Fernando Torres volleyed in to give an unconvincing Liverpool victory over West Brom at Anfield in an English Premier League encounter while Darren Bent scores a late penalty as Sunderland stunned expensively assembled Manchester City 1-0.
Manchester City, were left to rue an amazing Carlos Tevez miss. Bent hit a low penalty past Joe Hart four minutes into added time after he was pushed over by Micah Richards.
But the match will be remembered for an extraordinary miss from Tevez, who spooned an open goal over from 15 metres after being set up by Yaya Toure. City’s Emmanuel Adebayor also saw a volley well saved by Simon Mignolet.
Torres struck his first goal of the season by clinically converting a Dirk Kuyt cross from the edge of the box.
He was denied a second when Baggies keeper Scott Carson blocked his far post shot at point-blank range.
Liverpool were denied a late penalty for an apparent Gonzalo Jara handball before the Baggies had James Morrison red-carded for a tackle on Torres.
The numerical advantage helped Liverpool close out the game as they were relieved to secure their first league win of the season, albeit courtesy of a rare moment of quality of an encounter which had plenty going on before kick-off.
Liverpool’s new signing Raul Meireles was presented to the crowd and left-back Paul Konchesky was also at Anfield as his proposed move from Fulham drew closer.
The arrivals, even though Javier Mascherano is set to leave for Barcelona, will add to the air of optimism sweeping through Liverpool, although the Reds have failed to mirror that sentiment with performances and results so far this season.
And, when the focus of attention switched to the pitch, it was the same again for the home side as the industry of the Baggies served to frustrate a Liverpool side playing like strangers.
The Reds were too pedestrian and predictable and seemed unsure in possession as opposed to a West Brom side who grew in confidence as each of Liverpool’s forward forays continually and harmlessly broke down.
The Baggies had a penalty appeal waved away for Martin Skrtel pulling Jonas Olsson, while Torres thought he might have had a spot-kick for his shirt being tugged in the visitors’ box.
While Liverpool were in sloppy mood, the Baggies could not capitalise as Marc-Antoine Fortune had a shot saved and the visitors were limited to speculative efforts from distance.
Torres had not scored in 10 games for club and country going into the match and he was looking a shadow of his devastating best as he nursed his way back to match fitness from injury.
However, after the Reds survived a scare with Pepe Reina saving from Jara, Torres showed his worth to the Merseysiders by finishing off a Reds counter-attack with a volley from Kuyt’s cross. —Reuters