Somebody said as they left the game, “We made hard work of that” and it wasn’t far off the mark but the important thing was we won and despite Sunderland’s style we worked bloody hard.
After the Watford game we said that not too many sides will give us the spaces we prefer and last week that was evident against Southampton and Southampton were at home. Moyes said Sunderland would park a bus and that’s what they did. This is how it’s going to be when teams like Sunderland come to Anfield. To be fair to Sunderland they did what they had to do and showed some discipline in doing it.
I don’t think Coutinho going off early in the game made a lot of difference, Sunderland had already set out their stall and I think at times in the first half there was some frustration around but some of our players weren’t doing what they do best, like Manè for instance who seemed to be running into blind alleys rather than using whatever space was available.
Sunderland caused a bit of panic in our defence just the once in the second half and my heart was in my mouth, but we kept going at them. The Kaiser was at his most animated, orchestrating the crowd and urging the team forward and whether Divock Origi’s effort was a shot or a cross, I don’t care and I’m sure I saw the Kop roof move a little aided and abetted by the noise and a certain amount of relief. The penalty at least meant the last couple minutes could be watched without any further bouts of anxiety.
Nice to see Ben Woodburn get the chance of a little cameo appearance, he was featured in the current issue of Red All Over The Land which has just about sold out.