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Updated: How West Brom gave Rodgers a nightmare start

by Paddy Power Admin | August 18, 2012

Premier League results, August 18

  • Arsenal 0, Sunderland 0
  • Fulham 5 (Duff, Petric 2, Kacaniklic, Sidwell), Norwich 0
  • QPR 0, Swansea 5 (Michu 2, Dyer 2, Sinclair)
  • Reading 1 (Le Fondre), Stoke 1 (Kightly)
  • West Brom 3 (Gera, Odemwingie, Lukaku), Liverpool 0
  • West Ham 1 (Nolan), Aston Villa 0
  • Newcastle 2 (Ba, Ben Arfa), Tottenham 1 (Defoe)

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FULL TIME: West Brom 3, Liverpool 0

Final say: Claudio Yacob in partnership with Mulumbu in the midfield put in top performances for West Brom, especially in the second half. Joe Allen faded after a bright first half on his Liverpool Premier League debut. Up front for WBA, despite his penalty shocker Shane Long put in a typical pain-in-the-arse performance while Gera deserved his man of the match award. Kenny Dalglish’s former assistant, Steve Clarke, has made the perfect start in his West Brom career. Rodgers, on the other hand, needs to make sure he can transform Suarez from a player who scores great goals, into a great goalscorer.

Brendan Rodgers: “It’s a wonderful strike by Gera. It was a wonderful piece of technique. The sending off (Agger) and the penalties were very, very harsh. I’m not one to have a go at referees but it certainly affects the second half for us. We’ll have more days like this, that’s the reality of it. But my players couldn’t have given me any more. It’s going to take a wee bit of time. Some of our creativity was excellent.”

Zoltan Gera: “It was perfect start. We are very happy. Liverpool played 10 men second half so we need to realise that. It was a difficult game, especially the first half. We would like to stay in the top 10. We need to be careful, yes, we won today but still need to improve every game.” Here’s that cracking opening goal again, which set WBA up for victory.

90 mins: Into added time at the Hawthorns. Mulumbu, Gera and Ridgewell have been superb for West Brom. Gerrard looks devastated out there. Rodgers is unlikely to do anything dramatic after just one game of the season, but Liverpool have been totally outplayed in the second half after failing to capitalise on their chances in the first half. Looking on the bright side for Liverpool fans, Rodgers’ first game of the season with Swansea last season saw them lose 4-0 at Manchester City.

86 mins: Tough decision for Clint Dempsey to make. Chase European glory with Fulham or a potential relegation scrap with Liverpool? Joking, of course. But the table after the opening day won’t make pretty reading for fans of QPR or Liverpool.

84 mins: WBA are playing tidy, one-touch football and Reina is keeping Liverpool in it. Lukaku is inches away from latching onto a ball and making it 4-0.

82 mins: Swansea have just gone 5-0 up at QPR. Maybe it wasn’t really Rodgers doing all the good work there.

80 mins: Liverpool fans trudging out. West Brom fans are in dream land here as, even allowing for the extra man, they’ve been the better side by far in the second half. Another goal looks likely for WBA too.

77 mins: GOAL! 3-0 to West Brom. Lukaku nods home a cross from Ridgewell. No chance for Liverpool now. Andy Carroll is on as Joe Cole’s gammy hamstring gives way. Hmm.

Over at the Emirates, Oliver Giroud is on for Lukas Podolski as Sunderland hold Arsenal goal-less. Arsenal could do with some of WBA’s attacking menace.

72 mins: It should have been 3-0 as WBA rip Liverpool apart again. Morrison is played in but fires wide. If Liverpool don’t show a reaction soon, they’re in big trouble. Cole looks like he’s limping a bit too. Keep you posted on that one.

71 mins: Gary Lineker: “Early contenders for goal of the month (Gera) and crappest penalty of the month (Long).”

68 mins: Lukaku on for Long while Gera also makes way, for Fortune. Standing ovation from the WBA fans for Gera after his wonder strike. Cole, back from a season-long loan at Lille, is on for Lucas.

66 mins: Fit-again Joe Cole preparing to come on for Liverpool. Joe Allen has gone very quiet in the middle for Liverpool and WBA are bossing it now. That’s right. WBA are bossing it. Has Borini touched the ball in the second half?

64 mins: GOAL! 2-0 to West Brom.Odemwingie nets the penalty, firing it to Reina’s right. WBA in a commanding position now.

62 mins: Unreal scenes at the Hawthorns. It’s another penalty as Long goes down again, this time under a challenge by Skrtel. Odemwingie steps up.

59 mins: Penalty missed by Shane Long. Shockingly tame effort easily saved by Reina. Long will be so disappointed with that after creating the chance for himself in the first place.

58 mins: Definite push on Long from Agger as he raced through. It means Paddy Power’s Money-Back Special has clicked for fans in this game. Agger has trudged off as Jamie Carragher comes on for Downing. Penalty still to be taken. Long will take it.

57 mins: PENALTY TO WEST BROM and it’s a red card for Daniel Agger.

56 mins: Paddy Power odds update, time of the second goal

Up to and including 68th minute 7/5

After the 68th 11/8

No goal 5/2

53 mins: Liverpool giving a masterclass in terrible crossing (this time Johnson the offender) as Charlie Adam begins to laugh his arse off on the bench. It looks like somebody farted as Andy Carroll, the chief culprit, covers his nose with his top.

49 mins: In the space of 60 seconds, Stewart Downing shows why he’s gotten so much stick for his lack of assists. Two terrible crosses find nobody. Rodgers looks tense.

47 mins: Free kick to Liverpool on the edge of the WBA box as Suarez is bundled over. Downing and Suarez over it. Foster doesn’t budge as Suarez fires it wide. WBA could pay for the free kicks they’re giving away. Liverpool just have to find someone who can stick it in the net. Starts with A. Rhymes with handy.

16.00: We’re back out for the second half. Liverpool had just over 60% possession in the first half, but couldn’t manage a goal. Wonder if we’ll see Andy Carroll at some point?

Here’s that Gera wonder strike. Enjoy it while you can…

Paddy Power odds update:

  • West Brom to win in 90 mins 10/11
  • Liverpool to win in 90 mins 7/2
  • Draw 15/8
  • West Brom 5/2 to score the second goal
  • Liverpool odds on at 4/6
  • Score draw 15/8

Half-time: Suarez shows the other side to his game. He’s booked for dissent and looks like he wants a fight. Liverpool unlucky to be 1-0 down at the break. It’s a good game at the Hawthorns with lots of nice attacking football. There was no stopping that Gera shot, however. Rodgers needs Suarez needs to step up again in the second half, and stay on the pitch. Don’t forget our Money-Back Special. Speaking on Setanta, former Liverpool player Didi Hamann says: “Liverpool have been hard done by here. They were the better side by far.”

15.45: Fulham’s Damien Duff joined Robbie Keane as the Irishman netting in most different PL seasons – 13 each. Duff first netted in 1997/98 via Infostrada Sports.

15.43: GOAL! 1-0 to West Brom. What a screamer from Gera. 25 yards out, right footed half volley. Reina had no chance.

15.41: Odemwingie is clattered by Johnson who picks up a yellow card, doing what he doesn’t do well, defending. Phil Dowd books him well, displaying nice early season flair with his cards. Free kick to WBA on the right hand side about 40 yards out from Steven Reid. It takes a nick and it’s another corner to WBA, from the right.

15.38: As it stands, Fulham are joint top of the table with Swansea. Their fans might not want today to end.

15.33: Borini’s just gone down like a ton of bricks in the box after a soft challenge from Ridgewell. WBA fans not impressed. Borini hasn’t been great yet for Liverpool but Allen has linked well with Gerrard and Lucas in the middle. Goal kick to WBA.

15.29: Lovely play from Johnson down the left from Liverpool, doing what he does best – attacking. Floats one onto Suarez’s head, but he nods it over with an open goal at his mercy.

15.27: From FourFourTom on Twitter: “I’m really excited to see Michu for Swansea. Lovely player from the little I’ve seen. Excited to see Chico too, just cause I like his name.”

15.25: Liverpool have had 65% of possession so far with four shots, three of which has been on target. West Brom have had one shot on target from three chances.

15.23: Suarez had 11 goals and six assists in the Premier League last season. He’s just trebled his wages at Liverpool with a new contract and is 9/2 with Paddy Power to be the first goalscorer today.

15.20: Separated at birth: Joe Allen and Fabio Borini. Hopefully Rodgers can tell them apart.

15.18: 11/10 West Brom to score no goals; Liverpool 3/1.

15.15: Glen Johnson is linking well with Borini and Suarez, who is on fire so far, continuing his excellent pre-season.

15.14: “It’s interesting to see Steven Gerrard playing ahead of Joe Allen and Lucas. I think he should be playing a bit deeper. It will be interesting to see how well he does,” says former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live.

15.10: GOAL! First goal of the season goes to Michu for Swansea away to QPR.

15.10: Great nutmeg from Suarez as he bursts through and gets away a shot that’s well saved by Ben Foster. Then Long breaks in similar fashion but falls over. He’s awarded a free kick though. Reid curls the free kick and it’s deflected off Lucas for a corner.

15.09: Record signing (from last year) Shane Long is causing problems for the Liverpool defence. He scored on his WBA debut last season. He’s just tried to chip Reina from the right-hand side. Close, but no cigar.

15.06: In other news, Rangers are 1-0 down at home to East Stirling. No laughing down the back.

15.03: Stewart Downing, the man with no assists in 2011/2012, lashed in a great cross there for Suarez. He’s already playing better than last season.

15.02: Liam Ridgewell toes pokes it over from the edge of the box. Decent effort. WBA on top, but we’re only a few minutes in so no calling for Rodgers’ head yet, Liverpool fans.

3pm: We’re off! The new Premier League is go!

14.48: New signings Joe Allen and Fabio Borini start for Liverpool against West Brom at the Hawthorns. Lucas Levia starts after most of last season with knee ligament damage. Striker Andy Carroll is on the bench with Joe Cole alongside. Shane Long gets the nod to start up front for West Brom while James Morrison and Jonas Olsson are in the line-up after recovering from injury.

14.44: Wolves continue where they left off last season, losing. They went down 1-0 to Leeds United at Elland Road today in the early Championship kick-off. Jamaican star Rodolph Austin, in particular, was impressive for Leeds.

14.40: Here’s the team sheet for West Brom vs Liverpool.

WBA v Liverpool

LINE-UP: How the sides will look in about 20 mins

14.30: Paddy Power offer 15/2 on a repeat of the same scoreline this afternoon.

14.25: Liverpool won this fixture 2-0 last November thanks to goals by Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll but went down 1-0 at home thanks to WBA forward Peter Odemwingie’s strike.

14.15: The Reds face Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all at Anfield in the coming weeks and will want to get off to a flyer today.

14.05: Liverpool have just confirmed their team to face West Brom. New signing Fabio Borini starts upfront beside Luis Suarez.

LFC: Reina, Johnson, Kelly, Agger, Skrtel, Lucas, Allen, Gerrard, Downing, Borini, Suarez.
Subs: Jones, Adam, Henderson, Shelvey, Carroll, Carragher, Cole.

West Brom: Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Mulumbu, Yacob; Morrison; Gera, Long, Odemwingie.
Subs: Myhill, Jara Reyes, Dawson, Lukaku, El Ghanassy, Brunt, Fortune.

(Meanwhile, Celtic have fluked a last-minute equaliser through Chris Commons against Ross County. It’s finished 1-1.)

HOTSEAT: Brendan Rodgers has succeeded Kenny Dalgish, but will he be a success?

A new manager that fans hope will herald a new era as Brendan Rodgers leads Liverpool FC into the new Barclays Premier League season. Rodgers has wasted little time in matching his football philosophy with the Reds style of play and there is ample evidence that this will be a more rewarding season for Kopites.

A top-four finish will be a target the club has to aim for to rejoin the Barclays Premier League and European elite and Paddy Power bet 21/10 that Liverpool FC finish in the top four this season.

Joe Allen’s arrival from Swansea will add to the midfield’s creativity and Italian striker Fabio Borini will increase their attacking options. The former Roma striker has slotted in well and scored against Gomel for his new club last week.

Liverpool are 10/11 to come away from The Hawthorns with three points under their belt, while West Brom are an eye-catching 3/1 to stall the Rodgers era on Merseyside.

Over at Elland Road Leeds are flying against Wolves with a 1-0 half-time lead. Keeper Paddy Kenny was instrumental in the goal. His long ball forward found Ross McCormack whose brilliant cross was nodded home by Luciano Becchio.

It’s not looking good for Celtic at Ross County. Neil Lennon’s side is 1-0 down with 67 minutes gone. Bleak.

We expect the Premier League today to be entertaining. But if you need some jaw-dropping action before then, check out conjoined twins Abby and Brittany and their new TV show for TLC.

YouTube has given the world many spectacular moments, from Justin Beiber to Kony 2012. It’s only right that some Arsenal fans want a piece of that action in the wake of Robin Van Persie’s defection to Manchester United. This is two fans’ bid for the big time. Don’t give up the day job, folks.

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