Birmingham news West Brom player ratings v Liverpool as Alisson deals late blow MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - West Brom were beaten 2-1 by Liverpool at The Hawthorns on Sunday
Breaking News ! West Brom might be planning for life in the Championship next season, but that isn’t to say that they’re planning on writing the remainder of their Premier League games off. The fight they displayed against a desperate Liverpool side, hunting Champions League football, at The Hawthorns was perfect proof of that. Not that they had anything to show for it at the full time whistle, after Reds goalkeeper Alisson Becker dramatically headed home a stoppage time winner. Hal Robson-Kanu had given Albion the lead early on with a lovely finish, but the quality of that finish was matched and the lead cancelled out by Mohamed Salah before the break. Sam Allardyce recalled Grady Diangana to the starting line-up, while Robson-Kanu was handed a first league start of the season - and his first in the Premier League since 2017. It was the latter who opened the scoring. Albion began the game positively against a side who admittedly looked leggy having played 72 hours earlier, and were deserving of their lead after 15 minutes. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will auto-play soon8Cancel Play now Semi Ajayi won an aerial header inside the Liverpool half, and Matheus Pereira brought it under his spell before lofting the ball over the top of the defence for Robson-Kanu to race onto. Nat Phillips was playing him onside. The Welshman made no mistake as he curled the ball across Alisson and into the far corner. It was a goal we saw on a number of occasions last term; a wonderful through ball from Pereira, and the finishing touch applied by Robson-Kanu. That jolted Liverpool into life. Their Champions League hopes required them to take all nine points remaining to them before Sunday, and now they had a challenge to overcome against an Albion outfit with little pressure on them and a one-goal advantage. They failed to click in the final third. Trent Alexander-Arnold was a menace on the right, but Roberto Firmino - who hit the post in the first period - didn’t come much closer. Indeed Albion probably felt as though the game-plan was being executed to the letter, and that they had the Reds at arms’ length. Yet the leveller was their own doing. Yes, there were question marks over referee Mike Dean’s decision to award Fabinho a free kick when he crossed his path and blocked his route. It was taken quickly - something which could’ve been avoided with a little more game management from Matty Phillips - and though Albion had the opportunity to clear the danger, Diangana and Kyle Bartley were caught out. Read More Related Articles Every word from Allardyce on Yokuslu, Pereira, Johnstone & Gibbs Read More Related Articles West Brom 'make transfer decisions as summer clear-out begins' The former’s pass was too soft, or the latter didn’t anticipate the ball - take your pick. At any rate Sadio Mane nipped in, teed up Salah and the Egyptian fired into the far corner from distance. Mane himself had the ball in the net at the beginning of the second period, but he was rightly flagged for offside. At this stage, Liverpool’s desperation for the points came to the fore. They began to ascend on the Albion box in numbers on regular occasions, but Conor Townsend and Darnell Furlong on the other side of the back-line timed tackles on Salah and Mane respectively to perfection. Then, perhaps inevitably, Albion were regrettably fed their latest dollop of VAR controversy. Weeks after the Diagne vs Southampton farce, Albion were seemingly undone once again at a set piece. Semi Ajayi nodded the ball down, partner Bartley turned the ball in and the flag went up. Over to VAR went Mike Dean. Replays showed that Bartley was well onside, but that supposedly Phillips was interfering with Alisson’s eye-line. It offered a reprieve to Liverpool, though, and they went about trying to snatch a winner at the death. They did so in the most remarkable of circumstances. Goalkeeper Alisson came up in the last moment of stoppage time and nodded in the winner from a corner to deal Albion a cruel blow and denied them a share of the spoils. Here are the Albion player ratings from The Hawthorns. Be smart. Sign up for our free West Brom newsletter Do you want all the latest West Brom news, views and transfer talk sent straight to your inbox? All you have to do is click here Then enter your selection and email address. That's all it takes, so why are you waiting? Johnstone 7 Little to do in the first period except for dealing with straightforward efforts from Salah and Fabinho.
. Big save to deny the Egyptian in a one-on-one though. Furlong 7 Won an important ball in the build up to Albion’s opener. Was kept on his toes throughout by Mane but stood up to the challenge admirably. A really solid display from Furlong who has been in a good vein of form recently. Ajayi 7 Was a real threat in the Liverpool box in the first half as he battled in the air against the inexperienced pairing of Williams and Phillips. He still has his moments positionally which upset his manager, but when it came to cutting out danger Ajayi fared well here. Bartley 6 Must take a share of the blame for the Liverpool equaliser, but also took a hell of a whack to the head from Phillips and required treatment for a gash. Better in the second period and, perhaps through blue tinted glasses, appeared robbed of a goal.
Kyle Bartley (left) and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah battle for the ball during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns.
(Image: Tim Keeton/PA)
Townsend 7 Uncharacteristically sloppy with his passing in the first half, but dealt impressively well with a situation at the start of the second half when Salah bore down on goal. In fact he did that on more than one occasion. Yokuslu 6 A quieter afternoon for Yokuslu. Ticked over, did nothing that particularly drew attention to himself. Positionally good. Not quite hitting those heights of his first couple of months, but still offering up a steady shift. Tired and was subbed. Gallagher 6 Was sent a hospital pass early doors which he failed to deal with. For the second time in a week, Gallagher was asked to be the legs of both he and Maitland-Niles, and for large periods against Thiago and Fabinho he found it a huge ask. Brought a little more composure and some important tackles towards the end.
Curtis Jones (left) and West Bromwich Albion's Conor Gallagher battle for the ball during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns.
(Image: Rui Vieira/PA)
Phillips 6 Shaky start in which he miscontrolled a long Liverpool ball and then invited pressure by selling Gallagher short. Defensively was a help for Furlong, but could’ve held onto the ball a second or two longer in the build up to Liverpool’s equaliser. Improved in the second half. Pereira 7 A sumptuous ball over the top of the Liverpool defence for Robson-Kanu’s goal. Set piece delivery is improving - here one or two centres caused havoc in the opposing area. Made the wrong decision when Albion might’ve caught Liverpool out on the break - looked for Diangana when Robson-Kanu was the pass. Diangana 5 First start since January. Difficult opposition to be thrown back into action against. Defensively Diangana was on the ball as Alexander-Arnold, Salah and Thiago tried to torment Albion down that side - save for his part in their goal with a sloppy back pass which was cut out. Once or twice he was able to display his quick feet and pace, but this was a quiet return.
West Bromwich Albion's Grady Diangana during the Premier League match against Liverpool at The Hawthorns.
(Image: Tim Keeton/PA)
Robson-Kanu 8 An excellent finish - his Premier League goal since November 2017. Well taken, as were so many of his goals last term at a lower level. Defended from the front for most of the first half, though he could’ve had a second goal when sent in at a similar angle - Alexander-Arnold made an excellent recovering tackle. Offered much more besides, but could’ve had a treble. Subs Maitland-Niles (for Diangana 73) Livermore (for Yokuslu 75) Grant (for Robson-Kanu 81) Subs not used: Button, O’Shea, Peltier, Diagne, Robinson, Gardner-Hickman Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, R Williams (Wijnaldum 84), Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Jones (Shaqiri 59); Salah, Mane, Firmino Subs not used: Adrian, Davies, N Williams, Origi, Clarkson, Tsimikas, Woodburn GOALS Albion - Robson-Kanu 15; Liverpool - Salah 33, Alisson 90 The ref: Mike Dean Up next: West Ham United (H) - Wednesday 19 May, 8:15pm KO
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