costs Liverpool The Win
Liverpool had to settle for a draw at The Hawthorns on Sunday as a scrappy game turned sour when Kolo Toure made a massive mistake setting up Anichebe just after the hour mark. Liverpool were not playing at their best but an early Daniel Sturridge strike looked as though it may be enough to see them through to 90 minutes. Pepe Mel's side though did not give up and a stroke of luck was all they needed to rein in Liverpool's lead.
As with a lot of Liverpool games this season I think you can successfully judge the likely outcome of a game after about 10-15 minutes of us playing. Yesterday it was clear that this was going to be one of Liverpool's off days, nothing was smooth, we were losing possession and we also don't perform as well away from home. The thing was though after such a brilliant win over Everton, everybody, including myself just assumed that this would be a win, perhaps some of this mentality filtered through to the players because at times it definitely looked as though the lads were not fearful enough of West Brom.
In the run up to the first goal West Brom had been causing trouble via Mulumbu and Brunt. Liverpool were dealing with the attacks but it wasn't until 24 minutes when the Reds truly began to create trouble of their own.
An assist from Luis Suarez saw Daniel Sturridge easily tap home the ball to put the Reds into the lead. Calls for offside from West Brom were unfounded and the number 15 immediately went to thank his Uruguayan team mate.
The goal for Liverpool took away some of the anxiousness being created from the slightly sloppy start. Fact is, nobody cares how we go about winning as long as we continue to do so and so at this stage in the game, things were looking good.
The goal boosted Liverpool's confidence and in the run up to half time the Reds were creating chances utilising both Coutinho and Sterling. Sterling in particular was perhaps being the most successful here but once again the end product was completely missing. He has bags and bags of potential but in a game where you wish somebody would just take control it's frustrating to watch him miss chances and mess up crosses. He did however still win man of the match and so that's perhaps some credit although in a game like that one it could have been awarded to anyone!
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first with West Brom forcing Liverpool's defence into action. The Baggies were creating and having the better of the chances but thankfully the Reds were controlling the threat with some good defending and top saves from Mignolet.
Another plus for West Brom was that Luis Suarez was kept relatively quiet, there was the odd occasion when he reached the danger zone but the home side escaped trouble and were still very much in the game in the latter periods of the second half.
At 65 minutes West Brom got that bit of luck they'd been hoping for. For Liverpool fans it was agonising to watch Kolo Toure pass the ball straight to Anichebe, he clearly wasn't going to miss and The Hawthorns began to boing as he levelled up the scoring.
I was reading in the paper this morning both Brendan and Kolo's quotes on the incident and in fairness I do really feel for Toure, it's evident that's he's as pissed off about it as we all are and whilst that doesn't bring us three points, it makes me feel a bit better. Brendan also interestingly pointed out that perhaps Mignolet should not have given the ball to Toure to start with and whilst I also agree with this I still don't feel Toure can escape the blame, it was just a very silly mistake.
In fairness, the Baggies perhaps deserved a goal for their efforts but it was horrible to watch us concede in that manner.
As the game wound down Liverpool created some half chances but nothing really to shout home about and it was clear that it was just another one of those days for Brendan Rodgers and his men.
That old "well at least you didn't lose" phrase seems to come out after games like this and yes, of course it would have been a lot worse to lose but to lose in that fashion is just extremely annoying. However, we still sit in 4th place with Chelsea to play City tonight and so it's not all bad!
Here are a few of the tweets I received from you lot on the game.
Next up for Liverpool is a massive match at Anfield against Arsenal!