Liverpool 1-1 West Bromwich Albion: Ajayi snatches point for Baggies

The points were shared at Anfield between Liverpool and West Brom.

  • Story of the Match

A dominant first half from Liverpool saw them have 85% of the ball and they were up by one. However, they failed to make their dominance count and were left frustrated by Sam Allardyce’s side.

Sadio Mane gave the Reds the lead in the 12th minute. Joel Matip fizzed a ball through to Mane who controlled the ball with his chest, and took his chance well.

For the remainder of the half, the Reds continued to have the ball and put lots of crosses into the box, but failed to make it count.

Liverpool played a similar style in the second half but took their foot off the gas, allowing West Brom to grow into the game. This was always going to be Allardyce’s game plan and Liverpool were sucked into it.

Even Jurgen Klopp played into his plans by getting himself booked for shouting abuse at the referee, Kevin Friend.

All of this was surprising to see from Liverpool who are so normally excellent at getting the job done.

Karlan Grant saw his one-on-one chance saved by Alisson in the 71st minute. This was the first warning sign. Liverpool failed to react or change their style of play and were ultimately punished for it.

Semi Ajayi gave West Brom their equaliser in the 82nd minute from a corner that was cheaply given away by Liverpool. Curtis Jones thought he had more time than he did and put Rhys Williams under pressure, resulting in the corner being conceded.  

 

  • A poor mentality from the Reds

It would be easy to single out a player to blame for Liverpool’s draw. However, it was a team performance and the mentality of the players that cost Liverpool.

They controlled the possession and were constantly crossing the ball into the West Brom box but struggled to threaten their goal. This was especially true in the second half, where they slowed down.

It looked as though Liverpool believed that did not need to score a second goal until West Brom levelled the game.

This is not often a criticism that can be thrown at Liverpool.

 

  • Liverpool sucked back into title race

Liverpool had done a good job in getting themselves to be top of the Premier League at Christmas following good results in December.

However, after failing to go five points clear, it seems that the title race will be close this year.

Liverpool have been very good at not dropping points to teams in the bottom half of the table, but have struggled in those games this year. They have dropped six points from playing West Brom, Fulham and Brighton.

This is a worrying trend for Klopp who may need to look at reinforcements at centre back to help him through this.

That being said, the lack of intensity and desire to get a second goal today was what cost Liverpool here. 

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