The day finally came when we as Liverpool fans got to see Suarez and Carroll in the same starting line-up. Not really in a forward two, Carroll was up top and Suarez seemed to have a bit of a free role supporting him mainly playing towards the left along with Kuyt on the right in a 433, when attacking. In the second half Meireles joined in with the attacking support a lot more and was usually the most advanced midfielder, making the formation more of a 4231. Great to see us continue to have plenty of support in attack.
When I first saw the team I felt we may be a bit overrun in the midfield and to my eyes I was proved right in the first half. During the first half I thought our midfield let players go past them too easily, they needed to be better in the tackle and stop sticking their foot out and hoping to get the ball, commitment lads! I did see an improvement in this, players started getting stuck in more, let’s do this from the off next game. Another negative, we were a bit too sloppy in possession; Sunderland cut our passes out far too much, too many times players were guilty of waiting for the ball to come to them and not being aware of the opposition player closing down. The actual pass was sometimes too sloppy as well, more power was needed.
Liverpool had a good first few minutes of the game and could have scored twice but after this most of the possession belonged to Sunderland. Although they had most of the possession they never really looked like scoring, only one good cross that no one got on the end of. We were the ones looking most likely with our counter attacking play and from corners; we finally looked a big threat. Meireles, who although wasn’t at the races the first half did deliverer well from corners. In the box we had some big tall, strong players in our new number nine and Skrtel. These two worked together at most corner kicks, Carroll using Skrtel as his deploy. Some good movement was on show in the box from our corners, an area that has obviously been worked on greatly since the arrival of Carroll. This all nearly paid off in the second half when Carroll could have had his first Liverpool goal, his low directed header cleared off the line. Overall the first half Liverpool were very solid in defence and looked dangerous on the attack.
In the second half we managed to get forward a lot more, Meireles most notably came more into the game, playing further up the pitch with carroll, Suarez and Kuyt, still not having his best game but quite an improvement. Liverpool could have scored more than two and in my opinion were the better team. Suarez taught Mignolet, Sunderland’s keeper a lesson when with a belter of a shot beat him at his near post. An obscured angel which few would even try, but after a run along the bye line, our new hero, Luis Suarez did.
The partnership between Andy and Luis will take time and neither at the moment are fully match fit or have had time to settle in, what with Carroll’s injury and Luis constant in and out of the team with his exclusion from Europe. Even with these factors there were still very good signs for this partnership, Luis never stops running and works so hard for the team and Carroll, good luck to any defender in beating him in the air to knock down a ball to Suarez. The good thing about Carroll is that he has a lot more than just aerial threat to his game, cannot wait until he is match fit. At times the two players linked up well but sometimes the understanding of the other players movement was not quite there, once the two of them have got used to each other I can honestly see this being a partnership to fear. On one occasion Suarez passed the ball to Andy on the edge of the box and like always carried on running, found space for him self, if Carroll had immediately passed back to Suarez, I would have bet my house on him beating the keeper. With Suarez in the team our players need to be ready for him to do anything, little magician he is.
In summary a very solid away performance from Liverpool. The defence did their job well, Jamie looking good on the right and what a difference Daniel Agger makes to the team. A ball playing defender, starting attacks from the back. Would like to see another Agger brought into the club. Attacking wise, we hit them on the break and looked threatening, not too much in the way of ‘pass and move, it’s the Liverpool groove’ to marvel in but we got the 3 points, ok with the help of a controversial penalty but we looked much better than what some are giving us credit for.
By Christina Ashwell