|Image via www.guardian.com|
It was a very mixed game for Liverpool who began in a lively fashion and almost got themselves on the scoresheet when Roberto Firmino had to watch a cracking effort hit the post early on. It was a stunning save from Vito Mannone and proved Sunderland were up for a fight.
Benteke was rather quiet in the first half, suffering in my opinion from a lack of supply. For me, the only person really searching to come to the forward's assistance is Jordan Henderson and he had to leave the pitch during the second half. I don't have an injury update on the captain but I hope it's not too serious!
It was Jermain Defoe and ex Red Fabio Borini who went closest for Sam Allardyce's side within the game but Simon Mignolet was strong on both occasions. While Liverpool retained a lot of possession it never quite felt comfortable even when Benteke did find the winning goal.
Assisted somewhat unwittingly by Adam Lallana the Belgian timed his run well and finished neatly to score his second goal in two games. He's been getting a lot of stick lately and after missing a late chance one on one with the keeper it is easy to understand why people get frustrated but he definitely seems to be making the effort after having a heart to heart with manager Jurgen Klopp.
The early goal seemed to catch Sunderland off guard in the second half and Liverpool continued to apply the pressure with the likes of Coutinho and Jordon Ibe when entering play both having a pop at goal. In the final stages the home side raised some heartbeats after a very late corner saw the keeper come up for a piece of the action but thankfully Liverpool held their nerve.
Next up for the Reds is West Ham away on Saturday. Liverpool are now level on points with Manchester United and sitting 7th in the table.