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Liverpool 2, Sunderland 0: First Thoughts

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Injuries to Coutinho and possibly Firmino marred an otherwise adequate Liverpool performance that earned them three points.

Liverpool v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool 2 Origi 74’, Milner 90’ Sunderland 0

  • PRE-MATCH: First Lallana out, and now no Sturridge on the bench to pin our hopes on if the break through isn’t coming. Still, on paper this Liverpool side should be enough to get the better of Sunderland, despite their two wins in a row. If they have any sense, Sunderland will take a page from Southampton and Manchester United’s playbook and sit deep, forcing Liverpool to find a break through.
  • Firmino notches the first shot on goal for Liverpool after only five minutes. This seems a good sign considering how long it took to do the same thing last week. Since the attempt, it’s been all Liverpool attacking.
  • Sunderland get their first corner in the 15th minute. It’s initially lumped out of the way, but then played back into the box, forcing Karius into making a huge save to deny Steven Pienaar. Puts a harmless end to some decent Sunderland pressure.
  • Mané looks a little off the mark, making some poor decisions in the final third. We’re nearly 30 minutes into the first half. Every game, save Arsenal, that Liverpool has won this season has seen them score before the 30th minute, usually between the 14th and 24th minutes. They didn’t score against Burnley, United, or Southampton, and in the draw against Spurs, Milner hit his penalty in the 43rd minute, before they allowed Tottenham to equalize in the second half.
  • Welp. Philippe Coutinho, arguably Liverpool’s best player, gets taken off the pitch on a stretcher, with what looks to be an ankle or foot injury. Bad, bad news indeed. Divock Origi comes on in his place.
  • HALFTIME THOUGHT: Not great. They’re not behind, but seeing Coutinho go off on that stretcher for what could be a lengthy absence feels worse than a loss right now.
  • The team starts off strong, but they’re still finding it difficult to break down Sunderland’s strong back line.
  • Wijnaldum flashes a shot across the face of goal, and Milner misses the follow up - in case you were wondering what kind of weekend you’re going to have.
  • Klopp takes a moment to berate the crowd for their lackluster support in the stands, beckoning them to increase the noise level and help the team.
  • Liverpool work their way out of a tough situation following a set piece in the 67th minute. The good news is that this was definitely one of those situations where the back line could be counted on to fall apart in the past, but this time they make it out unscathed.
  • GOAL! Origi 74’ - After plenty of close calls, Liverpool finally score. Origi fashions himself a lovely shot that beats Pickford at the far corner. Phew. Now they have 15 minutes left get all three points.
  • GOAL! Milner 90’ - Mané gets tripped in the box and earns Liverpool a penalty, which Milner expertly converts for Liverpool’s second.
  • Little Ben Woodburn, donning the iconic no. 58 shirt, comes on at the 92nd minute for his Liverpool debut.
  • FINAL: Well, Liverpool won the game and the three points, but it’s not yet clear what they’ve lost.

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.