Liverpool opened their season within a point, but it could have been all three in a game of two halves at Anfield.
The reds were bright, energetic and positive in the first half – but Sunderland came back in to the game as the reds appeared to tire in the second half.
Dalglish sprung a couple of surprises in starting with both Suarez and Enrique, the clubs new signings from the day before. An injury to Fabio Aurelio helping his left back decision. John Flanagan was preferred at right back over Martin Kelly.
Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson were the other debutants for the reds. Henderson starting on the right of midfield.
In the sixth minute Luis Suarez justified his selection when he charged down a clearance on the half way line and headed goal-bound. With only the keeper to beat he was brought down by Richardson. The penalty was correctly awarded but bizarrely Richardson escaped with just a yellow card. From the resultant spot kick, Suarez fired over much to his and everyone else’s amazement.
But the talented Uruguayan quickly made amends. A Charlie Adam free kick was sent in to the box and Suarez got his head to the ball to send it in to the net.
Moments later Andy Carroll had the ball in the back of the net after a brilliant take-down and powerful shot. But the assistant referee signalled for a foul. Replays suggested disallowing the goal was very harsh.
Stewart Downing was looking lively and in the 34th minute he cut in from the right hand side, skipped past a few players before the crossbar denied him an early goal of the season opportunity.
In the second half however, the reds crisp passing game disappeared. Flanagan made a couple of mistakes and in the 56th minute a cross came over leaving Sebastian Larsson completely unmarked to fire in.
The game petered out with little further chances for either side. Sunderland’s defence putting in a good performance to break down many Liverpool moves.
Plenty to be positive about from the first half, but the reds must ensure they play for both halves in upcoming fixtures.