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April 22, 2012
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: N. Swarbrick
• Attendance: 43660
West Bromwich Albion
And that's it! West Brom win 1-0 at Anfield thanks to a clinical Odemwingie strike after a Glen Johson error. How Liverpool were not eight or nine nil up I don't know, following many opportunities, but Roy Hodgson will feel like his side gave a good account of themselves in the latter part of the second half. The Baggies have NICKED it.
90' + 5'
We're into the last minute here, and West Brom are just counting down the seconds with some possession football now. It looks like Liverpool won't be building on their five league victories at Anfield this season.
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Jonjo Shelvey
90' + 4'
Scharner has about 500 seconds to line up a long-shot, which is fired into a defender and then Simon Cox has an effort from the rebound. Liverpool look to have given this game up.
90' + 3'
Paul Scharner is really playing the part since his arrival on the pitch, calming the Baggies midfield down and making Liverpool work for it. Nothing is running for Dalglish's men. Chances are drying up.
90' + 2'
Suarez makes a trademark run down the byline and beats two players before firing across goal. Foster does well to collect.
90' + 1'
By the way, we're in the first of FIVE extra minutes, here at Anfield.
Martin Skrtel's terrible afternoon is continuing as he is adjudged to have committed yet another foul on Long.
A short corner finds Keith Andrews just outside the area, who takes a touch and fires a screamer goalwards, which sears wide of the upright. Close for the Baggies.
A ridiculous 'barge' by Skrtel on Shane Long forces a West Brom freekick high up in the Liverpool half. That'll be a nice rest I can imagine.
A high amount of Liverpool pressure now as literally everyone seems to be sending over crosses, much to the displeasure of the fans, because all the crosses are failing to meet Red-heads.
And Suarez has just been called offside after being put through one-on-one. Very close decision, too. Just under four minutes to go.
Bellamy is trying desperately to kick-start a Liverpool comeback, whipping in balls left, right and centre. Every other player in Dalglish's team looks deflated.
And now the goalscorer Odemwingie is coming off for Paul Scharner. Defensive change?
Which comes out to Carroll, whose blocked shot rolls ALL the way back downfield towards Reina.
Bellamy wins a Liverpool corner...
Unbelievable. Bellamy cuts in from the left and fires across the keeper, who gets a hand to it, but doesn't hold it - and Carroll, with the ball at his feet, cannot get a good enough shot away. This is really crazy game.
And, as you would expect, the West Brom fans are suddenly in fantastic voice. Liverpool are pushing for an immediate equaliser, though! Downing whips in a scything cross but no one can put a foot to it.
Yellow Card Daniel Agger
Assist Youssouf Mulumbu
Goal Peter Odemwingie
Goal! Peter Odemwingie has put Albion in front after a SHOCKING error from Glen Johnson, who has been arguably the best player so far this game. Mulumbu nicks it off the Englishman and feeds it Odemwingie, who advances towards goal and fires straight past the helpless Reina. Poor, poor Liverpool.
Maxi Rodriguez is making way for Stewart Downing in a straight swap. Let's see what Downing can do to affect proceedings.
They're still enjoying the better of it, the Reds, and yes, Johnson is STILL finding too much space down the right. Bellamy is starting to have an impression on the game too.
Just under 20 minutes to go and, after this second half display, Liverpool will be wondering how they are not at least EIGHT OR NINE goals ahead. An incredible game to watch.
Both Dalglish and Hodgson are changing it up now, with Dirk Kuyt being replaced by Craig Bellamy and Jerome Thomas coming off for Keith Andrews.
And now Henderson gets in on the circus act, with another miss! Kuyt lays it off to the Englishman, whose left-foot, low shot finds the side-netting.
Well, well, well...after Long goes one-on-one with Reina, he somehow decides NOT to shoot and the chance comes to nothing. After which ensues the BIGGEST goalmouth scramble you are ever likely to see in the Baggies box, with Carroll, Suarez, Kuyt AND Rodriguez missing chances.
Foster isn't having the easiest time either, as an Enrique cross is spilled and bundled out for a corner.
Roy Hodgson might need to shore up the midfield with some substitutions. The Baggies are being completely overrun right now, with more waves of Liverpool attacks flowing through.
Who was it down the right? Yes, it was Glen Johnson. And the Englishman flies in another amazing cross to which Carroll applies what he thinks is the finishing touch. Not so, and the header flies over.
Just as Martin Skrtel wins an important sprint against Peter Odemwingie, Suarez angles another delicious ball for Kuyt, and the Dutchman's low shot ricochets off the bottom of the upright. More woodwork for the Reds. Moments later, the Dutchman turns provider and whips in a ball for Carroll who volleys narrowly over. Liverpool are totally dominating.
A long ball by Skrtel is knocked down by Carroll, typically, and Maxi Rodriguez advances on the volley, but cannot direct it goalwards. Superb Liverpool play once more.
I don't think I've seen a more successful combination between players (Johnson and Suarez) bear such little fruit in front of goal. The two have made SO many opportunities this match, but with no final product. Again, Suarez beats his man on the right and cannot deliver a decent enough cross.
Suarez picks the ball up on the left byline, nutmegs Jones and drifts into the area. He's just about to cross, or shoot, but obviously cannot decide which and the ball flies into the stands. Again, a fantastic chance for the Reds.
West Brom are finding it similarly difficult to keep the ball this half. Again, Odemwingie needs to hold onto it slightly better.
A Liverpool corner is swung in and who would you expect to get his head to it, but Andy Carroll. The striker's headed effort is angled towards the ground and the Baggies defence does well to get it clear.
Shane Long is giving Martin Skrtel a hellish day! But just as the attack breaks down, Liverpool launch one of their own, with Johnson bursting into the area, laying it off for Carroll, who in tern plays it for Jordan Henderson. The England international's rifled shot rockets off the underside of the crossbar and the ball hits Foster on its way back down. Out to safety, but how that didn't go in, I don't know.
Johnson floats it towards Suarez on the right side of the Baggies penalty area. The nifty, little striker swings around an incredibly dangerous cross but none of his teammates took a chance to get a touch onto it. That was a chance.
A similar story for Liverpool today. They could be ahead, but of course, it has taken two outstanding Pepe Reina saves just to keep them in the game. Corner to the Reds now, though.
Liverpool get us back rolling again.
That's half-time here at Anfield, between Liverpool and West Brom. Both sides had fantastic opportunities to take the lead, with Chris Brunt in particular forcing Reina into a wonderful save. Similar story for Liverpool though - plenty of nip and zip around the box but no end product. 0-0.
Johnson, AGAIN, flies in a little cross towards the on-rushing Suarez. Olsson gets back JUST in time to put a foot in before the striker pulled the trigger. The big Swede is playing well.
Johnson whips in a dangerous cross which is, even more dangerously, headed back across goal by Agger and anything could have happened there. What did happen was a West Brom clearance. As I said, dangerous, though.
Both Rodriguez and Skrtel have good attempts here, but both are blocked amazingly in front of goal. Moments later, Daniel Agger finds some space after bringing down a cross and jinks back and forth in the area before firing low towards goal. Foster clips it wide.
Really neat footwork from Suarez allows him to 'ghost' through his man on the left, and Olsson comes back to cover for a corner. Brilliant play from the striker, though.
Quite hit and miss this from both teams, but Odemwingie has a good chance here, as Glen Johnson loses out in an aerial battle and the ball falls to the Nigerian about 25 yards out, who takes a touch and hammers it wide, to the disappointment of Roy Hodgson.
Kuyt lays off Spearing about 30 yards out, and the midfielder's shot is close - it whistles past the post, it's that close. There HAS to be goals in this game, surely?!
Skrtel clears a West Brom cross for a Baggies corner. Roy Hodgson's side are growing in confidence here, following Chris Brunt's attempt.
Jose Enrique lofts through a curler into the Baggies area and Suarez finds himself in far too much space. The striker flicks a header on towards the top corner, but he gets just a little too much on it and it loops over. I'm not sure Foster was getting there.
Wow and now West Brom should lead! A long ball forward is headed down from Shane Long into the path of Chris Brunt, whose snapshot volley is well saved down low by Pepe Reina. Great play all round but West Brom will feel disappointed with that.
But it's SUCH a poor freekick from Graham Dorrans. The Scot's attempt doesn't even clear the wall, 40 yards out.
Long finds Thomas on the West Brom left, whose feeds Long again in lots of space. Skrtel brings the Irishman down though, just outside the area on the left. Decent chance this.
Again, Liverpool should lead! And it's such poor defending on the West Brom left as Johnson cuts inside once more and feeds Suarez, whose snapshot is well saved by Foster. Rodriguez misses the follow-up.
A fantastic Andy Carroll header in midfield allows Suarez to run against only two baggies defenders. When the striker reaches the area, he cuts back inside and angles a placed shot goalwards but Olsson gets a block in and it loops out for a throw. More good chances for the Reds.
Liverpool could have had a penalty, here, as Maxi Rodriguez is brought down in the box. The referee takes a long while to think before awarding a goal kick. Dalglish incensed.
After Kuyt finds himself in all sorts of space down the right, some lovely intricate passing follows between Suarez and Johnson, and the Uruguayan striker flashes a dangerous cross along the goal-line. Agger is SO close to getting something on it.
West Brom are struggling to keep the ball at the moment, with Peter Odemwingie in particular failing to hold play up for the Baggies.
Jose Enrique picked up the ball on the left side of midfield, cut inside and lashed a 30-yard shot high, over the crossbar. Liverpool posing the more attacking threats here.
Wolves are defending well from the back, with Jonas Olsson in particular a calming presence. But not there, Olsson and Ridgewell get mixed up as Daniel Agger pummels a long ball forward and neither deal with it, leaving Suarez to advance forward and attempt a shot. Deflected out for a Liverpool throw-in.
Glen Johnson is getting a lot of joy down the Liverpool right, whipping in crosses and dribbling past defenders. Nothing coming of it as yet, though.
Dirk Kuyt should score, here. Suarez dispossesses Mulumbu and sweeps forward towards goal. The Uruguayan feeds the on-rushing Kuyt to the right, who misfires wide with Ben Foster stranded.
A fantastic cross-field ball from Jay Spearing finds Glen Johnson, who momentarily gives up on it as it looks to be going out for a throw, but the full-back keeps it in play and fires in a dangerous cross from the by-line. Saved down low.
Skrtel slides into the back of Shane Long and the Irishman is down clutching his leg. The diminutive forward is made of sterner stuff, though, and play carries on.
Glen Johnson advanced unchallenged towards the box with men available either side of him but the English international chooses to shoot low towards the goal, but it is blocked out and Liverpool can start again.
Both teams feeling each other out with some probing passes but astute defending is prevailing in these early minutes. Maxi Rodriguez has started brightly on the left.
We're underway at Anfield.
Roy Hodgson couldn't pick a sweeter game to mark a turnaround in his side's recent away form. West Brom last won away against Wolves in February and have since lost three and drawn one.
For any Liverpool fans who pay attention to statistics - both Jay Spearing and Jordan Henderson have recorded a better pass success rate than Charlie Adam this season. Make of that what you will.
A win for Liverpool will see them leapfrog Everton, who secured a spectacular 4-4 draw at Manchester United earlier today, into seventh. An away victory for West Brom could see them rise into 10th.
There will probably be a few eyes on that central-midfield pairing of Jay Spearing and Jordan Henderson today. Not much experience between them.
For those interested, Kenny Dalglish makes four changes from the side that secured an FA Cup semi-final win against Everton. Out go Brad Jones, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard and Stewart Downing. Pepe Reina returns in goal, Jose Enrique will slot in at left-back, Maxi looks likely to start on the right, with Dirk Kuyt operating on the opposite flank.
West Brom subs: Fulop, Dawson, Shorey, Scharner, Andrews, Tchoyi, Cox
West Brom: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Thomas, Mulumbu, Brunt, Dorrans; Long, Odemwingie
Liverpool subs: Doni, Coates, Carragher, Kelly, Downing, Shelvey, Bellamy
Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Maxi, Spearing, Henderson, Kuyt; Carroll, Suarez
Welcome to the LIVE! commentary for Liverpool's clash against West Brom, where we'll see Roy Hodgson make his return to Anfield.
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