Shock at Anfield as West Brom earn comeback draw

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Sadio Mane scored for Liverpool before Semi Ajayi equalized in the second half.

Liverpool took on West Bromwich Albion this evening as they looked to increase their advantage atop of the Premier League. Local rivals Everton came within two points of the reigning champions after their result last night meaning Liverpool needed to win today to ease mounting pressure.

In a shock result, though, West Brom managed to earn a draw after initially going behind. Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Liverpool before Semi Ajayi dramatically equalized in the second half. Here’s how it played out.

FIRST HALF

Liverpool predictably controlled much of the opening period. West Brom were pinned back into their own half and rarely ventured into the final third. West Brom attempted to contain Liverpool and they managed to do so for the opening 10 minutes as they starved Liverpool of chances despite their domination.

Liverpool’s quality eventually showed though. Sadio Mane opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Joel Matip ventured high into West Brom’s half before receiving the ball and lifting a pass into the area. Sadio Mane controlled expertly with his chest to evade Semi Ajayi before applying the finish.

Liverpool continued to control the game after the goal. West Brom stuck with their game plan and defended deep in a desperate attempt at damage limitation. All 11 West Brom players could be found in their own third for large periods of the half. Even when West Brom regained possession they lost the ball almost immediately with swarms of Liverpool players pressing at will.

The first half ended 1-0 to Liverpool as while they dominated possession, they regularly failed to break down the West Brom backline. West Brom were still in the game going into the second half but needed to increase their attacking output if they had any hope of getting a result.

SECOND HALF

West Brom started the second half playing far more positive football than what was witnessed in the first. They managed to retain possession for longer periods and at times even looked capable of scoring.

West Brom’s improvement clearly agitated Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. The German received a yellow card for his protests following a decision against his team in the 60th minute.

They even almost equalized in the 72nd minute. Karlan Grant was played through by a Romaine Sawyers long ball and was one-on-one with the keeper but Alisson produced a brilliant save to deny the Baggies forward.

The mounting West Brom pressure eventually paid off in the 82nd minute. A ball was crossed into the box and Semi Ajayi rose highest in the box and headed into the net via the post. West Brom deserved a goal for their second half performance.

Liverpool had a great chance to equalize through Roberto Firmino in the 89th minute as he headed towards goal but he was kept out by an extraordinary Sam Johnstone save.

The match finished 1-1 after a spirited second half West Brom performance. Tonight’s result signalled Sam Allardyce’s first point in charge of his new club.

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