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Premier League

  • 22 April 2012
  • • 16:00
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 43660

Liverpool 0-1 West Brom: Late Odemwingie strike consigns Dalglish's side to 12th defeat of the season as Hodgson haunts former club

Liverpool 0-1 West Brom: Late Odemwingie strike consigns Dalglish's side to 12th defeat of the season as Hodgson haunts former club

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Despite enjoying the majority of possession and a number of chances to take the lead, Kenny Dalglish's men failed to find their finishing touch at Anfield once more

Roy Hodgson marked his return to Anfield with a victory as West Brom grabbed a late win against Liverpool on Sunday.

It was a sense of deja vu for Liverpool as a wealth of opportunities in both halves were spurned, while an individual defensive error proved costly as Kenny Dalglish's men yet again failed to find their ruthless touch at home.

Peter Odemwingie's strike proved to be the decider in a rare attack from West Brom, who were camped in their own half for the majority of the fixture which invited pressure from Liverpool.
Glen Johnson was most culpable, squandering possession near his own box and allowing the Nigeria international to eventually race clear and steer the ball past Pepe Reina.

Defeat for Liverpool means Dalglish's men have secured just five wins in the Premier League at Anfield this term and, while the Scot will be tempted to venture into the transfer this summer in search of a predatory striker, the club will require a complete overhaul of their home form to make a substantial challenge for a Champions League place next season.

Liverpool had their first chance to take the lead after 10 minutes as Luis Suarez picked out an unmarked Dirk Kuyt inside the West Brom box, but the Dutchman screwed his shot across Ben Foster and past the West Brom goal.

Dalglish's men spurned their second opportunity of the afternoon as Suarez found space on the right and flashed an inviting ball across the face of the visiting goal which eluded several of his team-mates.

The hosts kept up the pressure and saw a penalty claim turned down moments later when Maxi Rodriguez was brought down by Billy Jones inside the box. Contact was minimal and the Argentine appeared to have played for the decision after running out of space with the ball.

The visitors were subdued for large parts of the opening half but could have opened the scoring against the run of play had it not been for a fantastic save from Reina.

Shane Long beat Daniel Agger in the air and the striker's cushioned header was met with a low drive from Christ Brunt but the Reds goalkeeper, on his return from a three-game suspension, displayed superb agility to palm the ball away.

West Brom quickly reverted back to their defensive mentality but Liverpool continued in their struggle to test Foster. Agger wastefully passed up another chance to break the deadlock as his shot from close range was blocked.

Shades of Liverpool's inability to finishes chances in the first half surfaced early after the restart as Suarez, who enjoyed a busy opening 45, flashed the ball across West Brom's six-yard box which failed to get a connection from anybody.

Jordan Henderson was next to go close for Liverpool. A slick one-touch interchange on the right flank, initiated by Suarez, eventually saw Andy Carroll lay the ball off for the 21-year-old, whose well-struck shot beat Foster but rebounded off the crossbar.

West Brom offered little retaliation and their vulnerability on both flanks was tested once more as Suarez found Kuyt in space inside the visitors' box but the Dutchman, in an almost identical scenario to the first half, pulled his shot across Foster but his effort this time hit the post.

Liverpool were fired a warning minutes later however, as Long was found unmarked inside the hosts' box but the striker had his back to goal and bizarrely opted to play a pass back outside the area, rather than turning and testing Reina.

But a rare West Brom foray forward was greeted with further pressure from Liverpool, who saw two chances fall to Carroll and Jay Spearing in a goalmouth scramble, with both efforts blocked on the line.

Liverpool's failure to convert opportunities into goals was finally punished by West Brom as Hodgson's men took the lead with 15 minutes remaining.

Glen Johnson had successfully read Youssuf Mulumbu's stepover down West Brom's left but the Liverpool defender tried to flick the ball past the midfielder after regaining possession, which allowed the Congo international to feed a pass to Odemwingie, who raced clear and finished neatly past Reina.

A slight consolation for Liverpool will be the fact that West Brom didn't double their lead late on, as a free-kick pumped into their area was met by Paul Scharner, who had headed the ball into the net but clattered into Reina in the process.

The win for West Brom puts them into 10th, while Liverpool neglected the chance to overtake neighbours Everton and proved that any Champions League dreams next season will be dependent on a revival of their home form.