Rating Liverpool's New Signings Against West Brom
Liverpool got their 2012-13 Premier League campaign off to a dismal start with a 3-0 thrashing at the Hawthorns.
Despite dominating much of the first half, the Reds found themselves 1-0 down through a Zoltan Gera wonder-strike.
Things didn't get much better in the second half, and their woes were compounded when Daniel Agger was adjudged to have brought down Shane Long inside the box. The instance was deemed a denial of a goal-scoring opportunity and referee Phil Dowd promptly gave the Dane his marching orders.
The subsequent penalty was saved by Pepe Reina, but moments later Marten Skrtel was caught napping and conceded Liverpool's second penalty of the day.
This time Peter Odemwingie stepped up and made no mistake, clinically stroking his shot low to the goalkeeper's right and into the side netting.
With 10 men and hope of a comeback fading, Liverpool conceded a third when on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku popped up in the box and headed home to secure all three points.
Overall, it was a very disappointing day at the office for the Reds, but with a new manager and fresh players, the reconstruction of the club was always going to be a work in progress.
With that being said, let's have a look at how debutantes Joe Allen and Fabio Borini fared on opening day.
Joe Allen: B+
It was by no means a barnstorming performance from the ex-Swansea man, but there were some promising signs of what the midfielder possesses in his locker.
The Welshman's immaculate passing range paired with his composure and willingness to scrap for possession will make him a valuable asset to the Reds this season.
After Liverpool went down to 10 men, Allen continued to fight and was a constant threat throughout the 90 minutes (which is more than I can say for a few of his colleagues).
If given time to develop, the partnership of Allen, Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva (playing a slightly more subdued role) should be a thorn in many Premier League sides.
Fabio Borini: D+
Despite scoring against Gomel in Liverpool's Europa League qualifier, it was boring Borini against West Brom on opening day.
The Italian looked out of sorts and all too often gave up possession with little or no pressure on the ball.
He was a peripheral figure throughout the match and spent a majority of the 90 minutes chasing lost causes.
To his credit, there wasn't much to feed off of after the dismissal of Agger.
He did however, show glimpses of quality, including a late-second-half cross to Luis Suarez, who spurned a glorious opportunity.
In the coming weeks, with more experience and time to adapt to the pace of the Premier League, we should see Borini start to come into his own.
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