A record-tying 31st EPL goal from Mohamed Salah was not enough to secure three valuable points for Liverpool on Saturday, as West Brom came from two goals behind late on to secure a point and keep relegation at bay.
A record-tying 31st Premier League goal from Mohamed Salah was not enough for Liverpool to secure three valuable points on Saturday, as West Brom came from two goals behind late on to secure a point and keep relegation at bay.
The Reds appeared to have got off to a flying start after Danny Ings opened the scoring in the first few minutes, before Salah added what appeared to be the finishing touches with his 41st goal across all competitions.
However, Jake Livermore and Salomón Rondón had something to say about that as they both struck in the closing ten minutes to offer a glimmer of hope for the Baggies - who will now nervously be awaiting the results of the remaining fixtures.
With an eye cast towards their highly anticipated Champions League semi-final tie against Roma, a much changed Liverpool squad emerged at a sun-drenched Hawthorns against a West Brom side buoyed by their dramatic victory over Manchester United last time out. The hosts however knew they needed to win in order to realistically have any chance of staying up.
The Baggies had earned both a draw and a victory in their previous two meetings with the Merseyside outfit this season, however their hopes of making it three without a loss and prolonging their fight for safety were dealt an early blow following a bout of pressure from the visitors.
A short corner worked expertly by Sadio Mane saw the Liverpool winger handed a free run into the area, where the ball delivered onto the six yard line was calmly slotted beyond an unsighted Ben Foster by Ings with just four minutes on the clock - his effort was his first league goal since October 2015.
Despite the worst possible start for the Baggies, Darren Moore's side managed to wrestle their way into the game and force the Reds to be defensively accountable after showing signs of overrunning and outnumbering the home side in attack.
While Salah continued to be a menace with his impeccable and rapid ball control, it was Albion who turned the screws as the game ticked past the half hour mark as a period of sustained pressure offered up their best chance to level the scores.
Successive corners worked in favor of the height and power within the Albion lineup but the final touch continually alluded all comers as they failed to expose Loris Karius' slight uncertainty under the high ball.
After Jay Rodriguez then failed to slide the ball over the line after James McClean delivered a sweeping ball across the goal face, Ings then had a chance to do what Albion couldn't at the other end as the half neared its end - but Foster was up to the task at close range to keep his side in the game heading into the interval.
The second 45 opened in controversial circumstances after the man of the moment for Liverpool, Ings, made a claim for a penalty after Craig Dawson appeared to have diverted his path straight across the striker as he attempted to pursue the ball - a lucky escape for the home side.
In a mirror of the first half the Reds continued to dominate possession as the Baggies made an effort to catch the visitors on the break, but neither side proved capable of mustering a clear opportunity on goal.
That was until Liverpool's 'Egyptian King' had his say on the matter. The goal scoring machine left his record-tying 31st league strike until the 72nd minute when he delicately chipped the ball into the back of the net - reminiscent of his goal at the Etihad - after his diagonal run across the Albion defense was perfectly picked out by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Although Liverpool appeared untroubled at the back in the second half, their earlier vulnerability from corners proved costly as a failure to clear their lines allowed Livermore to half the deficit from close range with just ten minutes remaining - setting up a tense finish.
With wind in their sails Albion made the Reds' complacency prove costly after a sensational delivery from Chris Brunt was met at the near post by Rondon who headed beyond Karius to complete the remarkable turnaround on the 88th minute.