West Brom v Liverpool: Live matchday blog
Liverpool had to settle for a point against West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League after a late comeback cancelled out goals from Danny Ings and Mohamed Salah for the Reds.
- Ings opened scoring with neat finish
- Salah's 41st of the season doubled lead
- Livermore and Rondon cleared WBA deficit
Jürgen Klopp's verdict
Jürgen Klopp offered his reaction to Liverpool's frustrating 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion in his post-match press conference at the Hawthorns.
The final stats from The Hawthorns...
West Brom 2-2 Liverpool
A frustrating afternoon for the Reds, who squander a two-goal advantage in the final 10 minutes and return to Merseyside with just a point from The Hawthorns.
Four minutes added on...
Robson-Kanu comes on for Rodriguez.
Goal for West Brom - Rondon
The Baggies forward is first to a free-kick clipped in from the left flank and he powers a header inside the near post to equalise for the hosts. 2-2 at The Hawthorns.
It's getting a bit tense now and Liverpool are thankful to Karius' reactions after a Lovren header back fell short and Rondon swept in to try to beat the goalkeeper.
Third and final change by Klopp - Lovren replaces Salah.
Goal for West Brom - Livermore
The Baggies strike back.
Liverpool fail to clear a corner swung in from the right and after a scramble, Livermore hooks the ball home to halve the hosts' deficit.
2-1 to the Reds now.
Burke is on for Gibbs.
So, that's another landmark goal for Salah.
His 31st in the Premier League this term means he has equalled the record for the most by one player in a single 38-game campaign, alongside Luis Suarez, Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Superb Liverpool goal.
A long ball forward sets Firmino, Salah and Oxlade-Chamberlain off on a brilliant counter-attack and when the latter threads a reverse pass to the Egyptian king's run through to the box, he lifts a nonchalant dink into the back of the net.
Evans replaces McClean for the home side.
Moreno booked for a late tackle on Phillips.
A poor pass concedes possession straight to Salah in the West Brom half and the No.11 dribbles up with two defenders to beat. He eventually tries to flick the ball back to Firmino but it misses his teammate.
Double Liverpool change.
Firmino and Oxlade-Chamberlain on.
Ings and Mane off.
Still in the balance.
And now Phillips causes concern with a scamper in from the right. The Baggies winger goes and goes, past several challenges to reach the byline - but his cutback is cleared by Van Dijk.
We're approaching the hour mark with no change in the scoreline but West Brom have established a greater foothold in the game since the second half began and the Reds aren't getting out with the same speed and threat as before.
Sight of goal for McClean after West Brom work the ball to the left hand side - the No.14 sizes up a diagonal strike across Karius but fizzes it well wide of the post.
Ings makes a reasonable claim for a penalty as he tries to reach Wijnaldum's pass and tumbles under a block challenge from Dawson. Nothing doing, though.
We're back under way here...
The key stats from the first half at The Hawthorns...
West Brom 0-1 Liverpool
A half that became more eventful as it progressed ends with the Reds a goal to the good courtesy of a long-awaited Ings strike. A special moment to savour but the visitors still have work to do at The Hawthorns.
At the other end... it should be two.
Salah sets off on a nimble dribble from the edge of the box but it's a lucky bounce that takes the ball to Ings, middle of the goal and eight yards out. The instant control and shot is good, but Foster sprawls in the way and blocks.
Not sure how the Baggies haven't scored.
Livermore steps into space in the right channel and sends a deep delivery to the back post, where McClean drives a cross-shot along the front of Karius' goal - but Rodriguez can't apply a finishing touch yards out.
Decent spell of pressure from West Brom here and a succession of crosses and corners but the Reds are, just, keeping them at bay to preserve the lead.
Rondon is fortunate to avoid a booking after a lunge on Ings.
Salah wins a free-kick around 20 yards from goal after a consistent effort to drag the Egyptian away from his route to goal. He steps up have a go himself and the curler, from just right of centre, is not too far off the top corner.
Half-chance for Ings but Milner's delivery from the right comes at an awkward height and his header from a central position flies over the crossbar.
The Baggies are picking up momentum, with Rodriguez a growing influence on the game. His latest forward run opens up a chance to cut a pass back to an unmarked Phillips in the box, whose daisy-cutter towards the near post is a simple take for Karius.
That said, the Reds need Gomez to be alert and time his clearing header as Phillips swings in a decent cross from right to left with McClean moving in at the back post. Excellent defending.
That early goal has knocked a bit of the stuffing out of the hosts here and it's Liverpool who are dominating possession and territory. Salah is beginning to liven up, too...
Salah has been quiet so far but the Premier League's top goalscorer wasn't far away from a 41st of the season there.
Having taken in a pass from the right flank, the No.11 spins his marker and shapes a curler towards the far corner - but a deflection off the recovering Livermore diverts the shot away from its target.
Think he enjoyed that... and why not?!
What a moment.
A short corner routine between Milner and Mane releases the latter on the byline and after his low cross is controlled by Wijnaldum, Ings pounces to rifle a firm finish beyond Foster.
Reminder that you can analyse today's fixture as it unfolds with our neat Opta chalkboard tool...
Rondon threatens to run into a shooting position inside the Liverpool area but Karius is out smartly to scoop the ball.
James Milner kicks off and we're under way... come on, Reds!
Warming up in the sunshine...
Here are the BetVictor match prices...
West Brom - 6/1
Draw - 31/10
Liverpool - 4/7
Click here for more details.
Five changes explained
Here's the boss on his team selection today...
“We have the players available. Now we have Alberto, we have Ragnar, we have Ingsy – and that helps us a lot. That’s what we did during the season when we could – we changed the team from time to time, we rotated a little bit and brought in really fresh legs.
“OK, we had a normal week but at the beginning of the week one or two players had a few issues. So pretty early in the week it was clear I wanted to choose that line-up.”
Behind closed doors...
The lads are here...
TEAM NEWS – FIVE CHANGES
Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan and Alberto Moreno come into the Reds defence against the Baggies, while James Milner returns to midfield and Danny Ings starts up front.
Liverpool team: Karius, Gomez, Klavan, Van Dijk, Moreno, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Ings.
Substitutes: Mignolet, Lovren, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Robertson, Solanke, Alexander-Arnold.
The Liverpool squad has just arrived at the ground and we'll have the confirmed starting XI for you in around 10 minutes...
"Where's our weather update?" I hear you cry.
Fear no more.
It is a fine morning at The Hawthorns, perfect for football you might say, with the sun shining over the stadium as kick-off draws ever nearer. Temperatures are touching 13 degrees.
Virgil van Dijk on the mic...
Pre-match media duties for our No.4 at the Hawthorns.
Kind words from Darren Moore, who is currently in charge of West Brom, in today's matchday programme...
“Congratulations go to them on reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League and, as England’s representatives, I’d like to wish them all the best in the competition.
“The fact that Liverpool are in the last four in the Champions League shows you what a tough task it will be for us this afternoon but we are coming into the game in a bit of form of our own now.”
Mo's the man...
Baggies stopper Ben Foster didn’t vote for Mohamed Salah in the PFA Player of the Year awards – he elected to go for Manchester United’s David de Gea as a fellow member of the goalkeepers’ union.
However, he thinks our top scorer might be the one claiming the accolade tomorrow night.
He told the match programme: “You’d be hard pushed to look past Mo Salah, he’s had an unreal season, he’s taken to the Premier League immediately and just scores goals wherever he goes. Players like that are worth their weight in gold. But we kept United out. We’ll try to do the same again.”
The sun is shining...
Speaking of Salah, watch all 40 of the Egyptian king's goals for the Reds so far in our FREE video below.
So, will Mo equal or surpass Suarez, Ronaldo and Shearer today?
As you can see below, he's currently four goals clear of Harry Kane in the race for the Premier League's Golden Boot...
Salah eyes Suarez, Ronaldo and Shearer record
Here are a few pre-match facts to whet your appetite...
- Should Mohamed Salah net at The Hawthorns, he will equal the highest number of goals scored in a 38-game Premier League season (31) - a total only previously achieved by Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Shearer.
- Salah's next top-flight goal in 2017-18 will also see him draw level with Roger Hunt as only the second player in Liverpool's history to score in 23 league games in a single campaign (Hunt did so in the Second Division in 1961-62).
- Roberto Firmino, meanwhile, is two goals short of registering 50 for Liverpool in all competitions. He could make his 100th league appearance for the Reds on Saturday.
- As a club, Liverpool need two more to reach 200 league goals against West Brom.
- Only once in the last 53 seasons have the Reds failed to score in both league clashes with the Baggies during a season (2012-13).
'You really can’t take your eye off the ball'
We caught up with Danny Ings earlier this week - and Liverpool's No.28 insisted the Reds are focused solely on West Brom, not Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg against AS Roma.
“We have been training so hard to try to get the best results at the weekend as in the week. In all of the big games, from the Premier League to the Champions League, each game is the same. Having a week’s rest is definitely going to benefit us this weekend,” Ings said.
“You really can’t take your eye off the ball. They got a result against United, a strong team, so it just shows we’ve got to be focused in every minute of every game.
“It’s irrelevant whether it’s the semi-final of the Champions League or the Premier League. They are fighting for survival and it’s definitely not going to be an easy game.”
LFC fitness latest
Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren are available for today's trip to The Hawthorns, the boss revealed on Friday.
Gomez has not featured for his club since sustaining an ankle injury on international duty with England but returned to full training at Melwood this week, while Lovren is fit after being forced off late on against AFC Bournemouth last weekend.
‘A little muscle issue’ is likely to mean Nathaniel Clyne misses out this afternoon, though, while Emre Can and Adam Lallana remain sidelined.
Below is a reminder of the picture at the top of the Premier League ahead of this weekend's fixtures.
With Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea all in FA Cup action, three points for the Reds today would be a huge help in our bid to claim a top-four finish...
Jürgen Klopp discussed a wide range of topics during his press conference on Friday, including all the latest injury news from the Liverpool camp and Mohamed Salah's targets for the rest of the campaign.
Watch the boss' media briefing in full below...
Good morning and welcome to Liverpoolfc.com's live matchday blog.
The Reds travel to West Bromwich Albion for Saturday's lunchtime kick-off looking to strengthen their grip on a place in the Premier League's top four.
Compare and contrast the two teams' top-flight seasons below...