Cape Town - Liverpool made light work of West Bromwich Albion as they cruised to a 2-1 win at Anfield on Saturday evening.
It's fair to say that the final score didn't reflect the dominant performance from Jurgen Klopp's side.
Sadio Mane and Phillip Coutinho combined well in the first half to
turn Liverpool's dominance into a two-goal lead going into half-time.
The second-half was one way traffic with the Reds looking at ease,
but they failed to convert their chances and found Ben Foster in
Gareth McAuley grabbed a consolation 10 minutes from time but the home side held firm to secure a 2-1 victory.
Liverpool started the game like a team looking to make a real signal
of intent and they did just that with a blistering start with referee
Neil Swarbrick having to wave a penalty appeal away in the opening
Sadio Mane was brought down in the area by full-back Alan Nyom but at second glance it look to have been a fair call.
However, the explosive forward was not to be denied a starring role in the opening half as he contributed to both goals.
In a blink of an eye 20 minutes into the game Phillip Coutinho's
dummy let Emre Can loose, the German the managed to find Roberto Firmino
on the left flank.
The in-form Brazilian dinked the ball over Nyom and Mane was in the right place to slot home past Ben Foster.
It took only 15 minutes for the Reds to find a second as
Mane turned provider but the individual brilliance of Coutinho cannot
After collecting the Senegal international's pass, the diminutive
playmaker faked a shot, cut inside his marker and as he angled for a far
post finesse shot - he dragged it past Foster at his near post.
Going into the break, the Kop were in full voice and Tony Pulis' men
hardly had a sniff of the ball. Pulis pulled off Claudio Yacob for Chris
Brunt during the interval but it could have been any other player.
The changes seemed to have made a bit of an influence for the away
team but the veteran coach took a gamble by using another two
substitutions before the hour mark - James Morrison for Matty Phillips
and Hal Robson-Kanu for James McClean.
Klopp and his charges were still very much in cruise control and had a
host of chances but poor finishing and a combination of incredible
reflexes from Ben Foster kept the Baggies in the game.
Ten minutes from time, they found an unlikely consolation against the
run of play through their set-piece strength to deny Liverpool top spot
in the league.
Gareth McAuley was left on unmarked to juggle the ball with his chest
and knee before volleying in but the home side managed to see out the
game with relative ease.