Liverpool 3-0 Huddersfield: Daniel Sturridge's 100th club career goal steers Reds to victory
By Michael Hincks
Last Updated: 29/10/17 7:56am
Daniel Sturridge's 100th club career goal helped Liverpool return to winning ways in the Premier League with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Huddersfield.
Mohamed Salah saw his first-half penalty saved by Jonas Lossl (42) as a defensive Huddersfield side frustrated the hosts, who were without Philippe Coutinho at Anfield.
However, Sturridge capitalised on a Tommy Smith error (50) to steer Liverpool towards their first league victory since September.
Liverpool turned on the style as the Huddersfield defence opened up, and Roberto Firmino's header (58) and a superb Georginio Wijnaldum strike (75) ultimately put the game beyond the visitors.
Liverpool: Mignolet (6), Gomez (6), Klavan (6), Matip (6), Moreno (6), Milner (8), Henderson (7), Wijnaldum (8), Salah (8), Sturridge (7), Firmino (8)
Subs: Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Can (6), Solanke (6)
Huddersfield: Lossl (7), Smith (4), Schindler (6), Zanka (7), Lowe (6), Hogg (6), Williams (6), Mooy (6), La Parra (5), Ince (6), Depoitre (6)
Subs: Kachunga (6), Mounie (6), Hadergjonaj (6)
Man of the match: James Milner
In a clash which pitted Jurgen Klopp against old friend David Wagner for the first time, it was the latter who set up his Huddersfield side to sit back and let Liverpool attack, but the hosts struggled to find an early breakthrough as Lossl saved easily from Salah and James Milner.
Tommy Smith's tug on the shirt of Firmino then handed Salah the opportunity to score from the spot, but Lossl guessed correctly to keep out the Egypt international's penalty.
The rebound did fall kindly for Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, but he saw his volley skim the post as a relieved Huddersfield side went into the break all-square.
Philippe Coutinho (adductor) was ruled out, Emre Can dropped to the bench and Dejan Lovren was injured in the warm-up. In came Daniel Sturridge, Georginio Wijnaldum and Ragnar Klavan for Liverpool.
For Huddersfield, Rajiv van La Parra started in place of Elias Kachunga, who was only fit enough to be named among the substitutes.
However, it took Liverpool just five minutes to break the deadlock in the second half, with Sturridge latching onto a poor header from Smith before looping the ball beyond Lossl to score his second goal of the season.
The hosts went two clear just before the hour-mark when Firmino raced to the near post to head in from Milner's cross.
Wijnaldum rounded off the victory with 15 minutes to go, taking a couple of touches inside the area before rifling his effort into the top corner.
The game proved to be a much-needed quiet afternoon for Liverpool's defence, with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet not tested once.
- Liverpool have lost only one of their last 43 Premier League home games against newly-promoted sides (W33 D9).
- Huddersfield have failed to score in four consecutive away league games for the first time since October 2007, when they were in the third tier (5 games in that run).
- No side has missed more Premier League penalties than Liverpool (34, level with Arsenal).
- Salah has registered 12 goal involvements in all competitions for Liverpool this season (9 goals, 3 assists), more than any other player for the Reds.
Pundit's view - Paul Merson
"It was a walk in the park. David Wagner said 'this is an easy game for me, I know what we have to do'. Well they just went there, laid down and waited for Liverpool to win. I've never seen anything like it, they beat Man United last week, why not go and have a go?
"We were just saying how bad Liverpool are at the back, Klavan came in for Lovren and you just think they should have had a go, take the game to Liverpool and create chances but they only had one shot! Not good enough.
"As soon as Liverpool go a goal up they become the Harlem Globetrotters. Everyone wanted the ball and it could have been 4,5 or 6. It was probably the easiest game they'll have all season."
Jurgen Klopp: "I don't think the first goal was lucky because we forced it. We were in the right positions and played the right pass.
"The second goal, usually when you hear Liverpool and goal from a set-piece it's the other way round. But today we scored one.
"Third goal, fantastic. It was nice play from Wijnaldum, so there's a lot of good things today, especially the reaction in the second half, which was outstanding.
"The boys really deserve that. We needed it, and now we have it."
David Wagner: "In the end, it was a deserved defeat. But for me, the idea of our game worked until we conceded a very unlucky first goal.
"We did not have the best position to defend the long ball and we gave the assist for the first goal, and then conceded the second from a corner.
"Until the first goal, I haven't seen Anfield as quiet as it was today."
Man of the match - James Milner
Liverpool's forwards burst into life in the second half, but it was James Milner who put in a tireless performance throughout.
The midfielder got one assist to his name for Liverpool's second goal, and recorded twice as many key passes (four) as any other player. He also made the most tackles (five) on the pitch as Liverpool's central three allowed their defence to enjoy a quiet afternoon.
A typical all-round performance from the 31-year-old.
Liverpool are in Champions League action at home to Maribor on Wednesday before they travel to West Ham in the late Saturday kick-off next week. Huddersfield meanwhile host West Brom next Saturday in a 3pm kick-off.