Stats show there was little to separate the sides, with 11 shots on goal (four on target) for the hosts versus 16 for WBA (three on target). The fouls were evenly poised at eight apiece, with seven corner kicks for Liverpool to WBA's six, an offside apiece and possession of 51% for the hosts. The opposing keepers had three saves each.
Roy Hodgson's team lined up in a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 as follows:
Johnson Carragher Skrtel Agger
Kuyt Jovanovic (Maxi)
- Pepe Reina is priceless!
- A clean sheet.
- The goal involving Reina, Torres, Kuyt, Torres was exquisite and pleasing one-touch football.
- I sincerely disagree with them that think most of Lucas's passes go backwards or sideways.
- Poulsen saw a lot of the ball and he can pass well, especially long passes. His overall play is tenacious and tidy too.
- Maxi is very useful when a team needs to hold the ball. Clearly one of our underrated players. His introduction for Jova helped us keep the ball, a major weakness in the first half.
- Torres's 50th was sublime and very welcome for his form. It can only get better. His workrate was commendable.
- The Captain is back! His overall distribution is a work in progress but he showed leadership on the day.
- Jovanovic's industry and pace is what fans love in a team. He's pure commitment like Kuyt.
- Our defending of corners has noticeably improved.
- Carragher might be on his last legs now but his interceptions are still as vital for us as ever. A colossus like Hyypia and an example to the upcoming players.
- We played too narrow, more so in the first half, and kept trying to pass through the middle instead of utilizing the flanks more.
- There could be merit to the school of thought that our midfielders, Lucas, Poulsen, Kuyt and Jova are similar, which contributes to our lack of guile and end product.
- [Follow up to point two above] Lack of guile and end product.
- Skrtel's antics could have made WBA win a penalty. We might have benefited from lax refereeing in regards to this.
- Torres didn't seem to play as a classic number nine, and spent considerable time on the wing. Only after the first goal, outside the WBA box, did he begin to do this, notably from Gerrard's pass that almost beat Carson.
- West Brom had too much space and time on the ball, leading to plenty of worrisome moments. We didn't seem able to close them down quickly.
- [Related to point six] We lacked attacking of the ball and were almost always beaten to second balls.
- There is need for a dedicated and steady left back to free Agger back as a centre forward.
- Before Maxi's introduction in the second half, there was very little ball retention.
- We played too deep and there were very few bodies piling forward. This might have contributed to point six above.
I will give a shout to West Bromwich Albion's style of play, which is very easy on the eye. They are a delight for the purist and it is good to see Roberto di Matteo has clearly given them defensive steel. They still entertain like in Mowbray's time but are not as tactically naive going forward. Peter Odemwingie looks a very good buy for them.