A Fan's View: Liverpool 0 Albion 1
By Site Editor
Updated Monday, 23rd April 2012
Boinger219 gives his verdict on an historic day at Anfield
The day started with nerves and excitement. I was for fulfilling a dream going to Anfield; I’ve always wanted to go so the excitement was there, but I still wanted to win and the nerves were justified with the record at Anfield being 10 goals for them with no reply the programme stated. Scary. But this was our best chance in how long?! I had belief but went for a 1-1 draw on DV’s league while CBB had gone for a sneaky 1-0 to the boys in blue and white.
We took in the atmosphere in the rammed pub and around the ground before kickoff - it was all very nice. Inside the ground wasn’t so great, but that’s a mid-table side for you! As we took our seats the Tannoy laughably declared any ‘racist, homophobic or offensive language’ inside the ground would result in a court date. Albion fans replied with “Suarez”.
The team was in: Olsson was back to our delight, he may just deal with Carroll was the general consensus among baggies, and with Fortune out we started with the hard-working Shane Long up front with Peter Odemwingie. The midfield read Dorrans, Brunt, Mulumbu and Thomas. Not bad we thought, while they started Carroll and Suarez up front with Downing on the bench and Henderson in the middle - I still don’t get why they paid so much for him.
We kicked off after ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’; it wasn’t as good as I expected. The nerves really kicked in at this point. They started brightly, getting and holding the ball well and attacking Billy Jones, who dealt with things well. It was clear Carroll was the target from long balls and he won them all, annoyingly, against Olsson and McAuley. A quiet Anfield – bar 1,800 Baggies fans – got a little louder when Maxi went down in the box. It was a tough call for the ref, but he made the most of little contact by Jones, accidental that’s for sure. The ref gave a goal kick, thought he had said pen for a minute and went mental. No yellow card though, so I do wonder what the ref saw. It’s either a pen or a dive isn’t it?
Suarez had a header loop over the bar early on as he was leaning back and couldn’t quite get contact he wanted. Liverpool had the bit between their teeth but Roy was aware of this and we had set up for counter, long balls to Long were always chased as he worked hard and his leap is fantastic. He was able to bring the midfielders into the game more and more and we started evening out play a little more.
They still showed they had something though. Kuyt ran and shot across goal with no one to tap home, as the travelling Baggies mimicked the home fans. Foster made good saves at his near post from Suarez who shot low.
Brunt had a top chance saved by Reina, I couldn’t see much as he blocked the ball but Long worked well to head back to Brunt and the possible Olympic 2012 player volleyed at Reina who stopped the shot low down to his right.
Ridgewell had a chance off a corner, a tame shot straight at Reina, who blocked the effort from a decent cross by Dorrans.
This didn’t stop Liverpool who had shots, but nothing too worrying. We showed our defensive metal and could only be happy at half time. The nerves hadn’t gone, they were getting worse by the minute but I was proud of the lads’ grit and determination.
After a half time reminder by the Liverpool Tannoy and a quick snack and drink, we began the second half. They seemed to be going even more direct than the first half with Skrtl and Agger hitting the ball long to Carroll who dominated McAuley in the air but, had no one to aim his headers at unlike Long.
They showed intent and purpose with attacks, looking for baggie blood, but our defence stood firm. Foster coming off his line denying long balls getting to strikers with last ditch dives at the ball, fantastic goal keeping.
They kept coming and hit the bar through Jordan Henderson which then hit Fosters back and fell to safety.
Suarez ran and cut inside shooting from a tough angle when a cross seemed a better idea, he missed by quite a distance. Carroll then had a flick towards goal go over the bar. All of these chances was making me believe we could make them rue these misses.
Kuyt hit the post to our delight, as he cut inside and curled a low shot pat Ben Foster but the post saved us and we cleared the danger, somehow.
We still showed we had something though with a lovely ball finding a great run from Shane Long who controlled and passed back to Odemwingie with the shot on, we couldn’t believe it! Neither could Prando. Why didn’t he shoot? It was on and the flag was down, he must have thought he was offside, I can’t think of any other explanation.
Then the ping pong scramble: Carroll was stopped by Foster, it fell to Suarez and was blocked, Spearing then beat Foster but not Brunt, who was also saved by Ridgewell with a goal line block during the game. Fantastic positioning by all.
Liverpool then decided to sing for all of two minutes on the 63rd minute and when we sang back at them they shut up; I was so surprised by their lack of noise.
We just had to take one chance and Mulumbu ran down the wing and somehow kept up with Glenn Johnson, who decided to try and shoulder barge him. He couldn’t and Mulumbu anticipated and cut out a pass by the England man and found Odemwingie. He took the ball ran and hit it, I then just saw people jump up, and celebrate, I saw the net ripple and honestly thought it was side-netting, but no the Baggies were going mental and it was in! Our first Premier League Anfield goal! The silenced Kop was shocked as Pete ran over to the away! This was a dream.
So, 15 minutes, just hold out. Andrews and Scharner came on for the fantastic Thomas – who tracked back and tackled very well, top class along with Brunt. Dorrans made way after a poor game; he just needed to keep things simple, pass simple, he went ‘Hollywood’ too often.
Still we had to defend and did valiantly; Olsson chucking his body on the line with Scharner, Andrews and Ridgewell passing well we kept the ball. Cox – when he was sent on – was a giving runner, give him credit for that. He had a shot when he should have taken it to the corner, but hit it, well high and wide.
Before that though a long effort from Andrews was just over the bar as the Baggies looked for a second to kill a wounded Liverpool side off. They looked more direct and still couldn’t find the net as Carroll’s headers were not found by on-running Reds.
Five minutes went up to mine and CBB’s confusion. We then looked long and down the line to Long who had the beating of a slow Skrtl who barged him off the ball with failure of a card. We kept doing this and a Long dive won a free kick which Liverpool broke off, Suarez fell over the ball as it went through to Foster who kept it on the floor and held it before the whistle went.
The cheers of Boing Boing, Hodgson’s too good for you, and Dalglish out ran loud in the away end as the players clapped us off while the Liverpool fans tried to show as little dignity as possible, we laughed and reminded them of the score.
It was interesting to hear a Liverpool fan say it was the best they have played all season and we didn’t have a sniff while he walked out the stadium, was also goo to hear CBB tell a Scouser where to go after she questioned the 5 minutes added on. He soon kept quiet.
Our defence of yesteryear would have crumbled but not yesterday as we stuck to our guns and kept another clean sheet, mainly thanks to Foster – sign him up JP please. We worked so hard and Long may have been alone for 70 out of the 90 minutes but he did well, not a bad game out there really, although they all had moments and all deserve credit, even the subs.
Roy will be happy. I don’t care what he says he wanted that more than anyone out there and got it, now only a point behind them, we have won as many times at Anfield in 2012 as them. King Kenny question time is needed.
Outside the ground they had a little place to sit with food drinks and everything we normally get spread out around the ground. It had everything, even a game for kids, it was only in a small area, but still was enough space for us. Me and CBB agree that the Hawthorns pub car park could have this, it would really boost revenue as the inside things were packed as well. I like the idea anyway.
Great to have my first Baggies away win at Anfield, certainly hooked now, must thank CBB for everything, still smiling. Never forget this day. O-DEM-WING-IE
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