West Brom 2-2 Liverpool: Reds throw away two goal lead as Baggies earn crucial point in fight for survival

The Baggies fought back from behind to salvage a point against Liverpool as they cling on to their Premier League status.

West Brom 2-2 Liverpool: Reds throw away two goal lead as Baggies earn crucial point in fight for survival
[Photo via Getty Images]
WEST BROM
2 2
LIVERPOOL
WEST BROM: FOSTER; NYOM, DAWSON, HEGAZI, GIBBS; LIVERMORE, MCCLEAN, BRUNT, PHILLIPS; RODRIGUEZ, RONDON
LIVERPOOL: KARIUS; GOMEZ, KLAVAN, VAN DIJK, MORENO; HENDERSON, WIJNALDUM, MILNER; SALAH (LOVREN, MIN 83), MANE (OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN, MIN 65, INGS (FIRMINO, MIN.65)
SCORE: 0-1, Ings, min 5. 0-2, Salah, min 72. 1-2, Livermore, min. 79. 2-2, Rondon, min. 88
INCIDENTS: PREMIER LEAGUE

​Some late, late drama at The Hawthorns prevented Liverpool ​from moving one step closer to securing a top-four finish on Saturday afternoon. An early goal from Danny Ings ​set the Reds on their way before another goal from Mohamed Salah ​seemed to all but secure the three points for Klopp's side. However, West Brom fought valiently and came back from two goals behind to secure a crucial point in their bid for Premier League ​survival. ​

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Ings scores first goal in 930 days upon return to the starting line-up while Salah seals another

Leading the line in a much changed starting eleven for Liverpool, this was the stuff of fairytales as Ings notched his first goal for the club in 930 days - a strike that came in the Merseyside derby back in October 2015.

A sumptuous piece of skill down the left-hand side by Sadio Mane saw the Senegalese international scoop the ball over Rodriguez's head before the ball was drilled across the face of goal. Ings was on hand to steer home from close range, with the striker visibly relieved having netted his first goal in almost two years. 

Showing plenty of movement up top for The Reds, it was clear to see why Jurgen Klopp has kept Danny Ings at the club. Much like Roberto Firmino, the Englishman has the defensive drive to track back that Klopp's system demands. From then, Liverpool dominated possession, dictating the tempo of the match much to the frustration of the home side.

The former-Burnley man had further chances in the first-half to extend his tally but was narrowly unable to make contact with the flurry of balls sent into the box. However, Liverpool did get the second goal their domination deserved after the break, with Mohamed Salah sealing his 31st league goal of the season. 

It was another goal delivered by combination play between the Egyptian and substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the latter providing a killer ball to free up Salah in the area. Having been on the periphery for much of the contest, he made his mark with another ice-cold finish, equally the Premier League record of 31 goals in a 38 game season set by Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez. If you needed further evidence of his form this season, this was it. 

​Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain has now been directly involved in ten goals this season (3 goals and 7 assists) - the best tally he's managed in the league over his career. 

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Minds clearly on crucial tie against Roma on Tuesday as Liverpool remain in first gear

Much like previous games against Everton and Bournemouth, Liverpool clearly had their minds elsewhere at The Hawthorns. A crucial first-leg tie against AS Roma in the Champions League final is just days away and with Chelsea considerably behind the pack in the hunt for top-four, they weren't at their usual heights. 

Struggling to get out of second gear with a much changed side, the attack struggled to produce its usual fludiity, underlining the importance of Roberto Firmino to both Mane and Salah's games.

Meanwhile, Virgil Van Dijk was his usual self at the heart of defence, providing a rock at the back alongside far shakier teammates. Moreno and Klavan weren't at the races as West Brom targeted the duo down the left. 

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Baggies rally to rescue point as Reds crumble in the last ten minutes

2-0 to Liverpool with ten minutes to go. No one, not even the most loyal and optimistic of West Brom fans would have predicted a final score of 2-2.

Credit to The Baggies for rallying like their lives depended on it, with the threat of Championship football next season all too close. 

The first-half saw numerous chances for the home side but poor decision making enabled Liverpool to clear their lines. Nyom's audacious effort from the half way line was testament to that, with a sideways pass to Rondon the much more obvious option for the defender.

Their best chance of the half came after Jake Livermore caught Alberto Moreno out down the left, whipping the ball to the back post where McClean flashed it back across the face of goal.

The warning signs were there for Liverpool. 

West Brom clearly identifed the left-side as Liverpool's weakness, with Moreno making his first appearance in three months. The Spaniard endured a tough afternoon against Matt Phillips, left skinned by the winger all too often as the home side fought their way back into the contest.

First it was Jake Livermore from a corner after some scrappy defending allowed the midfielder to convert, breaking Loris Karius' run of clean sheets. 

Solomon Rondon had the final say, heading home to send West Brom fans into a frenzy as Liverpool capitulated from a dominant position to throw away two crucial points.

Bigger games may lie in wake for Klopp's side, but this really should have been a routine win to retain momentum. Instead, it served as a strong reminder of the frailties that Roma will hope to exploit in midweek.