Liverpool 1-0 West Brom; Reds Escape Baggies' Upset Bid
Fernando Torres netted a 65th minute winner against West Brom to give Liverpool its first victory of the Premier League season and his 50th goal at Anfield in all competitions. He could've added a second a few minutes later, and the Reds were also denied a late penalty after a Gonzalo Jara handball.
West Brom has shouts for a first-half penalty as Martin Skrtel pulled Jonas Olsson down during a corner kick, but referee Lee Probert was lenient with that all day.
West Brom then had to play the last five minutes with 10 men after James Morrison was sent off for a rash tackle on Torres.
It was an unconvincing win for Liverpool as the forward players looked flat footed and did not have much pace about them until the goal came.
Neither goal keeper was called upon much during the game as both teams wasted corner opportunities and much of the game was played in the middle of the pitch. Daniel Agger, Milan Jovanovic, Steven Gerrard and Torres were all recalled to the starting lineup, and the latter two linked up nicely in early minutes.
Torres forced a save, albeit an easy one, out of Scott Carson in the third minute after Gerrard put him in. Torres then won a corner off a similar play 10 minutes later.
Pepe Reina had just one save to make in the first half, a tame shot from Marc-Antoine Fortune, as the visitors had to settle with shots from distance for much of the game.
The Baggies' best moment came in the 64th minute when Agger blocked Jara's initial shot and Reina saved his second. He then launched the ball forward to Dirk Kuyt who volleyed the ball to Torres on the edge of box. The striker, who had not scored in 10 games for club or country, made no mistakes in striking the ball hard and into the bottom corner.
He almost had a second a few minutes later when a perfect cross from Gerrard found Torres away from Olsson, who did not deserve to be on the losing team, for the first time all game, but Carson pulled off a fantastic save.
Jara then slid to the ground and blocked another Torres shot with raised arms, but the Reds only got a corner.
It was another pedestrian performance from Liverpool, Gerrard in particular who sent an unusual number of passes astray. The Baggies were also quicker to the ball and intercepted many passes from the Liverpool midfielders.
Before the game, Roy Hodgson's newest signing, Raul Meireles from Porto, was debuted to the Anfield crowd before he watched the game with probably his soon-to-be team mate Paul Konchesky.
A goal for Torres will do his recovery a world of good, but with the Reds' next two League games coming away from home, the second at Old Trafford, Liverpool needs to step up its performances.
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