DANIEL Sturridge helped save Liverpool from more misery as controversy ruled even before kick-off.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp stood by Dejan Lovren, naming him in the starting line-up, despite the centre-half being substituted after 31 minutes of play at Wembley last weekend.
Lovren, who had needed medication in order to play through the pain barrier, was hauled off during the 4-1 thrashing by Spurs after his clangers led to the first two goals.
It provoked a storm of social media that saw the former Southampton man delete a reference to Liverpool from his Instagram bioraphy and block messages.
But the 28 year-old – much to the delight of the Anfield faithful – was then injured during the warm up today and replaced in the starting line-up by Ragnan Klavan.
Keeper Simon Mignolet, who had also born the brunt of criticism last weekend, did however also keep his place although the influential Philippe Coutinho was missing after suffering an abductor injury in training earlier this week.
This was the first time since 1971 that the Terriers had visited Anfield for a league encounter. They have not beaten them since December 1959 – days before then Huddersfield manager Bill Shankly resigned to join Liverpool, going on to win three Championships, two FA Cups and the Uefa Cup in his 15 years on Merseyside.
A repeat of that era looks a long way off given a lacklustre first-half performance by the home side who lacked energy, tempo and creativity.
Against better sides they would have struggled to notch up a victory with the match only coming to life with two second-half goals as Huddersfield faded further having just one effort on target themselves throughout the entire 90 minutes.
When Tommy Smith pulled Firmino’s shirt in the area on the 41st minute, referee Kevin Friend had no hesitation pointing to the penalty spot.
But Mo Salah, whose penalty kick sent Egypt through to the World Cup finals earlier this month, aimed his shot straight to Town keeper Jonas Lossl and Jordan Henderson could only hit the rebounded effort wide.
With James Milner and Firmino also in the team you have to wonder why they stood aside for Salah in the first place.
Daniel Sturridge finally broke the deadlock just after the re-start with his first goal since the Reds thrashed Arsenal 4-0 back in August. A mis-timed header by Smith found Sturridge on the edge of the six yard-box allowing him to shoot past Lossl.
And on the 58th minute the home side sealed all three points, bringing their run of just one win in six matches to an end. Firmino headed the ball into the goal, slipping past Aaron Mooy after attacking a Milner corner.
Georginio Wijnaldum made it number three with a right foot shot after Salah made amends for his penalty blunder, setting him up perfectly for the goal.
The visitors’s best effort came 18 minutes from time when former Liverpool player Tom Ince saw a free-kick curl over the bar of Mignolet.
It ensured manager Klopp won the bragging rights over best pal David Wagner who he worked with in Germany. The two have been close since playing together at Mainz in the 1990s and Wagner managed Borussia Dortmund’s second team as Klopp was leading the first to Bundesliga success.
- Manchester United 1 Tottenham 0
- Arsenal 2 Swansea 1
- Crystal Palace 1 West Ham 2
- Watford 0 Stoke 1
- West Brom 2 Manchester City 3
FACTS, STATS, GOALS AND LOLS
- Daniel Sturridge’s goal was his 100th strike in club competition
- Liverpool have now missed 34 Premier League penalties – more than any other side and level with Arsenal
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was named on the bench again despite Philippe Coutinho’s injury
- Ragnar Klavan was handed a rare start at the last minute following a warm-up injury to Dejan Lovren
- The win was just Liverpool’s second in seven Premier League games, and their first in October
Arsenal transfer news
WHAT THEY SAID
Liverpool goalscorer Georginio Wijnaldum: “The manager told us not to get frustrated because they were dropping real deep. If we keep playing football, they cannot cover the spaces all the time.
“Every win is a big win for us and it was important because we had to give a reaction from the match last week. I think we did well.”
Huddersfield transfer news
I said to Mohamed Salah that I would have scored that penalty if you let me take it but he just ignored me. I said Mo? Mo? Did you hear me?
— Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) October 28, 2017
SALAH scored one pen in 5 years but gets the nod ahead of a quality ice cool Milner, madness
— RILEY (@lfc_riley) October 28, 2017
Daniel Sturridge fresh from a trip to Lourdes and doused in holy water performs a miracle by walking on grass and turning chances to goals
— Robin McNamara (@robbiemac72) October 28, 2017
Firmino deserves this goal so much. The definition of a team player, has low ego and is ready to sacrifice stats for the sake of the unit.
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStat) October 28, 2017
£40m on Oxlade Chamberlain to sit on the bench when Coutinho, Mane and Lallana are all out injured.
— Tim Bolton (@timbolton1) October 28, 2017
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
Liverpool: Mignolet 6, Gomez 7, Matip 6, Klavan 7, Moreno 7, Milner 8, Henderson 7, Wijnaldum 7, Salah 6 (Solanke 6), Sturridge 7 (Can 6), Firmino 8 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 6)
Subs not used: Karius, Grujic, Robertson, Woodburn
Goals: Sturridge 50’, Firmino 58’, Wijnaldum 75’
Huddersfield: Lossl 7, Smith 4 (Hadergjonaj 6), Jorgensen 6, Schindler 6, Lowe 5, Van La Parra 6 (Kachunga 5), Williams 6 (Mounie 6), Hogg 6, Mooy 6, Ince 6, Depoitre 6
Subs not used: Malone, Crani, Quaner, Green
Star Man: James Milner