The LFC Testament

Archive for August 2011

Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland

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Liverpool were unable to victor on the opening day of the Premier League season, as Sunderland held Kenny Dalglish’s side to a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon.
A Luis Suarez header on 13 minutes was cancelled out by a second-half volley from Sebastian Larsson, meaning that, despite being dominated for large periods of the match, Steve Bruce’s team headed home with a point.
Heading into the game, Dalglish opted to give four of his five summer signingstheir competitive debuts, with Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and, somewhat surprisingly, Jose Enrique being named in the starting line-up.
Just seven minutes into the match, Liverpool should have been in front. Charging down an attempted clearance from Kieran Richardson, Suarez advanced on the Sunderland goal. Having rounded Mignolet, the Uruguayan was clipped by the desperate lunge of the former Manchester United midfielder. In many circumstances, Richardson’s actions would have warranted a red card, but Phil Dowd settled for a yellow, much to the home crowd’s dismay. Suarez, fresh from his goalscoring antics at the Copa America, stepped up to take the penalty and, despite the confident run-up, failed to hit the target from twelve yards.
Missing a penalty can hinder the confidence levels of any player, but the no. 7 didn’t seem to be affected by such a mistake, making amends just six minutes later. Having been awarded a free kick on the right-hand side, Adam swung the ball into the visitors’ box. Having peeled off his marker, a glancing header from Suarez found the bottom corner at the near post. It was the first goal of the entire Premier League season.
Liverpool thought they’d doubled their lead on 20 minutes, but Andy Carroll was adjudged to have fouled Anton Ferdinand in the build-up to his disallowed strike, which had come about as a result of an excellent cross from Downing.
The hosts had a number of opportunies to strengthen their strangehold on the game (numerically speaking), with Charlie Adam forcing a smart save from Mignolet, whilst a lengthy run from Downing led to the England winger crashing a shot on to the woodwork.
Sunderland did threaten before the interval, with a teasing Larsson free kick evading absolutely everybody, but it was clear that Steve Bruce wasn’t impressed with his side’s performance.
After half time, the format of the match changed, with the Black Cats starting to retain the ball and Liverpool beginning to tire after a quick, hard first 45.
Youngster John Flanagan, an unexpected inclusion for many, was caught in possession by the impressive Larsson, whose centre gave Asamoah Gyan an easier chance than he made of it.
The visitors’ goal arrived as a result of poor man-for-man defending, with a deep ball finding an unmarked Larsson. Having peeled away from the inexperienced Flanagan, the former Birmingham City midfielder somehow managed to guide a precise volley past Jose Manuel Reina.
It was a frustrating moment for Dalglish’s side, who could have been out of sight on another day. The equaliser gave Sunderland the incentive to take control of the match.
Liverpool offered very little in the final half hour, although Carroll looked to change that with a neat turn and shot which deflected just wide.
A tiring Suarez was replaced by Raul Meireles with 15 minutes remaining, but a fresh pair of legs did little to influence the game, as the visiting defence held firm to ensure an unlikely point.

Written by The LFC Testament

August 13, 2011 at 17:44

Posted in Uncategorized