Liverpool - Liverpool eventually did enough to beat
Huddersfield Town 3-0 on Saturday as goals from Daniel Sturridge, Roberto
Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum settled a match that took time to spark into
The first half was dire - apart from an impressive Jonas
Lossl penalty save - but Anfield awoke in the second period as Liverpool
finally made their overwhelming possession pay off.
Liverpool took all three goals with aplomb but most of
Anfield went home relieved rather than happy as questions remain about Jurgen
Klopp's side and their true Premier League pedigree.
Huddersfield went into this match buoyed by their battling
2-1 win over Manchester United last weekend and they looked far more confident
than the home side, who were simply woeful in their turgid 4-1 loss to
Tottenham Hotspur last time out.
Initially, it appeared that Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet
had both retained their Liverpool places despite heavy criticism following that
defeat but moments before kick-off it was announced Lovren had injured himself
in the warm-up and he was replaced by Ragnar Klavan.
Philippe Coutinho was also missing with a hip problem which
meant Sturridge made a rare start for the Reds.
David Wagner - who is Liverpool manager Klopp's best friend
- made one change from the Terriers side that defeated United as Rajiv van La
Parra came in for Elias Kachunga.
Klopp and Wagner's friendship goes back to 1991 when they
played together at Mainz - Klopp is godfather to one of Wagner's children - but
their friendship was abandoned for 90 minutes at Anfield as Huddersfield set
about causing another Premier League shock.
The first opportunity did not arrive until the 15th minute
when a deep James Milner cross was scuffed by Sturridge inside the six-yard box
and ended up bouncing over the crossbar.
But that was about it and the subdued nature of Anfield
reflected the quiet events on the pitch.
After 27 minutes, Mohamed Salah forced Lossl into the first
save of the match when he tamely hit an effort straight at him as the game
stubbornly refused to burst into life.
Five minutes before the interval, referee Kevin Friend made
a decisive intervention, penalising Tommy Smith for a tug on Firmino in the box
and although Salah's penalty was well struck, Lossl did brilliantly to block
the effort down to his left.
Jordan Henderson then badly scuffed the rebound as his
effort drifted wide and that passage of play perfectly summed up the quality of
the first half.
Sturridge finally gave the home fans something to cheer
after 50 minutes.
A long ball forward from Alberto Moreno was clumsily headed
to the feet of Sturridge by Smith and the striker did the rest, cleverly
lifting over the onrushing Lossl to open the scoring.
The finish understandably lifted Liverpool as they finally
awoke with Firmino and Milner becoming increasingly influential before Firmino
doubled the lead after 58 minutes.
His impressive build-up play had won a corner and he was
quickest to react to Milner's delivery, nodding past Lossl at the near post to
end Huddersfield's hopes of getting back into the contest.
Liverpool began to look focused and hungry and Wijnaldum
fired into the roof of the net to round off the victory.