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2 April 2011
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 26196
West Bromwich Albion
C. Brunt 62', 89'
M. Škrtel 50'
90' + 5'
The win, West Brom's first against Liverpool in over 30 years, derails the Red's European ambitions whilst going a long way to aid the Baggies battle against relegation.
90' + 4'
And the referee blows the final whistle! Coming from behind, West Brom have snatched the game from Liverpool's clutches. With Peter Odemwingie the danger man, two Chris Blunt penalties win the game for Roy Hodgson's team. Oh that victory must taste sweet.
90' + 3'
Great save from Carson! And then a fantastic goal-line clearance! Liverpool threatening to equalise with seconds left, Carson excellently thwarts Suarez, before the latter sends in a cross-cum-shot that is hooked off the line.
90' + 2'
90' + 1'
Big, big miss there for the visitors. Meireles tries to respond, forcing Carson to tip one round the post after striking from 20 yards out. The ball in is a good one, flicked on at the near post, but Skrtel, totally unmarked, this time sends his header well wide. Very poor.
Assist Peter Odemwingie
Penalty Goal Chris Brunt
Yellow Card Pepe Reina
Now thats how you hit a penalty. Brunt fires in his second of the game, this time emphatically belting an unstoppable spotkick right inside the right-hand post. Great strike.
PENALTY TO WEST BROM! Unbelievable stuff from Odemwingie. The livewire plucks a ball out from the air, outmuscles Kyrgiakos and rounds Reina before being brought down.
Yellow Card Jerome Thomas
Thomas lunges in wildly, getting himself in the book. Little from Liverpool in attack for a while now. Can Joe Cole changes things? Kenny Dalglish seems to think so - using the ex-England man as his final substitution.
OOH. Odemwingie is at the centre of all the host's attacking endeavour. He cuts in from the right, drills a pass across the box and finds Thomas. The winger cuts in and bends one that looks for a moment like the match winner - before Reina plucks it out of the air.
A beautiful slide rule pass from Wilson releases Suarez, who is incorrectly flagged offside. He's been on the wrong end of some big decisions, the ex-Ajax man and he's not happy about it. Anyway, West Brom continue to press but without any luck.
Enterprising stuff from the hosts but they're finding it difficult to cut through a stoic Liverpool back four. They're pushing for the win with 10 minute left...
Then he goes close again! The Nigerian is proving a right handful here. He fires in an effort from an impossible angle that flashes across the goal face.
GREAT BLOCK CARRAGHER. Thomas is coming to the fore here, laying up Odemwingie who looked for all the world like he is going to score before Carragher leapt in from nowhere to produce a stunning block.
Suarez theatrically loses the plot there as he is hauled down when semmingly through on goal. The ref doesn't blow though and the Uruguayan throws his arms in the air in disgust.
A bit of an inactive lull here. Suarez rasps one from distance that stings Carson's palms but the whistle had blown anyway.
That's not like him. Reina misplaces a pass and it goes out for a throw-in in an advanced position for the hosts. Shorey can't get the ball in though and the keeper's mistake goes unpunished.
I guess that's how you stop him. Reid clatters into Suarez who goes down as if hit by a sniper. Not nice too see - on either side.
Suarez has really come into the game in the last 10 minutes. More magic down the left sees him eventually feed Meireles who fizzes one across the front of goal.
It's right in the balance this one - with both teams countering to good effect. The Reds break and Spearing just fails to get on the end of a Kut cross, before West Brom give them a taste of their own medicine - Odemwingie bursting down the right and rifling in a left footed shot that Reina does well to get behind.
Liverpool respond well, with Suarez ghosting in off the left flank. He jinks through three bodies, yet fails to find a Red shirt in the box. He earns a corner though... which tragically goes to waste.
Assist Peter Odemwingie
Penalty Goal Chris Brunt
And Brunt converts it! Not the best of penalties, yet his smashed effort down the middle beats Reina, who had dived to his left. Game on!
PENALTY! Odemwingie is brought down by Kyrgiakos. Good decision from the ref.
West Brom seem to be lacking that little bit of cunning or guile to inspire anything in the final third. Another ball into the box evades every striker.
The hosts are being driven on by rabid home support who are in full voice for their team. Moments of shakiness at the back threaten to undermine Liverpool's lead, with Lucas giving the ball away on the edge of his own area, yet West Brom faiil to capitalise.
They're looking a lot more comfortable now, Liverpool. Some sustained possession is let down by some sloppy pasing though and West Brom counter. A delicious ball in from Shorey is cleared excellently by Wilson, before Brunts drive from the edge of the box forces Reina into a decent save.
Great flick on from Carroll - that's exactly what he's there to do - allows Kuyt to burst through. The Dutchman rifles it at goal, with Carson blocking it with his legs. From the rebound Lucas sends a header wide. Kenny Dalglish's team must have smelt blood.
The goal has only worked to further stir things up at the Hawthorns, with wild challenges seemingly the accepted form of communication in the game. West Brom continue to push despite the knockback and still look as if they can score here.
Assist Raúl Meireles
Goal Martin Skrtel
GOAL! Liverpool break the deadlock! Andy Carroll fires in a half volley from the edge of the box that takes a nick and flies out for a corner. From the delivery Skrtel powers over his marker and sends an unstoppable header into the back of the net. Great head.
That's nice from West Brom. Brunt nonchalantly flicks one up and over Carragher's head, allowing Cox to fire in a volley at the Liverpool goal, that Reina palms away, only 30 seconds after the game restarts.
And out they come at the Hawthorns. Will Liverpool up the ante? Has Andy Carroll calmed down? Will West Brom stop trying to score wonder goals from way out? So many unanswered questions...
45' + 4'
And the ref calls it quits. Probably a good thing as it was petering out anyway. The game has flattered to deceive so far after its engaging opening. And so much for the Suarez and Carroll show. The former has been anonymous and the latter only distinguishable by the trail of destruction he has left on West Brom's brutalised defenders. Dalglish will want much more in the second. See you in 15.
45' + 1'
And again. I'm getting a little bored of this. Brunt drives one from 40 yards without any venom that Reina gratefully receives. Two minutes later he tries it again - with the same result. Four minutes of injury time, that should allow for at least three more long range efforts.
This time Odemwingie drives from range, with the effort blocked with consdierable ease. They're going to have to show a lot more imagination that that.
Yellow Card Danny Wilson
It's all gone quiet up top for Liverpool, other than Carroll's audible and regular protestations to the referee. Odemwingie has proved a constant thorn in Liverpool's side though, this time driving at Skrtel to force another free-kick for the Baggies at promising range. Brunt drills it and it's blocked. Let down.
Thomas dances down the left but can't work his way past the ever-dependable Carragher. Odemwingie attempts to bend one from range but he fails to hit the target.
Could that be three in one half?! This time Skrtel goes down but he's going to have to continue despite looking rattled. So much for big tough centre-halves hey? West Brom continue to press but look too narrow to really get at Liverpool. A cross from deep by Reid evades everyone and trickles out for a goal kick.
Reina gathers another header, this time from his own man Skrtel. The ball unexpectedly went the keeper's way, but youcan't help but feel that save was for the camera. It's all West Brom at the minute, will they nick a goal before half time?
GREAT SAVE REINA. The first time either of the keepers is really tested in the game. The Spaniard comes plunges down to his right, to athletically keep out Scharners header. Soon afterwards, he is called into action again, denying Thomas' low drive. Better from the Baggies.
It's getting heated here with Carroll always in the middle of things. Foul after foul is disrupting the flow of the game
Scharner gets himself in the book after a late challenge on Spearing who clearly felt punishment a little more severe was called for. Meanwhile, Carroll is getting increasingly agitated and, unjustly earning a yellow himself, is in danger of talking himself off the pitch.
Yellow Card Paul Scharner
Yellow Card Andy Carroll
The visitors get the chance to pump one into the box, but Meireles' delivery lets them down and the ball is easily cleared by the first man. Schoolboy stuff.
Oh dear, these injury woes aren't getting any better for Kenny Dalglish. This time Agger pulls up with a knee injury that looks quite serious given the centre-halfs exaggerated limp off the pitch. Not good news for Liverpool as they are forced into another defensive reshift, with Danny Wilson coming on.
Lucas brings down Odemwingie after the striker nips past him, giving Brunt another chance to whip one into the box. The winger doesn't fancy though and sends one round the outside of the wall that bends wickedly and forces Reina into a sharp save.
It's going to be an almighty battle between Carroll and Meite today, with the two giants clashing after Meite comes in with a high boot. Carroll's probably got the upper hand at the minute, struggling to deal with the England man's intimidating presence. A knockdown from said target man finds Kuyt, who screws a shot wide from the edge of the box.
West Brom starting to assert themselves now but are constantly being let down by untidy passing. Brunt is the latest offender, passing the ball straight to Agger. At the other end, an air shot from Meireles fluffs a sharp Liverpool counter. Pretty much sums up the game so far.
Not much going on really. Cox arrows in on the Liverpool goal and attempts one from distance. it was going well, well wide, but a deflection actually brings it back on target, without providing any problem at all for Reina.
West Brom win a free kick deep in the Liverpool half after Agger clatters into Odemwingie. Brunt swings it in with his left peg but Reina collects comfortably.
Liverpool the dominant force in the game so far, as West Brom struggling to impose themselves against a Reds side evidently enjoying possession on the ball. Forays forward have been few and far between though, with crosses into Carroll the weapon of choice so far.
On comes Kyrgiakos in his place, with Agger shifting to left back. With four centre halfs now on the field, will West Brom look to force their way down the flanks? You'd think so.
A direct counter-attack after a long, raking pass from deep inside the West Brom half causes Glen Johnson to gallop back, but he clearly pulls up, having tweaked his hamstring. Bad news for the England fullback as it becomes abundantly clear he's going to have to come off straight away.
He's making a nuisance of himself already that man Carroll. Looking to link up with Meireles, Carroll bursts beyond the West Brom back four and goes down under a challenge from Olson. Looked a clear-cut foul but the ref wasn't having it whatsoever.
Liverpool seem up for it right away. Some sustained pressure in the opening exchanges forces an early corner. Carroll towers above his marker, thunders a header which Carson parries, with Kuyt messing up the rebound. Should have scored.
And here they are, with Liverpool kicking off proceedings.
The Baggies, just one point off the drop zone keep the faith with Peter Odemwingie. The Nigerian hasn't really lived up to the high standards he set himself earlier in the season, yet with the attacking intent of Jerome Thomas, Simon Cox and Chris Brunt behind him, I'm sure he'll come good.
Finally, we get to see the much-anticipated Carroll/Suarez combo up top for Liverpool. The Uruguayian has impressed in his first few games in England and with Carroll emphatically notching for his country earlier in the week, could we be witnessing the start of something beautiful?
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Kuyt, Spearing, Lucas, Meireles, Carroll, Suarez. Subs: Gulacsi, Cole, Kyrgiakos, Maxi, Wilson, Ngog, Poulsen.
West Brom: Carson, Reid, Meite, Olsson, Shorey, Scharner, Mulumbu, Brunt, Cox, Thomas, Odemwingie. Subs: Myhill, Cech, Pablo, Vela, Zuiverloon, Fortune, Jara.
Roy Hodgson left Anfield after a spell at Liverpool that left much to be desired. Was he really to blame? A decent enough job done so far at West Brom suggests he’s not quite as inept as the Kop would have you believe. Anyway, Hodgson awaits the return of his old club as Liverpool try to amass the points that could lead European qualification. Here are the lineups.
Afternoon and welcome to the goal.com live coverage of West Brom vs Liverpool at the Hawthornes.
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