Sunday, August 14, 2011

Liverpool 1 - 1 Sunderland

Luis Suarez's goalscoring return could not inspire Liverpool to an opening day victory as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.

The Copa America winner looked to have set Kenny Dalglish's men on the way to three points when he made amends for an early missed penalty with a superb header on 13 minutes.

However, despite dominating for large spells the hosts could not make their superiority count and they were made to pay when the Black Cats hit back through Sebastian Larsson's 57th minute volley.

It capped a frustrating afternoon for Liverpool who were by far the better side in the opening 45 minutes and could easily have run out comfortable victors had they made their early chances count.

Heading into the encounter, the boss opted to give a quartet of new signings their competitive bow with Charlie Adam, Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing joining Jordan Henderson in the line-up.

Sunderland could perhaps consider themselves somewhat fortunate not to have gone down to 10 men with the score still goalless when Kieran Richardson hauled down Suarez from behind inside the box after the striker had attempted to round Simon Mignolet.

Kenny Dalglish admits he was disappointed not to see Liverpool collect three points as they drew 1-1 with Sunderland at Anfield, but acknowledged a draw was a fair reflection of the contest.

He knows Liverpool may find it difficult to win the title this season but believes the squad is "a lot stronger" than last season.

Liverpool have invested heavily in the squad this summer, bringing in Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Doni and Jose Enrique, and Dalglish has paid tribute to Fenway Sports Group for those signings.

However, although Dalglish believes the squad is significantly better than the one that finished sixth last season, he refused to raise expectations the team can lift the title for the first time in the Premier League era.

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