Tue 3rd March 2009 @ 8pm (Anfield)
Liverpool returned to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Sunderland tonight at Anfield. David N’Gog and Yossi Benayoun grabbed the goals that helped Liverpool to three more points.
The reds returned to a 4-4-2 formation to make way for the injuries running through the side and Mascherano moved to right back, after his display towards the end of the Boro game there. Skrtel re-joined Carragher in the centre of defence and there was a very welcome return for Emiliano Insua to left back, a position he had begun to make his own prior to his departure for the South American Championships.
Gerrard was passed fit to start and Yossi Benayoun, the reds hero in Madrid, rightly returned to the side. Up front Kuyt and N’Gog were the striking partners.
Despite the confidence of the victory in the end, the reds started shakily and Kenwyn Jones should have had an early goal after racing away from Skrtel. The huge Kop goal must have seen tiny as he raced down on it and failed to convert his chance, when Reina chose the correct side to dive and saved the shot.
The reds began to control the play but were guilty of running down blind alleys and some sloppy passing as Sunderland got all their men behind the ball. Benayoun was the pick of the bunch, his trickery helping him weave through the Sunderland defence but the final killer ball never got through the crowd of away players.
As half time arrived tensions started to build.
In the second half the reds were a different proposition and when Riera’s cross was brought down by Gerrard, David N’Gog was on hand to score his first Premiership strike. It was well deserved from the player who had often been the one picking up the ball from the midfield and driving forward. After the goal, the reds played with more freedom and it wasn’t long before the second arrived. N’Gog was on hand again when his overhead flick was palmed away by the keeper, only for Yossi Benayoun to score another goal this campaign.
All in all a good Liverpool victory and a vital three points.
Liverpool: Reina, Mascherano, Skrtel, Carragher, Insua, Benayoun (El Zhar 90), Gerrard (Babel 82), Alonso, Riera, Kuyt, Ngog (Lucas 70).
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Aurelio.
Goals: Ngog 52, Benayoun 65.
Sunderland: Fulop, Ben-Haim, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Malbranque (Edwards 81), Whitehead, Reid, Leadbitter (Cisse 62), Richardson, Jones (Murphy 76).
Subs Not Used: Gordon, Bardsley, Davenport, Healy.
Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).