Luis Suarez has given Liverpool a 1-0 lead at half-time at Anfield. After blasting an early penalty miles over the bar, the Uruguayan made amends by glancing home a Charlie Adam free-kick on 12 minutes.
It’s a deserved lead for Liverpool, who have been comfortably the better side. Carroll has been causing problems throughout, Charlie Adam has been spraying passes around, and Stewart Downing has looked dangerous on the wing. Despite their domination, however, Liverpool have been unable to craft many clear-cut chances.
Stewart Downing came closest to doubling Liverpool’s advantage, as he picked up the ball on the right of midfield, cut inside and hit a thunderous strike off the bar. Lucas also came close, with a low drive that just missed Mignolet’s far post.
Sunderland, by contrast, have offered little – Gyan and Sessegnon are looking extremely isolated up front, and their midfield have been unable to get into the game. Aside from a few poor shots from outside the area, the only real chance they have had was from a free-kick which was missed by Gyan, Sessegnon, and Reina alike – a nervy moment for Liverpool, but overall they are in control of this one.
It will be interesting to see how Steve Bruce reacts – Connor Wickham could help them hold the ball up, while David Vaughan could help them take more control in midfield. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see one of those brought on before too long, as Sunderland are being outclassed so far.