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Liverpool 4, West Bromwich Albion 1: First Thoughts

A Suarez hat trick highlighted a dominating performance as Liverpool broke the Curse Of Steve Clarke and saw their former assistant coach out of Anfield with egg on his face.

Clive Brunskill

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Liverpool 4 Suarez 11', 17', 55', Sturridge 76'
West Brom 1 Morrison 66' (pen)

  • With Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard, and Lucas Leiva all in central midfield, Rodgers had Henderson and Gerrard trading off between partnering Lucas in the pivot and playing the #10, and for the most part it seemed to work. The interchange gave West Brom's defensive setup fits, as their midfielders seemed to have a hard time deciding who should be covering which midfielder. That confusion early on gave Luiz Suarez more room to work with, which he took full advantage of with his brace before the 20th minute.

  • Aly Cissokho has been the subject of ire since his underwhelming match against Newcastle last weekend, and drew some more today, but frankly he was fine. His chipped cross that assisted Suarez's second goal was perfectly placed on to the Uruguayan's run, and he had another later in the first half that was just a half-step behind a wide open Daniel Sturridge in front of goal. As he finds his form and gels more with the squad, we'll see more moments like those (and more accurately placed ones).

  • The three man midfield was, uh... hold on a moment, I need to fan myself just thinking about it. Having Henderson to support Gerrard defensively allowed Lucas to be much more imperious than we've seen most of this season, and oh man was it lovely to see. Gerrard was much more active going forward than we've seen in awhile as well, which was wonderful to have happening. When the captain is in good form along with the club's other weapons, this is a much, much more dangerous squad.

  • Luis Suarez, when on form and "up for it", as the English like to say, is one of the best players in the world, period. Give him an inch of space, and he'll make you look dumb as a post.

  • Yeah, that wasn't a penalty.

  • Suarez will get the headlines, but give Sturridge his due: he was fantastic today. He ripped off one lethal run after another, drawing the attention of West Brom's defense even in the face of Suarez's wonderful performance. He had several stunning shots go just a hair off, and his goal was brilliant. Twenty-plus yards out, with loads of power in to the near-side top corner. Absolute wonderful perfection. He also drew a number of fouls in dangerous areas, including the fouls that lead to both of West Brom's yellows.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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