Match Analysis: West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Liverpool

Zoltan Gera
© PA Photos
Sports Mole offers some analysis on West Brom's 3-0 win against Liverpool.

West Bromwich Albion got their Premier League campaign off to a flier at the Hawthorns this afternoon with an emphatic 3-0 win over a sorry Liverpool.

The Reds finished the game with 10 men after Daniel Agger was sent off for a foul on Shane Long, but was West Brom's numerical advantage the deciding factor?

Here, Sports Mole offers some analysis on the match.

Match stats:

West Bromwich Albion:

Shots: 15
On target: 10
Possession: 43%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 10

Liverpool:

Shots: 14
On target: 7
Possession: 57%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 11

Was the result fair?

Overall, yes. Liverpool were slightly hard done by to go in a goal down at the break, but they were abysmal in the second half. While the numerical advantage obviously helped West Brom, Brendan Rodgers's side had only their own indiscipline at the back to blame for that.

West Bromwich Albion's performance

Steve Clarke's side were excellent this afternoon. They had some difficulty keeping Luis Suarez at bay in the first half, but their back four were practically a brick wall throughout. Zoltan Gera was a rock in midfield and scored a wonderful goal to put the Baggies 1-0 to the good, while Shane Long was an ever-present threat. The Irish striker missed a penalty in the second half, but was more than deserving of the standing ovation he received when he was substituted late on.

Liverpool's performance

The Reds didn't get off to a bad start. They more than matched the home team for much of the first half, with Suarez unlucky not to get his name in the scoresheet. However, Liverpool capitulated after Gera found the net just before the break. They were scrappy at the back in the second period, with lapses in concentration from Agger and Martin Skrtel punished with penalty kicks. After Peter Odemwingie buried his spot kick for 2-0, Rodgers's men became apathetic and lost key battles all over the pitch.

Sport's Moles man of the match

It could have been handed to several West Brom players, but Liam Ridgewell edges it. The centre-half was the driving force behind the Baggies' defence, and it was his cross for substitute Romelu Lukaku that led to their third goal.

Biggest gaffe

Liverpool's calamitous defending in the second half. Both Skrtel and Agger were at fault for the penalties they conceded. Looks like Rodgers will have to work on instilling some discipline into his back four.

Referee's performance

Phil Dowd put in a generally good performance this afternoon. He got the penalty decision spot on, but was perhaps a little harsh to show Suarez a yellow card for dissent at the end of the first half.

What next?

West Bromwich Albion:

The Baggies have a tough away trip to Tottenham Hotspur to content with next, but if they can play the kind of grit and determination on show today, anything is possible.

Liverpool:

Liverpool have a lot to work on based on today's performance, not least tightening up at the back. They have a European tie against Hearts up next, before champions Manchester City pay a visit to Anfield. City will certainly punish the Reds if today's schoolboy errors reoccur.

Brendan Rodgers
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