Liverpool secured a deserved victory over West Brom but conceded a late goal to miss out on going top of the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp’s team dominated at Anfield and took the lead as Sadio Mane steered in Roberto Firmino’s dinked cross.
Philippe Coutinho added a second when he picked up the ball from Mane, cut inside Baggies defender Gareth McAuley and shot into the bottom corner.
A two-goal victory would have taken Liverpool top, but McAuley denied them first place when he smashed in a late goal after the hosts failed to clear a corner.
Nevertheless, the victory extended their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions to leave them second in the Premier League table, behind leaders Arsenal on goal difference.
- Relive the Liverpool v West Brom match as it happened
Liverpool do not miss dropped Sturridge
Liverpool have scored 20 times in the Premier League this season – more than anyone else – despite England international Daniel Sturridge failing to score in his seven league outings.
He did not feature as he was dropped to the substitutes’ bench at Anfield, but was not missed as his side dominated, having 21 shots on goal and 68% of possession.
Liverpool had further chances but Adam Lallana, recalled in place of Sturridge, curled over the bar and James Milner also headed off target.
The Baggies had goalkeeper Ben Foster to thank for keeping them in the game in the second half as he acrobatically pushed away Dejan Lovren’s header and also did well to save a Roberto Firmino effort.
West Brom create little but make Liverpool panic
But Liverpool failed to kill off the game and West Brom looked for an improbable equaliser despite previously having little of the ball and creating few chances.
Tony Pulis’s side had to wait until the 70th minute to have a shot when Nacer Chadli curled an effort over the top and McAuley’s late goal came from their only attempt on target.
Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu had a late opportunity, but his shot was blocked by Dejan Lovren. Anything other than a Liverpool victory would have been a injustice.
West Brom have only scored 10 goals in nine Premier League matches, with Saido Berahino a constant issue for Pulis.
The 23-year-old striker, who got 20 goals in all competitions back in 2014-15, has only netted one Premier League goal in 2016 and been placed on a fitness programme after being “eight pounds over his ideal weight”.
Yet again, he was not included in West Brom’s 18-man squad, but they need their striker back fit with the right attitude quickly. Salomon Rondon struggled to get in the game and Robson-Kanu is yet to score since joining the Baggies in September.
Can Liverpool last the pace in the Premier League title race?
Jurgen Klopp has been in charge of Liverpool for just over a year and created an attacking side that is pleasing on the eye and a squad that could challenge for the Premier League title.
They only finished eighth last season, but do not have the distraction of European football this year and have made a fantastic start, despite a tough run of games.
In their nine league matches in 2016-17, they have played four of the current top seven – Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United – as well as defending champions Leicester.
They now have what appears to be, on paper at least, a favourable run of fixtures, with their next seven matches against sides all outside of the top seven.
One major concern for Klopp would be their inability to kill off this game, and the late goal they conceded means they have have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League games.
Man of the match – Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
The stats you need to know
- Liverpool are unbeaten in 12 home Premier League games (won seven, drawn five), their longest run since a sequence of 14 in April 2014.
- Since Jurgen Klopp’s first game in charge, there have been more Premier League goals netted in games involving Liverpool than any other team (126 – 75 for, 51 against).
- Roberto Firmino has had a hand in 17 Premier League goals (12 goals, five assists) in 2016; more than any other Liverpool player.
- Sadio Mane has both scored and assisted in two of his four Premier League appearances at Anfield this season.
- 70% of West Brom’s Premier League goals this season have come via set-pieces (including penalties) – seven of 10 goals.
- Indeed, West Brom have scored more Premier League goals from corners this season than any other team (five).
- Gareth McAuley is the only West Brom defender to hit double figures for Premier League goals (11).
What they said
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “I am happy with the performance of my team. It is difficult against West Brom, so many balls in the air and they are so dangerous from set pieces.
“It would have been a joke if we had drawn today, it was unbelievable how we played. It was a good performance against a team like this. They were here to get something, but we never let them back into the game.
“Their corners kicks are so good, I had a feeling that 15 players in white kit were in the box. It was a big, big challenge to stay cool, stay concentrated. It is a really nice team I am really happy to have these boys around.”
West Brom boss Tony Pulis: “In the first half we were OK, just two poor mistakes. It is quality at times when we get the ball, to get in their final third.
“In the second half we had a go, it opened up at our end and Ben made some wonderful saves. We made changes, freshened it up and caused them problems.
“You know if you get a goal it puts them on the back foot and it is a shame it didn’t come earlier.
“We lack certain qualities we are looking for. The squad has improved, they have faults and we accept that but they worked hard today.”
Liverpool are back in action on Tuesday when they entertain Tottenham in the fourth round of the EFL Cup, before they play away at Crystal Palace in the Premier League next Saturday.
For West Brom, they have a week without a match before taking on Manchester City at home in the Premier League on Saturday, 29 October.
Match ends, Liverpool 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.
Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.
Attempt missed. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Divock Origi.
Offside, Liverpool. Emre Can tries a through ball, but Divock Origi is caught offside.
Substitution, Liverpool. Divock Origi replaces Sadio Mané.
Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Salomón Rondón tries a through ball, but Nyom is caught offside.
Substitution, Liverpool. Lucas Leiva replaces Philippe Coutinho.
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.
Attempt blocked. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gareth McAuley with a headed pass.
Foul by Joel Matip (Liverpool).
Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emre Can.
James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Attempt missed. Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Hal Robson-Kanu.
Attempt saved. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum.
Attempt saved. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Sadio Mané with a cross.
Goal! Liverpool 2, West Bromwich Albion 1. Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Hal Robson-Kanu following a corner.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Loris Karius.
Foul by James Milner (Liverpool).
Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Liverpool. Georginio Wijnaldum replaces Adam Lallana.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Hal Robson-Kanu.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion).
Attempt blocked. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James Morrison.
Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Nyom (West Bromwich Albion).
Attempt missed. James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Hal Robson-Kanu.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Nacer Chadli.
Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Craig Dawson tries a through ball, but Salomón Rondón is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.
Attempt missed. Emre Can (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.
Attempt saved. James Milner (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Emre Can (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces James McClean.
Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Nyom (West Bromwich Albion).
Attempt missed. Emre Can (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37663771