On Saturday 26th October, Liverpool took on
West Brom at
Anfield. Having lost to them in the last thee games between the sides, they
came out determined to end that streak. They did so, and they did so in style.
They eventually came out 4-1 victors, but it could conceivably have been a much
bigger score line. They played some glorious attacking football at times, and
there were lots of encouraging signs to suggest that Liverpool,
finally, are returning to the top of their game.
They started the second half where they had left off, immediately blowing
away with their excellent off-the-ball movement and fast attacks. Sturridge’s
quick feet won Liverpool a free kick in a
promising position 10 minutes into the half. A glorious free kick from the
captain, Steven Gerrard, put the ball on a plate for Suarez to head home, thus
completing his hat-trick. His performance certainly warranted at least three
goals, and he could well have had more. The positive effect he has had on our
already solid attack since his return has been immeasurable. Whilst he was out
of action, some people seemed to forget just how good he was. Indeed, due to
his less than ideal conduct during the summer transfer window, some fans called
on the club to sell him! That now seems absolutely ludicrous. He does come with
some excess baggage, but he more than makes up for it with his sublime talent
on the football pitch.
are by no means a one man team, and Daniel Sturridge was eager to prove this.
Not to be outshone, he really came to life after Suarez’s third goal. He very
nearly made it 4 just minutes later; his powerful shot had Myhill totally
beaten, but it somehow stayed out after hitting the underside of the bar. With
both of our world class strikers into their stride, it looked set to become a
rout. However, the assistant referee apparently had other ideas! After Lucas
dispossessed Billy Jones in the box, the linesman inexplicably flagged for a
foul. The referee seemed just as befuddled by this as the rest of us, but
decided to bow tot the ‘superior’ judgement of his assistant and give the
penalty. It was bizarre- it simply wasn’t a foul, and had the game been closer
I would have been livid about it. Fortunately, the penalty (which was
subsequently converted by James Morrison) had no impact on the result, but it
was frustrating to be denied a clean sheet by such a ridiculous piece of
Liverpool were temporarily put out of their stride by the West Brom goal, and for a few nervous minutes it looked as if there might be a way back into the game for
Brom. However, any hopes of a West Brom
comeback were well and truly crushed on 77 minutes, when Daniel Sturridge
scored one of the best goals I have ever seen. He was just outside the box, and
saw the goalkeeper marginally off his line.
What he tried next is a mark of the confidence flowing through him at
the moment, and the fact that he managed to pull it off is a mark of his pure
class. He chipped Myhill, measuring the lob to perfection so it dropped over
the keeper and right into the top corner. Good as Suarez’s three goals were,
this one blew them all out of the water.
To have both of these quality strikers on our team gives us what is what is undoubtedly (unless you’re Alan Hansen) the best strike partnership in the Premier League. Coutinho is set to return next week, and the thought of those three together is tantalising. Coutinho- the playmaker- has the ability to feed great balls into the path of one of our two front men, who, in their current form, are almost guaranteed to finish it! If we can play like we did in this game for the rest of the season (and that is a huge if), there is no reason why we cannot compete for not just the top 4, but also the title. Admittedly West Brom are not the most prestigious of opponents, but the way Liverpool played yesterday was, without a shadow of a doubt, the performance of potential champions. Defences- beware.
Follow me on Twitter @JamesMartin013