WE WERE AT the Hawthorns (in spirit) as West Brom hosted Liverpool in the day’s early kick-off.
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West Brom 1-1 Liverpool
13.13 – Good afternoon and welcome to our live minute-by-minute coverage of today’s early Premier League kick-off — West Brom v Liverpool.
Yesterday’s results have left West Brom teetering on the edge of the relegation zone while Liverpool need to win to maintain their European challenge and put a bit of distance between themselves and Everton in fifth.
Kick-off at the Hawthorns is at 1.30pm.
13.16 – Here are the teams.
Liverpool are unchanged from the side which thumped Everton 4-0 in the Merseyside derby
Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Matej Vydra, Saido Berahino and Zoltan Gera all return for the Baggies.
West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Yacob, Mulumbu, Gera, Berahino, Vydra, Brunt.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Flanagan, Cissokho, Toure, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez, Sturridge
13.25 – The teams are in the tunnel and we’re just about ready to go. Who do you fancy?
13.31 – KICK OFF: We’re up and running.
13.33 – It’s not quite that bad, West Brom fans. Don’t worry.
13.37 – 7 mins — First real chance for Liverpool as Suarez stands over a free-kick around 25 yards out. Kevin Mirallas country as it’s now known…
13.37 – Clips the top of the wall and goes behind for a corner.
13.41 – 10 mins — Not a huge amount to report in these opening exchanges. A glimmer of a chance for West Brom as Gera fires a cross in and Vydra just misses a clean connection with his head.
13.44 – 13 mins — That’s not like Luis Suarez. He’s onside but instead of running at the West Brom goal, he uncharacteristically checks back inside and tries to round the defender. Opportunity wasted.
13.45 – 15 mins – Claudio Yacob is the first man into Kevin Friend’s book for a fairly needless trip on Gerrard.
13.49 – 17 mins – CHANCE! Or half a chance anyway. West Brom bring the heavy artillery up for a corner and when Olsson heads back across the face of goal, Mulumbu cracks a shot towards goal. It might have been heading wide but Gerrard takes the better-safe-than-sorry approach and sticks a leg out to block before it troubles Mignolet.
13.53 – Phillippe Coutinho gets away from Zoltan Gera (Nick Potts/PA Wire)
13.54 – GOAL! West Brom 0-1 Liverpool (Sturridge, 24′) The SAS combine and Liverpool take the lead with one of their first meaningful attacks of the match.
Full credit to Raheem Sterling who does great work out on the right to set the move in train and lay the ball off to Suarez inside the box. Olsson gives him far too much space to jink right and left and the Uruguayan eventually curls the ball to the back post where Sturridge has the most simple tap-in from a yard out.
13.58 – 27 mins – Suarez tries to get in on the act himself as he lines up a free-kick from about 25 yards. Foster has to shield his eyes from the sunlight but that’s all he needs his hands for as the shot drifts left and wide.
14.00 – 28 mins – It all gets a little bit uncomfortable for Liverpool at the back as they struggle to deal with Brunt’s cross. Story of their season so far really…
14.01 – There was a hint of offside about that Sturridge goal but replays show that the linesman got it spot on.
14.03 – 33 mins – Sterling puts his head down and runs at the retreating West Brom defence before his shot is deflected behind for a corner. An almighty scramble ensues when Olsson misses his header but Liverpool can’t bundle it over the line.
14.08 – 38 mins – Liverpool’s front men knock the ball between them as they move menacingly forward. West Brom seem happy to hold a line in front of them and Coutinho rasps a shot wide.
14.10 – 39 mins – Cissokho pops off on a rare venture forward and it very nearly yields Liverpool’s second goal. Olsson gets a toe in before Suarez can make them pay — but the defender might have hurt himself there.
14.10 – Substitution: It’s Jonas Olsson’s hamstring and he’ll be replaced by Diego Lugano.
14.13 – 43 mins — A rare chance for the hosts as they win the ball back in midfield and catch Liverpool on the back foot. Gera tries to cut his shot inside Mignolet’s right post but it flies about a foot wide with the keeper scrambling.
14.15 – Sturridge celebrates scoring the opening goal (Nick Potts/PA Wire)
14.16 – We’re into the first of two minutes of injury time.
14.17 – HALF TIME: West Brom 0-1 Liverpool
14.18 – So that’s it. Just the one attempt on target for Liverpool but Daniel Sturridge scored it and they lead.
Here’s that goal. Enjoy it while I make myself a sandwich.
14.33 – SECOND HALF: Kevin Friend gets us back underway at the Hawthorns.
14.37 – 49 mins – Liverpool shaded possession in the first half 52:48 but it’s West Brom who’ve had most of the ball in these first few minutes. Gerrard clips Gera on the right wing and the Baggies will have a few in an interesting position.
14.38 – 51 mins — Brunt has an eternity to think about his delivery while Kevin Friend has a quick chat with a couple of his West Brom team-mates. After all that, he overhits it and it sails harmlessly wide.
14.41 – 53 mins – MUCH BETTER FROM WEST BROM. They’re knocking on the door now and there’s a lovely exchange of passes on the edge of the box before Flanagan denies Brunt at the back post. Would have been a certain goal otherwise.
14.42 – 54 mins – OH! And from the resulting corner, McAuley’s header forces Mignolet into a fine save. Testing times for Liverpool.
14.47 – 59 mins – Chance for Suarez! He takes advantage of Lugano’s hesitation and pounces on a one-on-one with Foster. You’d put your house on him scoring but the keeper gets a stud or two on shot to block it. Great save.
14.49 – 62 mins – Ridgewell has a bit of a tug on Sterling’s shirt and earns himself a yellow card for his troubles.
14.51 – Substitution: Victor Anichebe will have about half an hour to get West Brom back into this. He’s on place of Berahino.
14.52 – 65 mins – Wild kung-fu style lunge from Kolo Toure and West Brom have a free in a very, very dangerous position. Very dangerous.
14.53 – 66 mins – Brunt goes low around the corner of the wall and the unsighted Mignolet does well to get down and save without spilling.
14.55 – GOAL! West Brom 1-1 Liverpool (Anichebe, 67′) Oh Kolo Toure, you’ve had an absolute nightmare there son. He lazily slides the ball across the face of his own goal and Anichebe says please and thanks before slotting it past Mignolet. Wait till you see it on Match of the Day.
14.59 – 71 mins – This is turning into a real back-and-forth now. West Brom are on the hunt for the winner.
15.01 – 74 mins – Pretty unnecessary by Suarez who crashes through the back of Yacob. Booked.
15.01 – Double sub for Liverpool: Allen and Kelly on for Coutinho and Flanagan.
15.03 – Substitution: Change for West Brom now as Graham Dorrans comes off the bench to replace Matej Vydra.
15.05 – 78 mins – Joe Allen forces Foster into a save but it’s fairly comfortable. Can Liverpool find a winner?
15.07 – 79 mins – Well played Ben Foster. Sterling slips the ball through to Sturridge in the box and just as he’s about to pull the trigger, Foster intervenes with a perfectly-timed sliding tackle. Yeah, he could have used his hands, but that’s just nit-picking…
15.08 – 80 mins — Mulumbu picks his way through heavy traffic and into the box but Liverpool intervene to clear before he can pull it back to one of the waiting reinforcements.
15.08 – 81 mins – Gerrard booked. That’s been coming.
15.09 – 82 mins — Mulumbu booked as well for pulling Sterling’s shirt. It was either that or let him get free. I believe they call those “cynical fouls.”
15.11 – Here’s that Anichebe goal. See, I wasn’t exaggerating…
15.12 – Ruh-roh, Kolo…
15.13 – Five minutes to play here. Lugano becomes the fourth West Brom player to be booked.
15.16 – Neither side can keep hold of the ball for long enough to put together a meaningful attack. 90 seconds left…
15.17 – Raheem Sterling is Man of the Match. There’ll be four minutes of stoppage time.
15.19 – Free to West Brom. They’ll stick this one into the box…
15.19 – Easy for Mignolet. Two minutes left.
15.20 – Liverpool have possession deep in West Brom territory but give it away cheaply. Inside the last minute…
15.21 – Gerrard gives it away to Brunt but there’s nothing doing for West Brom
15.21 – FULL TIME: West Brom 1-1 Liverpool
15.25 – So that’s it. Definitely two points dropped for Liverpool who remain in fourth, two points clear of their Merseyside neighbours. West Brom inch away from the relegation zone with their second point under Pepe Mel.
15.26 – That’s all from the Hawthorns. My colleague Ben Blake will keep you posted on all the goings on from Arsenal v Crystal Palace so make sure you go and say hello to him.
Thanks for reading.