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Liverpool 2, West Brom 1: First Thoughts

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Liverpool beat West Brom 2-1 in a largely dominant affair, despite a shaky final ten minutes.

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Liverpool 2 Mané 20’, Coutinho 34’ West Brom 1 McAuley 81’

  • PRE-MATCH: Wijnaldum once again starts on the bench. Who would have thought when the season began that we’d be anxious about seeing Can over Gini?
  • Liverpool have the majority of the ball in the first five minutes, keeping cautious possession in the middle of the pitch.
  • The Reds nearly play into Pulis’s hands as they almost become undone by a fast break from the West Brom players, after a spell of harmless possession.
  • Liverpool are beginning to click into gear, but now they have to find a way through Tony Pulis’s defense. There haven’t been many solid chances yet, but Liverpool are slowly chipping away. Hopefully they have better luck today than against a similar situation when they played Manchester United earlier in the week.
  • GOAL! Mané 20’ - Mané slides it past the goalkeeper after a fantastic run of play that started with a dummy from Philippe Coutinho that set Emre Can free and culminated in a perfectly weighted pass over the top from Roberto Firmino directly onto Sadio Mané’s right foot.
  • It’s been all Liverpool since the goal, but without another break through as yet. Feels like one might be coming. West Brom’s game plan is out the window now that they’ve conceded, and it’s up to the players to capitalize on that.
  • GOAL! Coutinho 34’ - LITERALLY AS I FINISH TYPING THE ABOVE. Mané intercepts a flubbed clearance and slides the ball to Coutinho, letting Phil does his Phil thing, maneuvering onto his right foot and sneaking the ball in the corner of the net at the near post.
  • HALFTIME: Liverpool did exactly what they needed to do and exactly what they failed to do against United on Monday. They scored early, limited West Brom’s opportunities on the break, and took advantage of some good possession. Doesn’t hurt to have Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana, and Mané getting straight nasty up front.
  • The second half begins with West Brom stuck fighting in their own half for five straight minutes. Liverpool are putting on a show in front of the Kop, and hopefully they can cap it with another goal.
  • Lovren nearly gets in on the action with a strong header off of Coutinho’s free kick. But for a huge save from Ben Foster, it would be 3-0.
  • Lots of desperate defending to deny Liverpool of excellent opportunities. This time it’s Olsson throwing himself in front of Can’s squared up shot. This is much less frustrating when they’re already winning 2-0.
  • Someone woke up West Brom. They’ve begun to create some trouble for Liverpool, though without a shot on target. Still, it would be nice to have another goal for some padding.
  • Goal McAuley 81’ - I am pretty over teams scoring against Liverpool with their only shot on target. West Brom take advantage of a corner kick to halve their deficit.
  • Just kidding about those missed chances being less frustrating. Liverpool just trying to hold on for the next 10 minutes as Ben Foster denies them again.
  • FULL TIME: Despite a nervy last ten minutes and another disappointingly easy capitulation on a set piece, Liverpool look good today. They’ve on a streak of nine games unbeaten, seven of them in the league. The leaky defense may cost them down the line, but right now let’s enjoy another win.

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.