Liverpool v West Brom Player Ratings

That was nice. My nerves weren't frayed and the team played very well together even without Gerrard. Suarez is a beast, but I am still not sure about the partnership. There were glimpses of a partnership forming, but they may have been more coincidences. See Andy Carroll's rating for why I think this isn't working.

Here are the ratings as I saw them:

STARTERS:

Reina - 7 - Commanded his area well. Finally we got a clean sheet.

Johnson - 6 - Very quiet game by his standards. He didn't make too many runs forward, but more importantly, he didn't get beat. I'll take that any day of the week.

Skrtel - 7 - Fantastic back there. He was in complete control of the West Brom attack.

Agger - 7 - See Skrtel.

Enrique - 7 - He got forward well, but didn't partner as much with Downing. I think that was more Downing's fault. Did fairly well in defense, although there were a few miscues. The final ball in the attacking third wasn't as good as usual. A little below the standard he has set for his play, but still solid overall.

Downing - 5 - Really struggled to get involved. He had a few moments (like another f-ing shot off the woodwork), but over all it was a fairly quiet game for him. Perhaps this is a bit of a dip in form.

Adam - 6 - I'll give him a 6 because he at least made the penalty. He drifted in and out of the game. Sometimes he showed up and was key in some great moves, other times he was anonymous. Overall though an average game.

Lucas - 7 - Bossed the center of the pitch. He really didn't seem to do that much, but when he was needed he was there to make the challenge.

Henderson - 6 - A better showing from him. He definitely got himself involved and provided decent width out on the right. So much so that Johnson rarely needed to get forward.

Suarez - 9 - He was again at the heart of everything Liverpool did well. He earned the penalty (and yes it was a penalty) and created nearly every real chance. He is just so good.

Carroll - 6 - He got a goal, although he nearly blew it with a poor first touch. There were signs of a partnership forming, but ultimately I think it is false hope. This was a bit of a let down for me after his good performance against Stoke. He did have some nice flicks and control, but overall the same level of hustle as the Stoke game just wasn't there. I think I have figured out what it is though. Carroll is very very reactionary. He doesn't have the same vision or forethought to create that most good strikers do. He just reacts to what ever is in front of him rather than anticipating and tries to smash it like the caveman that he is. Perhaps I'll write a longer piece on that once we see how his next few performances go.

SUBS:

Bellamy - N/A - Not enough time.

THOUGHTS:

Oh my how the West Brom players are whining about the penalty. IT WAS A PENALTY! I'll admit initially I didn't expect to get it, but it was rightfully given. Jerome Thomas was simply beaten, didn't even realize he was beaten and then rammed into Suarez with the ball 2-3 yards behind him. In addition, he didn't even turn to look for the ball until after he made contact. How can someone possibly justify to me that he was playing the ball when he clearly had no idea he was beaten? He looked like a driver who is texting, looks up and goes, "oh shit!" but it is too late by then. It is a lot like pass interference in the NFL; in order to be playing the ball, you have to at least look for it. Suarez didn't even ask for the penalty, he tried to get up and keep playing. No one on West Bromwich would have bitched if it was outside the box so shut your whiny pie hole Paul Scharner. That's all I have to say about that.

Overall a great performance to get us over the hump during a busy week. I'll take it.

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