report generating LIVERWEB - Liverpool West Bromwich Albion Match Report - 18 August 2012

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West Bromwich Albion 3 Liverpool 0

The Reds travelled for an opening day visit to West Brom hoping that yet another ex-Liverpool man wouldn't come out on top. The season before last Roy Hodgson got his own back on the Reds with an Albion win at this first attempt - he then followed it up with an Anfield win last season as well. This time it was the turn of Steve Clarke - assistant manager to King Kenny last season.

It's the Reds' worst opening day for seventy five years apparently and then ten man Reds could have lost by more to be honest although at the other end we do have to become more clinical yet.

It's clearly early days under Brendan Rodgers so alarm bells are premature for ringing in reality. We started the game not too badly but failed to take chances when they came.

A pre match injury to Jose Enrique meant Martin Kelly came in to defence at right back with Glen Johnson slipping in at left back with Agger and Skrtel in the middle. Steven Gerrard captained the side with Joe Allen making his debut for the Reds and Fabio Borini making his league debut for us.

The first half of the game was relatively even to be fair but for me we could easily have taken the lead through Suarez but he missed more than a chance or two.

As the half neared the end it looked like it was going to be nil nil for the half time team talk. West Brom though had other ideas and a couple of minutes before the break they swung a corner in which Skrtel headed out of the area but Gera was stood there, chested it down and then blasted in to the top corner with Reina beaten at full stretch. It was a classy finish but from a Reds and Reina can't be faulted given it's precision but if we're being picky - where was the man on the edge of the box? This isn't a new thing that annoys me either as we regularly have this issue.

It meant we went in at half time a goal behind of course but I wasn't overly concerned at the time as I thought we had enough quality to turn this one around. That at least was my belief at the time and when Agger was sent off but Reina saved the penalty I still had it for a few minutes.

The sending off then - once Phil Dowd gave the penalty I knew what was coming but Shane Long needs to take a look at himself because if he's going to go over with such a little shove there's going to be hundreds of penalties going on. Technically as well the shove took place just outside the box as well.

The huge delay clearly played havoc with Long - or he realised his embarrassment of going down because his penalty was just as lame and once Reina went the right way he was always going to save it. That was a huge let off or so I thought.

A few minutes later and Skrtel brought Long down after the forward nipped in ahead of Skrtel and the collision was accidental but the ref never gave it a second thought but to point to the spot. Odemwingie stepped up this time and despite another delay the striker managed to slot the ball home. Reina went the right way but this had far too much pace on it and better positioning to be saved.

This is when I knew it was game over really so when Lukaku headed home later it wasn't a huge surprise. They even had other chances to score more but thankfully never and so the only saving grace for us was that two other teams lost by five to save us sitting bottom.

You really need to stay positive after a game like this though - it's a long road to the top and a new manager needs time to really get his ideas across so if you're ready to throw the towel in on everything already take a look at yourself again and keep your belief.

Man of the Match - Glen Johnson - can't be easy switching late in the day to the other flank but he did well and supported everything really well including a decent link up with new boy Joe Allen.

Liverpool 25 Reina, 34 Kelly, 2 Johnson, 37 Skrtel, 5 Agger, 24 Allen, 21 Lucas (10 Cole 68 (9 Carroll 78)), 8 Gerrard, 19 Downing (23 Carragher 60), 7 Suarez, 29 Borini
Unused Subs 1 Jones, 26 Adam, 14 Henderson, 33 Shelvey
Bookings Johnson (41), Suarez (45), Lucas (56), Carroll (90)
Red Cards
Agger (58)
Shirt Worn Home-Red
Manager Brendan Rodgers

West Bromwich Albion
1 Foster, 2 Reid, 23 McAuley, 3 Olsson, 6 Ridgewell, 21 Mulumbu, 5 Yacob, 7 Morrison (11 Brunt 82), 22 Gera (32 Fortune 68), 9 Long (20 Lukaku 68), 24 Odemwingie
Unused Subs 13 Myhill, 18 Jara, 10 El Ghannassy, 25 Dawson
Goal(s) Gera (43), Odemwingie (pen 64), Lukaku (77)
Booking Fortune (75)
Shirt Worn Navy and White Stripes
Manager Steve Clarke

Referee Phil Dowd    Staffordshire
Att 26039
Venue The Hawthorns
Kick Off Saturday - 15:00:00
Date 2012-08-18 
HT/FT LL   (0-1)/0-3
Goal Sequence (Liverpool first) 0-1, 0-2, 0-3
Competition Premiership  

Match Stats

Liverpool   West Bromwich Albion
60% Possession 40%
2 Shots On Target 6
7 Shots Off Target 6
0 Blocked Shots 0
29 Clearances 10
3 Keeper Saves 2
3 Corners 7
22 Crosses 16
31% Cross Success 14%
15 Tackles 19
80% Tackles Won 79%
12 Fouls 11
4 Offsides 2
4 Yellow Cards 1
1 Red Cards 0
49% Territory 51%
523 Total Passes 349
89% Passing Success 81%
9 Interceptions 15
44% Duels Won 56%
33% Aerial Duels Won 67%

Player Stats

Steven Gerrard captained the side for the 250th time in the League

Joe Allen had the highest pass completion of the starting XI at 96%

Average Age of Starting Line-up - 25.9

Position at Start of match day - 6 / Opposition Position at Start of match day - 18

League Stats at end of match day

PWDLFAGDPtsPts to topPos
10 0103-30318

Match Programme

Match number 3 of the season

Domestic Match number 1 of the season

Premiership Match number 1 of the season

Premiership Match number 773 of all time

League Match number 4297 of all time (excludes war time and Lancashire League)

Top Flight League Match number 3869 of all time (includes original Division 1 and Premiership)

Match number 5312 of all time (excludes war time matches and Friendly/Testimonials)

Match number 138 against West Bromwich Albion

Away Match number 72 against West Bromwich Albion

League Match number 121 against West Bromwich Albion

League Away Match number 61 against West Bromwich Albion

Premiership Match number 13 against West Bromwich Albion

Premiership Away Match number 7 against West Bromwich Albion