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LIVERPOOL were held at home for the second Premier League game in a row as a defensive West Bromwich Albion rolled up on Merseyside to fight for a 0-0 draw last night.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were frustrated, and despite selecting the much-lauded attacking foursome of Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, they were unable to find the net.
Opposition managers have been complimentary about this Liverpool team in recent games with Everton boss Sam Allardyce describing them as “one of the best attacking sides in Europe” after the recent Merseyside Derby.
West Brom manager Alan Pardew also had good things to say about Liverpool and made no excuses for his team’s defensive construction.
“Obviously you’re coming up against a team with Coutinho playing centre midfield and in front of him three outstanding strikers,” he said.
“We had a tough task dealing with that movement and instinctive play they have. But we had a gameplan we had worked on on the training ground.”
Centre backs Jonny Evans and Ahmed Hegazi were supported by defensive full-backs and a midfield five, but though they did hit the crossbar in the first half through Hal Robson-Kanu, Pardew admits that his side came for a point.
“It’s a really important point for us,” he added.
“We didn’t come here to open the game up, we couldn’t do that, we’re not in that place. I have come here before and been a little bit more ambitious, if I’m honest, in my set up, but not today.”
Klopp would prefer to face opposition who at least try the occasional attack, so they can be caught on the counter, but despite the Baggies’ stubbornness Liverpool still created chances. Firmino shot wide at the far post from Salah’s teasing cross, and the Egyptian was himself inches away from getting on a couple of dangerous balls in from Coutinho and impressive 19-year-old right back Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Substitute Dominic Solanke thought he’d scored a late winner, but his celebrations were cut short as the referee Paul Tierney pulled it back after his assistant spotted a hand ball, denying Solanke his first senior goal.
“It’s not on purpose, in the other box is it a penalty? Probably not,” said Klopp of the decision, before going on to rue his side’s missed opportunities. “It was not a game for 20 chances, but we had seven or eight, and we all know the boys usually score in moments like this.”
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