Sunday, October 30, 2011

Match Report: West Brom 0 - 2 Liverpool

Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez showed more signs of forging a potent strike partnership as Liverpool strolled to victory over West Brom - and former Reds manager Roy Hodgson - at the Hawthorns.

A Charlie Adam penalty and Carroll's third goal of the campaign confirmed Liverpool's superiority as they climbed into fifth spot in the Barclays Premier League.

But it was the way that Carroll and Suarez gelled which would have given the most satisfaction to Reds boss Kenny Dalglish.

Carroll is starting to live up to his £35million price tag while Suarez gave his usual irresistible performance as the pair tormented the Baggies rearguard.

With Adam and Lucas Leiva running the show in the centre of the park and Daniel Agger impressive in defence, Liverpool had few problems in chalking up a third away league win of the campaign.

It ended the Baggies run of 11 points from the last six games but more accomplished sides will find it hard to deal with Carroll and Suarez in this form.

Liverpool, without the injured Steven Gerrard (ankle) and Jamie Carragher (calf), were the first to settle and a long ball from Jose Enrique was seized on by Suarez but his control let him down.

After eight minutes Adam put Liverpool ahead from the penalty spot.

Suarez was bundled into by Jerome Thomas and referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot after his assistant Gary Beswick flagged for a foul.

Albion's players were incensed by the decision but up stepped Adam to send Ben Foster the wrong way from the spot for his second goal of the campaign.

Liverpool had appeals for a second penalty rejected when Carroll's header from Suarez's cross struck the hand of Andy Reid.

Jonas Olsson became the first player to be yellow carded after 35 minutes for a reckless challenge on Carroll.

Suarez had a chance to increase Liverpool's lead after 35 minutes when Martin Skrtel squared a deep Adam corner back across the box. But the Uruguayan shot wide from eight yards out.

Then after 45 minutes Carroll made it 2-0. Lucas' fine pass picked out Suarez and he released Carroll who clipped wide of the advancing Foster for his fifth goal in 21 games for Liverpool.

Liverpool began the second half on the offensive and Henderson failed to make proper contact on his shot after Carroll found him in space.

Albion came close for the first time after 47 minutes when Somen Tchoyi was inches wide with his low cross shot.

But Liverpool were quickly back in command and Carroll should have done better when an Adam shot ballooned up into his path.

Suarez was proving hard to contain and he shot over from a narrow angle.

A long raking pass from Adam released Suarez who cut inside the box but he was eventually crowded out and Foster collected.

Albion were forced into a change with Scharner picking up a knee injury and replaced by James Morrison.

Jose Enrique galloped forward to force Foster to finger-tip his shot over the bar and then the keeper blocked a Carroll volley after more good play by Suarez.

Carroll found himself in acres of space on the edge of the box but shot wide when Jordan Henderson was unmarked.

With nine minutes left, Dalglish made his first substitution with Suarez making way for Craig Bellamy - his 250th Premier League appearance.

Olsson headed wide from a Chris Brunt corner but it was too little, too late from the Baggies and in injury time the woodwork denied Downing his first Liverpool goal.

Dalglish Salutes Suarez

Kenny Dalglish paid tribute to another star showing from Luis Suarez after watching the Uruguayan torment West Brom on Saturday.

Suarez played a part in both of Liverpool's goals as they left The Hawthorns with a 2-0 win.

He won the penalty from which Charlie Adam opened the scoring, before playing in Andy Carroll for the Reds' second.

Dalglish was quick to praise Suarez afterwards, with the Anfield boss admitting he is starting to sound like a broken record.

He said: "Luis is a fantastic footballer. For us, there were a lot of excellent performances out there.

"There was not one player that could be disappointed with their performance.

"But within the group, there will be people who excel a little bit more than others.

"For us, it seems to be Luis quite often. He and Andy haven't played together that often.

"I thought they played really well together. I'm sure everyone in our squad is appreciative of what Luis does but I'm sure he is delighted with them as well."

West Brom's players were incensed with the award of an eighth minute penalty, with Jerome Thomas adjudged to have felled Suarez, but Dalglish claims he did not have a clear view of the incident and cannot comment on it.

He said: "I'm going to sound like Arsene (Wenger). I never saw it from where I was standing and I haven't seen any replays.

"I'm not trying to be evasive or duck the question. There was also a big appeal from our lads for a handball (by Steven Reid) that we never got."

Dalglish Impressed By Liverpool's Attitude And Commitment

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has admitted he was encouraged by his side’s team spirit as they disposed of West Brom 2-0 to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.

Dalglish spent the summer remoulding the core of his side, making seven signings as he attempts to put together a team capable of challenging for qualification to the Champions League.

And after watching a promising performance against the Baggies which saw two of his signings on the scoresheet Dalglish believes his side are showing promising signs of improvement and becoming a real force to be reckoned with.

He said: “It’s their attitude and commitment towards the game, the way that they play for and with each other, that is very impressive for me.

“The harder we work the better we will be. I don’t think any of the lads should be short of confidence but then again we shouldn’t be arrogant either.”

Reds Waiting On Gerrard News

Kenny Dalglish claims Liverpool will not know how serious Steven Gerrard's ankle infection is until early next week.

The Reds skipper was forced to miss Saturday's 2-0 victory over West Brom after being laid low.

He has only recently returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines and Liverpool are hoping the problem will not keep their captain out for long.

They are, however, still in the dark at the moment and Dalglish admits there is a chance Gerrard could miss upcoming domestic fixtures as well as England's friendly date with Spain on 12th November.

He said: "Steven Gerrard has got an infection in his ankle. Steven was in our minds for the game. It just flared up.

"We are off Sunday, we will be back in Monday or Tuesday, so we can be more accurate next week than we can be just now.

"We are not going to mislead anyone. We will know better on Monday or Tuesday.

"Will he be fit for England? I haven't got a clue. It's nothing to do with any injuries before, it's an infection.

"I suppose it's like having an abscess on your mouth."

Pardew Issues Hands-Off Warning To Liverpool Over Coloccini

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has issued a hands-off warning to Liverpool after they were linked with a move for Fabricio Coloccini.

Coloccini has become an impressive member of the Magpies' team despite a far from convincing first season at the club, and was handed the captain's armband as a reward for his form.

The Argentine defender has 18 months remaining on his £80,000 per week contract at Newcastle, but the club has already opened negotiations on a new deal for the 29-year-old.

Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish have had plenty of contact with Newcastle in recent times, signing Andy Carroll from the club last January in a £35 million move, then returning for Jose Enrique in the summer - but Pardew remains calm about any speculated move for Coloccini.

“Liverpool like looking at our players, don’t they?” Pardew was quoted as saying by The Mirror.

“I don’t want to add any more to that, other than to say that he’s been outstanding for us as a captain and a player, and that we’re in negotiations with him on a new contract.”

Newcastle have enjoyed a fine start to the Premier League season, currently sit in fourth position and remain unbeaten in the league, a feat only matched by table-topping Manchester City.

Liverpool FC Handed Trip To Chelsea In Carling Cup

Liverpool have been handed a trip to Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.

The Reds' reward for their 2-1 win over Stoke City is a showdown at Stamford Bridge to be played during the week commencing November 28.

It's the fourth successive away tie for Kenny Dalglish's men in the competition having already won at Exeter City, Brighton and Stoke.

It will also mean two trips to Chelsea in quick succession as the clubs meet in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on November 20.

Liverpool, who won 1-0 on their previous visit to Stamford Bridge back in February, last faced Chelsea in the Carling Cup in a quarter-final in December 2007.

On that occasion the Londoners won 2-0.

In the other ties, Arsenal host Manchester City while Manchester United is at home to Crystal Palace and Blackburn Rovers travel to Cardiff City.

Gerrard: Hodgson Not To Blame

Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool's players were to blame for the short reign of Roy Hodgson at Anfield.

Liverpool faced their former manager at West Brom on Saturday evening, less than a year after Hodgson left the Reds. After a disastrous six-month spell that saw Liverpool lose at home to the likes of Blackpool and Northampton, Hodgson was replaced by Kenny Dalglish.

Since then the Reds have found new owners, who have backed Dalglish to the tune of £50 million during the summer transfer window. Liverpool are now back challenging for Champions League spots and playing an improved brand of football, something for which Dalglish has received much credit.

When Hodgson came up against Liverpool at the Hawthorns in April, West Brom won 2-1.

Liverpool skipper Gerrard admits things have improved immeasurably under their current boss, but he blames the players for Hodgson's failings. The likes of Fernando Torres and Joe Cole, in particular, failed to produce for Hodgson, and Gerrard admits attitudes were not right.

"It was a tricky time for Roy, it was a tricky time for everyone at the club, with the owners changing. Maybe he became Liverpool manager at the wrong time," Gerrard told ESPN. "When the job became vacant, there were an awful lot of supporters that wanted Kenny to get the job, so from day one there was extra pressure on Roy to deliver.

"He's a football man, he's experienced and he's a great guy. He's got the reputation in the game because he's been a successful manager. Just because it didn't work out here, doesn't mean he becomes a bad manager. He knows that at Liverpool you get judged on results. The results weren't good enough and unfortunately in football, managers get the blame.

"But I was one of the players who came out after he left and made sure people knew it wasn't just Roy Hodgson's fault. It was the players underperforming and not delivering. That was the sad part."

Liverpool has not lost any of their last six games in all competitions, and Gerrard credits both Dalglish and the club's owners for the turnaround. "Things have improved since Kenny's come in," Gerrard confirmed. "The new owners... there's happy faces from top to bottom of the club now and we move forward."

Dunn Sinks Baggies

Jack Dunn scored a last minute winner as Liverpool U18s came from behind to triumph 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

The talented midfielder netted a superb free-kick to give Mike Marsh's side a deserved victory.

Substitute David Moli was also on the mark as he grabbed the equalizer in the second half after the Baggies had opened the scoring against the run of play.

Marsh told "I am really pleased for the lads. They played ever so well and deserved the win.

"We created chance after chance and eventually got our reward with Jack's superb free-kick.

"I was also pleased with Moli's contribution when he came on and got a deserved goal."

Liverpool team: Tyrell Belford, Ryan McLaughlin, Jordan Lussey, Joe Rafferty, Matty Regan, Lewis Hatch (Peter Aylmer 80), Kristoffer Peterson, Jack Dunn, Sam Gainford (David Moli 60), Josh Sumner (Nathan Quirk 75), Yalany Baio.

Support For Liverpool FC Blossoming In Pakistan

Liverpool boast a massive global fanbase. Their pre-season tours to the likes of Thailand and Malaysia highlights the huge passion for the club that exists in the Far East.

However, less well known is the support they enjoy in Pakistan.

News that Manchester United has signed a sponsorship deal with a mobile network in Pakistan prompted Reds from the country to get in touch this week.

The popularity of Premier League football is rocketing in Pakistan as interest in cricket wanes on the back of match-fixing allegations.

Liverpool Pakistan Fan Club was launched last year and started off with around 15 members who met up weekly to watch matches.

Co-founders Nausherwan Effandi and Raheel Ahmed then decided to promote it on a larger scale and it has blossomed.

The Pak Reds Facebook site now boasts around 1,500 members and screenings of matches are held in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.

As well as getting together to watch Kenny Dalglish’s men in action, they have also started up their own team who play matches at an Anfield themed ground in Lahore.

Self-financed and self-managed, Pak Reds is the first supporters club of its kind in Pakistan.

Pak Reds president Effandi said: “We aim to bring Liverpool culture to Pakistan in the sense that not only do we want to promote Liverpool as a team, we hope that the supporters embody the true ethos of being a Liverpool fan.”

Pak Reds are hoping to secure backing from Anfield and soon be recognized as an official supporters club.