Liverpool produced an excellent performance to defeat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 on Saturday evening at Anfield.
Liverpool 2-1 West Brom
Premier League, Anfield
October 22, 2016
Mane 20′ (assist – Firmino)
Coutinho 35′ (assist – Mane)
McAuley 81′ (assist – Dawson)
Welcoming Tony Pulis’ side to Anfield on Saturday afternoon, the Reds looked to vanquish an opponent that held them to draws both home and away last season.
Jurgen Klopp named a formidable starting lineup, with Adam Lallana coming back for his first start since suffering a groin injury, with the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi left on the substitutes’ bench.
The Baggies went into the clash having taken 10 points from eight games in the Premier League, with Liverpool on an eight-game unbeaten.
But while West Brom presented a test of the Reds’ credentials, it ultimately proved an easy evening for Klopp’s side.
- Mane opens scoring after dominant start for the Reds
- Coutinho adds second shortly after with low drive from left
- Pulis makes all three substitutes within 20 minutes of second half
- McAuley grabs goal back following West Brom corner
- Liverpool hold on for victory, and ninth game unbeaten
Liverpool enjoyed the freedom of Anfield in the opening stages, dominating their lowly opposition much as they did against Manchester United on Monday night, but struggled to craft any genuine openings.
However, when they did, with Roberto Firmino sent into space on the left flank after great work from Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can, they made it count, with Sadio Mane volleying home at the far post.
After an excellent contribution to Liverpool’s first, Coutinho made it 2-0 less than 15 minutes later, cutting inside from the left and driving a low right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
This gave the Reds breathing room, and they maintained control as they played out the rest of the first half, with West Brom offering little in terms of a response.
The Reds carried momentum into the second half, with Pulis forced to make two tactical changes early on, bringing on Chris Brunt and James Morrison, with Firmino almost making it 3-0 shortly after.
Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster, in poor form before the interval, made a great save to deny Dejan Lovren from netting a header, with the Croatian nodding towards goal from a Coutinho free-kick.
Liverpool were flying, and with an exceptional through ball from James Milner setting Coutinho through on 65 minutes, the No. 10 teed up Can for a powerful drive that was only stopped by Jonas Olsson’s lunge.
The momentum shifted after that, and West Brom centre-back Gareth McAuley reduced the deficit with a powerful effort from close range following a Chris Brunt corner, but after a testing final stage, Liverpool were able to hold on for victory.
TIA Man of the Match: Philippe Coutinho
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Liverpool: Karius; Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner; Henderson, Lallana (Wijnaldum 79′), Can; Mane (Origi 90+1′), Coutinho (Lucas 88′), Firmino
Subs not used: Mignolet, Klavan, Moreno, Sturridge
West Brom: Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Nyom; Phillips (Morrison 51′), Yacob (Brunt 46′), Fletcher, McClean (Robson-Kanu 65′); Chadli; Rondon
Subs not used: Myhill, Galloway, Gardner, Leko
Next Match: Tottenham Hotspur (H) – League Cup – October 25