West Brom 2-2 Liverpool: Salomon Rondon claims late point
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 22/04/18 12:04am
Salomon Rondon's late header saw struggling West Bromwich Albion come from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Liverpool on Saturday.
Liverpool took just four minutes to open the scoring, with Danny Ings - in for the rested Roberto Firmino - registering his first goal since October 2015 with a neat finish.
The visitors then doubled their lead when Mohamed Salah scored his 31st Premier League goal of the season, equalling Luis Suarez's club record from four years ago.
Jake Livermore's close-range effort gave West Brom hope with 11 minutes to go and Rondon headed home a late leveller to boost West Brom's faint survival hopes.
West Brom: Foster (7), Nyom (8), Dawson (7), Hegazi (6), Gibbs (7), Livermore (7), Brunt (8), McClean (7), Phillips (9), Rodriguez (7), Rondon (7)
Subs: Burke (6), Robson-Kanu (6), Evans (6)
Liverpool: Karius (6), Gomez (8), Klavan (6), Van Dijk (6), Moreno (5), Henderson (6), Wijnaldum (6), Milner (7), Mane (7), Ings (7), Salah (7)
Subs: Lovren (6), Firmino (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (7)
Man of the match: Matt Phillips
As a result, the bottom-of-the-table Baggies move within eight points of 17th-place Swansea City, while Liverpool still need another five points to be sure of sealing a top-four finish.
The visitors made a dream start at a sun-drenched Hawthorns, taking an early lead through Ings, the forward's first goal since netting against Everton at Goodison Park 930 days ago.
James Milner worked a short corner to Sadio Mane, who escaped his marker before finding Georginio Wijnaldum in the six-yard box. And despite the Dutchman failing to control the ball, Ings was there to finish from close range.
There could have been further goals in the first half, with Jay Rodriguez inches away at the far post from getting his foot on James McClean's cross-cum-shot, before Ben Foster did brilliantly to prevent Ings from scoring again just the break.
Ings was in the action again at the start of the second half, only for referee Stuart Attwell to deem a coming together with Craig Dawson in the box an accident, while Ahmed Hegazi was lucky not to see red just before the hour mark for an unseen punch in the same player's stomach.
However, that mattered little when Salah added a second with 18 minutes to go, with the Egypt forward collecting substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's pass, before confidently dinking the ball over the advancing Foster for his 41st goal in all competitions this season.
West Brom were unchanged from the side that won 1-0 at Man Utd last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Liverpool made five alterations from the team that beat Bournemouth 3-0 last Saturday, with Ragnar Klavan, Joe Gomez, Alberto Moreno, James Milner and Danny Ings all coming in.
That strike meant Salah has now scored the joint-most goals by a player in a 38-game Premier League campaign, moving level with Alan Shearer (1995-96), Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08) and Suarez (2013-14).
The home side got themselves back in the contest when Liverpool failed to deal with a right-wing corner, allowing Livermore to find the back of the net from just six yards, the midfielder's first-ever goal for the Baggies.
And Rondon completed a remarkable turnaround when heading home Chris Bunt's inviting free kick with just two minutes remaining as Darren Moore maintained his unbeaten run as caretaker boss.
The Baggies, though, could now be relegated if Crystal Palace do not lose at Watford on Saturday afternoon and Swansea win at Man City on Sunday.
- West Brom avoided defeat in a Premier League game in which they were 2+ goals down for the first time since February 2015 versus Burnley
- Rondon has equalled the record for most Premier League games scored in a single season without winning any of them (7, level with Jordan Ayew in 2015-16)
- Salah is just the fifth player in Premier League history to register 40+ goal involvements in a single season (31 goals, 9 assists) - also Alan Shearer (47 in 94-95), Andy Cole (47 in 93-94), Thierry Henry (44 in 02-03) and Luis Suarez (43 in 13-14)
- Oxlade-Chamberlain has been directly involved in 10 Premier League goals this season, (3 goals, 7 assists), his best-ever haul in the competition. Indeed, Oxlade-Chamberlain has provided more Premier League assists for Salah (5) than he has for any other player in the competition
- Brunt has provided 50 assists for West Brom in the Premier League, 26 more than any other player (James Morrison on 24). He's the first Northern Ireland player to reach this feat in the competition
Midfielder Jake Livermore did his Three Lions chances no harm at all by scoring his first-ever goal late on for West Brom.
Joe Gomez will have given Gareth Southgate a boost by making a successful comeback after damaging ankle ligaments on England duty. Meanwhile, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s good form continued after being directly involved in his 10th league goal this season, the midfielder’s best-ever haul in the top flight.
Darren Moore: Another good result because we as a football club have come together and by us being together it has brought another positive result.
The atmosphere in here was superb; the staff, in terms of their preparation, have been great and the players have continued that on to the pitch. Together we have earned that.
Jurgen Klopp: It was a difficult game, especially after the pitch got drier and drier. West Brom obviously decided not to water the pitch in half-time again. And it was quite difficult.
Then we had the situation early in the second half, Ings in the box, you saw the pictures - it could be a penalty. And the situation with Hegazi and Ings, I do not know…
You need a little bit of, not even help, only the right decision. So that is twice not…
Man of the Match - Matt Phillips
The pacy winger was a thorn in the side of Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno all afternoon long with his penetrating runs down the right flank.
In fact, the home team looked most dangerous whenever the Republic of Ireland international had the ball at his feet and he was running down the line, while his set-piece delivery caused panic throughout in the visitors' defence.
.@WBA come from 2 goals down to take a point in @premierleague for the 1st time in 3 years since 2-2 draw at Burnley in Feb 2015. Danny Ings scored for Burnley that game.— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 21, 2018
West Brom have not had more than 6 shots on target in any other home PL game this season pic.twitter.com/OX4tWYYHlM
The pundit - Steve McMahon
The point about the pitch, first of all, it is not West Brom's priority the pitch. It is not in the rules that they should water the pitch, or overwater the pitch.
There is no rule or law to say you have to make the pitch perfect for Liverpool. That is not the way it is.
It could have been better, of course, everybody wants it perfect for the style of play you play. West Brom do not play that style of play with the quick passes and movement.
They like to get it long and back to front very quickly, so they are not interested in how good the pitch is for Liverpool. They are interested in themselves.
So you have to deal with the conditions.
West Brom take on Newcastle United at St James' Park next Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Liverpool face Roma at Anfield in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday evening.
And the Reds then host struggling Stoke City in the league next Saturday lunchtime, a match you can see live on Sky Sports Premier League.