Liverpool 1 Sunderland 1: Reaction and Review of the Opening Fixture

Neil HarperCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2011

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13:  Ahmed Elmohamady of Sunderland and Charlie Adam of Liverpool battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Sunderland at Anfield on August 13, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

So today was the first game of the premiership season and in the end, the hype wasn't really lived up to by the Reds. Liverpool drew 1-1 with Sunderland and although they completely dominated the 1st half they never finished Sunderland off, and inevitably paid the price.

From the get go, Liverpool looked impressive and when Luis Suarez went down in the box after only 4 minutes, I was almost giddy with excitement for Liverpool. When will I learn? Although Suarez's penalty was, well how can I put it, awful, why Charlie Adam didn't take it is beyond me, however it was early in the game and early in the season so I can let them off with a little rustiness, and then I was proven wrong again.

Suarez redeemed himself in the best possible way by scoring the first goal of the Premier League season, and got Liverpool of the a flier, and Liverpool seemed to continue that until half time, with Charlie Adam going close on two separate occasions and Andy Carroll having a goal disallowed. Overall, Carroll looked quite good, getting on to many header and working well with Suarez, which with a little work could be an amazing partnership over the season.

Then, the second half began and all the momentum that Liverpool had gained in the first half was losing pace. Sunderland were getting back into the game, and equalized shortly before the hour mark thanks to a very good volley by Seb Larrson, despite the fact that Jon Flanagan should have been marking him, and Liverpool never really recovered from it.

And I was close with my prediction too.

Flanagan did not have a good game at all today, on a side note, and I'm not sure why Martin Kelly didn't start, considering that he has a bit more premiership experience under his belt. I was also surprised at the inclusion of Jose Enrique seeing as he only signed yesterday afternoon, however, Enrique did play quite well on the left.

Even though it wasn't the result I was hoping for for the first game of the season, there were some positives to take away. Charlie Adam had a great game, the defense seemed solid, and the partnership of Carroll and Suarez looked impressive. Although we had our problems, going into an away game against Arsenal (who I didn't see play today), I am quietly confident about a first win of the season at the Emirates.

Anyway, here are my ratings for the match, I'll be going into detail about these in another article which I will publish soon.

Performance Ratings

Reina 7
Flanagan 4
Carragher 6
Agger 6
Enrique 6
Henderson 5
Lucas 6
Adam 7
Downing 5
Suarez 7
Meireles 5
Carroll 6

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