Goalkeeper Alisson headed in an injury time winner to spark remarkable scenes at the Hawthorns, as Liverpool kept their top four fate in their own hands with a 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion.
With Albion’s relegation confirmed last time out against Arsenal at the Emirates stadium, Sam Allardyce made two changes to his side with Grady Diangana and Hal Robson-Kanu making surprise returns in place of Callum Robinson and Mbaye Diagne.
Sadio Mane returned for the Reds following a public disagreement over being dropped by Jurgen Klopp for the 4-2 win against Manchester United, whilst Curtis Jones replaced Gini Wijnaldum.
A bright start from Albion was swiftly rewarded. Following a mishap by the inexperienced Liverpool defence, neat play from Matheus Pereira saw Robson-Kanu finish confidently for his first Premier League goal since 2017, silencing his critics in the process.Embed from Getty Images
Klopp’s side grew into the half as it wore on, Mane should have equalised with time and space in the box, though he wasted the opportunity and fired wide.
Despite not creating too many clear-cut chances prior to that aforementioned Mane chance, Liverpool equalized. After questionable free kick was awarded, the Reds quickly progressed towards the Albion penalty area as the ball broke to Mohamed Salah who finished brilliantly from a difficult angle.
Roberto Firmino should have completed the turnaround after he rattled the crossbar following a fortunate deflection. Whilst a timely intervention from Andrew Robertson stopped Robson-Kanu from doubling his tally for the game and season.
With the game even at half time, both sides would have fancied their chances of taking all three points with Albion not backing down following relegation.
Liverpool asserted their dominance only five minutes into the second half, with Mane getting on the end of Salah’s cross. Though the offside flag saved Albion.Embed from Getty Images
Nathaniel Phillips’ block prevented Periera from giving Albion the lead again, whilst Sam Johnstone showcased his ability once more by saving Salah’s effort from close range.
The Baggies thought they led after Kyle Bartley bundles Semi Ajayi’s knockdown. And despite the flag initially ruling out the goal, replays showed Bartley was onside and the goal should stand. But VAR officials questionably stuck with the original decision with Matt Phillips deemed to be involved in play despite not touching the ball.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jake Livermore came on to bolster the Baggies midfield as Liverpool put the pressure on to find a winning goal. But resolute defending from the likes of Semi Ajayi and Darnell Furlong prevented them.
Robson-Kanu was replaced by Karlan Grant, but only after the Welshman was denied by Alisson at close.
A great save by Johnstone from Thiago’s deflected shot and a poor miss from Wijnaldum prevented Liverpool from winning it, and it looked like their Champions League hopes were over.
Then the truly remarkable happened. With what was bound to be the last attack of the game, Alisson crept forward and was unmarked in the box. With Trent Alexander-Arnold producing a first-class delivery, the Brazilian headed home in the way a natural goal scorer would and set off wild celebrations amongst Liverpool players and management.Embed from Getty Images
You could not believe your eyes.
Ratings: Johnstone (7), Furlong (7), Bartley (6), Ajayi (7) Townsend (6), Yokuslu (6), Gallagher (6), Phillips (7), Diangana (6) Pereira (7), Robson Kanu (7) Subs: Livermore (6), Maitland-Niles (5), Grant (6)
West Brom: Johnstone; Furlong, Bartley (c), Ajayi, Townsend; Yokuslu (Livermore 75’); Gallagher, Phillips; Diangana (Maitland-Niles 73’), Pereira, Robson-Kanu (Grant 82’).
Unused Subs: Button, Peltier, O’Shea, Robinson, Diagne, Gardner-Hickman
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Williams (Wijnaldum 84’), Robertson; Fabinho, Jones (Shaqiri 59’), Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Unused Subs: Adrian, Tsimikas, Williams, Koumetio, Clarkson, Woodburn, Origi.
Referee: Mike Dean