Liverpool 0-0 West Bromwich Albion: Reds blunted again despite strong selection

West Brom became the first side in two months to stop Liverpool scoring, taking a solid point from Anfield.

Liverpool 0-0 West Bromwich Albion: Reds blunted again despite strong selection
Oxlade-Chamberlain denied by Foster seconds before Solanke missed a golden chance (photo: Getty Images / Clive Brunskill)
Liverpool
0 0
West Brom
Liverpool: Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Klavan, Robertson; Can, Wijnaldum; Mane, Coutinho, Salah, Firmino.
West Brom: Foster; Nyom, Evans, Hegazi, Gibbs; Yacob, Livermore, Krychowiak; McClean, Robson-Kanu, Rondon.
REFEREE: Paul Tierney.
INCIDENTS: Premier League fixture at Anfield.

Two more points dropped at home by Liverpool, who were frustrated by a dogged defensive performance once more as West Bromwich Albion came away from Anfield with a credible point.

Dominic Solanke's disallowed goal was as close as the hosts got, consecutive home draws leaving them out of the top four.

Liverpool struggled to break down a sturdy Everton defence in Sunday's Merseyside Derby and their task looked just as difficult against the Baggies, with chances scarce in the first half.

Roberto Firmino was found closing in at the back post by a beautiful Mohamed Salah pass, but opted against clipping it back to teammate Philippe Coutinho and fired wide. 

Salah would get his own half-chance, failing narrowly to get on the end of a fantastic ball in from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Baggies do their bit going forward

Whilst the attack vs defence scenario was reminiscent of Sunday's game, what was going on at the other end of the pitch certainly wasn't.

Alan Pardew made a vow to get West Brom playing more attacking football when he joined the club last month, and the Baggies did trouble Liverpool sporadically.

Hal Robson-Kanu went closest with a curling effort that dipped late and ended up clipping the crossbar, whilst Loris Karius impressed the Kop behind him with some impressive claims aerially before the break.

Klopp's half-time team talk may have half been about relieving pressure on Liverpool's defence, but it had little effect as Karius was forced into a top drawer save minutes after the restart, pushing a Claudio Yacob header over the bar. 

Late pressure not enough for hosts

The hosts did regain control eventually, mainly through captain Coutinho shifting to a deeper role.

Still though, they couldn't penetrate the Baggies' defence. Passes would just about be cut out, first touches were off, not even when Ben Foster dropped one inside the penalty area would the ball fall kindly for the Reds.

Dominic Solanke and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were called from to offer support off the bench, the former thinking he'd put Liverpool ahead inside the last 10 minutes.

Getting on the end of a cross from the right, Solanke diverted the ball in but saw it ruled out amid wild celebrations, the ball having struck his chest and the bounced onto his arm before finding the target.

He'd get another chance courtesy of good work from Oxlade-Chamberlain in the area, goalkeeper Ben Foster rushing out to greet the winger leaving his goal free for Solanke to shoot at as the ball broke, Hegazi doing well to block off the line.

That would be as close as it got though, the travelling fans delighted with a point as Klopp was left frustrated once more.

Fab four turns to flat four

Klopp received much criticism for resting players in the derby, responding by putting all his starts in the line-up, to no avail.

Neither Mane, Coutinho, Firmino or Salah were on top form, admittedly coming up against an impressively organised West Brom defence.

There was the odd moment of quality that looked like it would translate into a decent chance but time after time the ball would go slightly amiss and things would break down.

Dominic Solanke and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were both impressive off the bench, banging on the door for selection at Bournemouth on Saturday.

A word for Loris Karius

Eyebrows were raised as Loris Karius was named in Liverpool's side for just the second time in the league this season, especially with West Brom perfectly equipped to target him aerially, a weakness of his during his Liverpool career thus far.

However, the German seemed right up for the challenge and was one of few Liverpool players to come out of the game with much credit, commanding his area well as balls were fizzed in and making one stunning save from Claudio Yacob's header.

Pardew getting there

Alan Pardew remains in search of his first win as West Brom manager but the signs are he's getting there.

Salomon Rondon was a tower up front, offering West Brom a base to build attacks from, the Baggies creating little but certainly more than they have in previous trips to Anfield.

Pardew will be rueing the fact they didn't capitalise on a good spell of pressure right at the start of the second-half, or that Hal Robson-Kanu's shot in the first 45 didn't dip slightly lower and sneak in.

Either way, the signs are he's getting there. The first win surely is only a matter of time from coming.