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Full-time: Liverpool 2-1 West Brom

  • Liverpool stretch their unbeaten home run to 17 matches in all competitions and get back to winning ways at Anfield after dour goalless draw against Manchester United
  • The Reds, undefeated in nine games, dominated the first half and took the lead when a glorious passing move was finished off by a side-footed volley from Sadio Mane
  • Philippe Coutinho doubled the lead before half-time by selling a second great dummy and beating Ben Foster at his near post
  • West Brom looked unable to cope with the hosts' attacking flair, but grew into the game late on and set up a nervy finish when Gareth McAuley reduced the deficit from a corner
  • Claudio Yacob and Jordan Henderson will both serve one-match suspensions after picking up their fifth yellows cards of the season for dissent
  • Liverpool needed to win by a two-goal margin to go top of the Premier League and instead now sit second behind Arsenal on goal difference ahead of Manchester City's clash with Southampton on Sunday
  • Earlier: Bournemouth 0-0 Tottenham, Arsenal 0-0 Middlesbrough
Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane

That just about wraps up this particular blog, but join me again tomorrow for the small matter of Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea with Manchester United. We will have live coverage of that heavyweight clash at Stamford Bridge from 14.30 BST.

Don't miss it! Goodnight.

No handshake again between Klopp and Pulis...


So Liverpool miss out on the chance to go top of the Premier League for the first time since 2014, but that win sees them extend their formidable unbeaten home run to 17 matches in all competitions. Klopp's side, who have not been defeated at all since that shock 1-0 loss at Burnley in August, now sit second behind Arsenal on goal difference but will be bumped back to third in the likely event that Manchester City avoid losing to Southampton at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow.

Jurgen Klopp and Jordan Henderson
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

McAuley's goal made things slightly nervier than they should have been, but it was another dominant performance full of flair that should have yielded more goals and a far more comfortable scoreline. Lallana, Mane, Coutinho and Firmino all impressed.

For West Brom, defeat marks the end of three consecutive 1-1 draws. The Baggies lie 13th and three points above the relegation zone before City's visit to The Hawthorns next weekend. Liverpool travel to Crystal Palace next Saturday evening after their midweek cup date with Spurs.


Liverpool 2-1 West Brom

A couple of potential late openings for West Brom. However, Nyom strays offside and Robson-Kanu is unable to control the ball.

Wijnaldum also comes within a whisker of adding a third goal for Liverpool, but his bending shot whistles agonisingly wide of the post.

Three minutes of added time for West Brom to find an equaliser.

Klopp makes his final change. Origi takes the place of Mane.

Morrison is into the book for a shirt pull on Coutinho and Henderson, like Yacob, picks up his fifth booking of the season for dissent. The Liverpool skipper will sit out Tuesday's EFL Cup fourth-round tie against Tottenham.

In an effort to shore up his midfield in the dying minutes, Klopp sends on Lucas Leiva. Coutinho is the man to make way.

McAuley gets his head to Brunt's free-kick after Matip is penalised for a foul on Rondon. Milner then produces a fine block to snuff out Robson-Kanu's hopeful shot.

The game is really stretched now with only five minutes left to play. Foster produces another great stop to deny Firmino and Chadli shoots well over from distance.

Roberto Firmino
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

West Brom have been much improved over the last 10 minutes or so and have now stunned in Anfield into silence and set up an exciting finish by halving the deficit.

Karius again looks a bag of nerves as he fails to deal with a ball to the back post. Brunt's corner holds up in the six-yard box and the ball bounces off McAuley's shoulder before the veteran centre-back fires home his third goal of the season from close range.

Can West Brom pull of the most unlikely of comebacks?

Gareth McAuley

Goal: Liverpool 2-1 West Brom (Gareth McAuley)

Lallana receives a standing ovation at the end of his 100th Liverpool appearance as he goes off to be replaced by Wijnaldum. It's been another impressive performance by the energetic England winger.


Good determination from Robson-Kanu, who has oddly been given the number four shirt by West Brom, to poke the ball towards Morrison after initially looking like he had been dispossessed by Milner.

The Scotland international then tries to test Karius but his right-footed shot from 25 yards was always drifting harmlessly wide of the post.

West Brom's travelling supporters ironically celebrate winning a corner as if they've scored a goal.

Brunt's near-post delivery is headed away by Firmino and Chadli creates space before digging an effort over the crossbar.

70 minutes on the clock and I believe that was the visitors' first shot of any kind. It's just been one of those days. Particularly disappointing when you consider how shaky Loris Karius has looked since replacing Simon Mignolet as Liverpool's first-choice goalkeeper.

Milner picks out Can with a great long pass, but the former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder is denied by an absolutely sensational flying block from Olsson.

Can then fires over with another potshot.

Emre Can

Pulis' third and final change sees Hal Robson-Kanu replace McClean. You don't imagine that will strike fear into the heart of Liverpool's backline.

West Brom launch a rare counter attack. They have a man over on the left, but Rondon's pass towards Chadli is just too slow and allows Liverpool to get men behind the ball.

At the other end, another Reds attack ends with Can shooting over from distance.

Still the hosts push forward in search of goals and only a brilliant last-ditch block from McAuley denies Firmino, who was set-up by a perfect low pass from Coutinho. The latter was left in acres of space during his run towards the edge of the penalty area.

Foster then produces a terrific diving save to keep out Dejan Lovren's header. You sense this will only get worse for West Brom.

Roberto Firmino and Gareth McAuley

Liverpool are coasting now and the skillful Firmino wins a free-kick out near the left touchline after being bundled over by McAuley.

Milner looks to swing in a deep cross but gets it all wrong and the ball sails straight out of play.

We are barely five minutes into this second half and Pulis has already made his second substitution. James Morrison jogs on in place of Phillips.

Coutinho looks to release Firmino with a low pass down the right channel, but Olsson does just enough to fend off the makeshift striker and allow Foster to collect.

Jonas Olsson and Roberto Firmino

It doesn't take West Brom long to be opened up again as Mane tees up Coutinho. This time, however, the Brazilian's shot is blocked by Dawson.

We are back off and running at Anfield. Yacob, booked for dissent in that first half, has been replaced by Chris Brunt at the interval.

A typically impressive first half performance from Liverpool, who have quickly rediscovered their flair after that goalless draw with Manchester United. Some of their attacking play, particularly at home, is simply irresistible and there are very few defenders that can cope with the electric Coutinho on this sort of form.

Jurgen Klopp

West Brom initially looked to pose a threat on the counter, but have mostly been stifled by their own negativity here. Fletcher's poor pass back to Foster before the second goal being a case in point.

The Baggies are a functional, limited side and it will be an enormous ask for them to get back on level terms. Their bench is not exactly packed full of game-changing attacking options, either.


Liverpool 2-0 West Brom

One minuted of added time signalled at the end of the first half. Mane limps away from a heavy challenge.

An irate Yacob oversteps the mark with his complaints to referee Swarbrick and talks himself into a yellow card for dissent.

That is the fiery Argentine's fifth caution of the season and he will be suspended for next weekend's visit of Manchester City to the West Midlands.

Claudio Yacob

Liverpool are turning on the style now. Firmino tees up Clyne with a sumptuous piece of skill, but the right-back's shot is wayward.

Firmino is then unable to keep a raking cross-field ball from Lallana in play.

Woeful from Fletcher as he puts Foster in trouble with a needless backpass and is unable to control the goalkeeper's skewed clearance.

Mane seizes on the loose ball and finds Coutinho, who sends McAuley and Dawson into the next postcode with another superb dummy before drilling a low right-footed shot that beats Foster at his near post.

As it stands, Liverpool are top of the Premier League. Game over already?

Philippe Coutinho

Goal: Liverpool 2-0 West Brom (Philippe Coutinho)

West Brom hold possession reasonably well, but look vulnerable to the counter when Lallana combines with Can before stepping inside Olsson and bending a shot over the crossbar.

Nathaniel Clyne beats McClean with a little drop of the shoulder and proceeds to fire a dangerous low ball across the six-yard box that is just too powerful for a sliding Can to connect with.

With 20 minutes gone, Liverpool break the deadlock with a wonderful passing move.

Milner's initial pass to Emre Can is nicely dummied by Coutinho. The German then finds Firmino, who stands the ball up to the back post where Mane is on hand to beat Ben Foster with a side-footed volley into the bottom corner.

Excellent goal.

Sadio Mane

Goal: Liverpool 1-0 West Brom (Sadio Mane)

Gareth McAuley blocks Coutinho's latest effort and Milner, up from left-back, rises above Phillips to head Jordan Henderson's first-time cross over the bar.

Almost a real chance on the counter-attack for West Brom after Firmino's short pass towards Coutinho is picked off. Rondon, Nacer Chadli and Matt Phillips all combine to good effect before Joel Matip comes across to make a crucial interception.

Firmino, to his credit, also chased back extremely well there.

Joel Matip
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Captain Darren Fletcher tries to launch a Baggies attack, but Craig Dawson's subsequent deep cross evades James McClean and eventually drifts beyond Nyom and out for a throw on the far side.

Liverpool, who have started with a good tempo, work the ball forward once more and a powerful drive from Philippe Coutinho is blocked by Claudio Yacob.

An early penalty shout for Liverpool as Sadio Mane tangles with Allan Nyom inside West Brom's box. The appeals are waved away.

Referee Neil Swarbrick blows his whistle and we are underway. Both sides are sporting their home strips today, with Liverpool kicking from right to left in the first half.

With Manchester City not hosting Southampton until tomorrow, Klopp's side can go top of the table tonight if they win by two goals or more.

It will be interesting to see how the two managers interact this evening after their little bust-up last season, when Pulis appeared to take exception to the overzealous touchline celebrations that accompanied Divock Origi's deflected 95th-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw on Merseyside.

Jurgen Klopp and Tony Pulis
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Klopp also later labelled West Brom as a long-ball team, while Pulis was quick to point out that his side only actually played three more long passes than the hosts on that occasion.

The return fixture took place at The Hawthorns on the final day of the 2015/16 campaign, when a much-changed Liverpool side with one eye on the Europa League final in Basel secured a 1-1 draw after Jordon Ibe's solo goal cancelled out a close-range opener from Salomon Rondon.

As per the BBC, West Brom's only victories at Anfield came in back-to-back trips in April 2012 and February 2013. Liverpool have not lost to today's opponents since that latter 2-0 home defeat, while four of the last six meetings between the two teams have ended in draws.

While we wait for Liverpool vs West Brom to begin in under 20 minutes, let's bring you up to date with the rest of the action from another busy Saturday of Premier League football.

In the lunchtime kick-off, Tottenham were held to a goalless draw at Bournemouth. Both sides hit the woodwork during a lively affair and Moussa Sissoko was extremely fortunate to avoid a late red card for an elbow on Harry Arter.

While that result saw Mauricio Pochettino's side miss out on the chance to temporarily go top, Arsenal's own stalemate at home to Middlesbrough, a result that ends their impressive run of seven successive wins in all competitions, was enough to take them to the summit for a short while at least.

Everton slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Burnley courtesy of a 90th-minute winner from Scott Arfield, while Leicester continued their formidable home form with a comfortable 3-1 win over Crystal Palace. Xherdan Shaqiri helped Stoke out of the relegation zone by netting both goals in a 2-0 win at struggling Hull and David Moyes' winless Sunderland were cruelly denied a point at West Ham by Winston Reid's last-gasp effort.

Bob Bradley's first home match in charge of Swansea, meanwhile, ended 0-0 after a string of top saves from visiting goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Although Pulis stressed that Berahino had fully bought into the idea, reports from the Mail that circulated last night suggested that the 23-year-old had been left "bewildered" by those claims that he is overweight and was "privately disputing" the accusation. He is also said to be "upset that his professionalism has been called into question".

It is the latest sorry tale in an initially massively promising career that has totally stalled in the aftermath of that protracted Tottenham transfer saga from a year ago.

Berahino, who turned down a new four-year deal in the summer and is without a goal to his name since February, is out of contract at the end of the season and will surely look to move on.

Much of Pulis' pre-match press conference was taken up by talk of Berahino, who has not played for West Brom since a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth in early September. He was omitted from the squad for last weekend's meeting with Tottenham and subsequent reports suggested that he had been placed on a special individual training programme after reporting for training eight pounds overweight.

"We're taking him out of the firing line and it's important that we get him back to the sharpness and fitness," his manager said on Friday. "We think, as a football club with the medical side, that's the best way of doing it.

Saido Berahino
Stu Forster/Getty Images

"When you're playing as we are at the moment, the players are training hard at the beginning of the week and then dropping off and Saido's having the weekend off as well. So we've put a fitness programme in place and we're hoping and praying that will benefit him and get him back to where we want him."

When asked if he was disappointed in the player, Pulis added: "No, not at all. As I've said all along, I think Saido's got too many people around him talking to him at times and he gets carried away with different ideas and different thoughts... The situation is the situation. We've decided this is the best way to get Saido fit, to get him back on board and to get him playing the way he played when I first came here. That's very, very important for this team and it's very, very important for the club."


Pulis also makes one alteration, but his is enforced as Jonas Olsson deputises for the suspended Evans. Everton loanee Brendan Galloway comes onto the bench.

Jonas Olsson
Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

Klopp makes one change to the starting XI, with Lallana replacing Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino leading the line.

Adam Lallana

Wijnaldum is only deemed fit enough for a place on the bench and Marko Grujic drops out of the matchday squad altogether.

West Brom: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Nyom, Phillips, Yacob, Fletcher, McClean, Chadli, Rondon

Subs: Myhill, Galloway, Morrison, Gardner, Brunt, Leko, Robson-Kanu

Liverpool: Karius, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Henderson, Can, Lallana, Coutinho, Mane, Firmino

Subs: Mignolet, Moreno, Klavan, Lucas, Wijnaldum, Sturridge, Origi

Stand by for official confirmation of this afternoon's teams...


West Brom also have a clean bill of health, with only striker Saido Berahino likely to be absent after being put on an an individual training programme with the aim of helping him to lose weight. More on that to come shortly.

Jonny Evans
Getty Images

Pulis' one definite absentee is Jonny Evans. The influential and versatile Northern Ireland defender is serving a one-match suspension after accumulating five yellow cards.

Klopp is expected to have almost a full squad to choose from this afternoon, with Georginio Wijnaldum bidding to return from a hip injury that ruled him out of the north-west derby and James Milner likely to be passed fit after being substituted in the aftermath of a clash of heads with Marcus Rashford.

Adam Lallana, meanwhile, is set to be restored to the starting XI after only featuring for half an hour on Monday due to a groin injury suffered at Swansea that ruled him out of England's recent World Cup qualifiers.

Georginio Wijnaldum
Getty Images

Joe Gomez is finally back in training after his recovery from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament was delayed by achilles tendinopathy, although he will understandably need time to build his match fitness after such a lengthy lay-off.

Winger Sheyi Ojo remains sidelined with an ongoing back problem.

After the frightfully dull damp squib that was their so-called 'Red Monday' clash with fierce rivals Manchester United, Liverpool are hoping to return to winning ways in the Premier League this evening against a West Brom side on a run of three consecutive draws and whose away record certainly leaves a lot to be desired.

Ander Herrera

Stay tuned to IBTimes UK for live coverage of this Saturday teatime kick-off from 17.30 BST. Before then, we will preview the game and bring you all the latest injury/team news and confirmed lineups as they drop.