Final, 2-1 Liverpool: The referee blows the final whistle, and Liverpool is back to its winning ways.
Liverpool claims three points thanks to two spectacular goals in one exciting Premier League game against West Brom. Lallana’s strike gave Liverpool the lead just before halftime, but the Reds conceded after a controversial penalty kick. Henderson restored the Reds’ lead three minutes later, and they held on for the victory.
Liverpool’s performance in the first half was disappointing, but it improved in the second period. The introductions of Balotelli and Lucas added spark to Liverpool’s play and limited West Brom’s chances of scoring the equalizer to one or two.
Liverpool rises from 14th to sixth place in the Premier League standings with the win. The Reds now have ten points from seven games. It’s positive news for Liverpool, as it doesn’t play again until Oct. 19 when it visits QPR.
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90th minute +4, 2-1 Liverpool: Balotelli forces Foster to make a save at the near post. Then Lucas shoots over the crossbar.
Gerrard did well to create the opportunity.
90th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: There will be a minimum of four minutes of added time in the second half.
There has been some end-to-end action in recent minutes, but both defenses have held firm at those vital moments.
90th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Lucas shoots over the crossbar.
87th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: West Brom makes its final substitution. Samaras replaces Brunt.
84th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Lescott is cautioned for holding Sterling, as the Liverpool forward tried to race past him.
80th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Blanco replaces Morrison, as West Brom makes an attack-minded substitution with 10 minutes to go.
79th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Gerrard and Balotelli have and exchange of passes, which results in the Italian turning and shooting from 20 yards out. Foster saves it comfortably.
77th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Sterling’s pass finds Gerrard’s late run. The Liverpool captain shoots, but it flies straight into Foster’s hands.
75th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Liverpool makes its final substitution of the game. Lucas enters the contest in place of Coutinho.
75th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Brunt picks out Berahino with a cross, but the West Brom striker heads into the ground, and Mignolet collects it.
70th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Mulumbu replaces Dorrans, as West Brom makes its first substitution.
68th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Balotelli curls a shot wide of Foster’s goal.
Liverpool is turning things up a notch.
67th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Sterling races into the West Brom penalty area and shoots, but Pocagnoli blocks his shot.
64th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Liverpool makes two changes.
Balotelli comes on for Lambert, and Johnson replaces Manquillo.
61st minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Henderson scores the go-ahead goal. It’s the Liverpool vice-captain’s first league goal of the season.
Sterling went down in the West Brom penalty area under Gardner’s challenge, returned to his feet and passed to Henderson, who slotted a well-placed shot past Foster.
59th minute, 1-1: Henderson brings down Sterling’s delivery inside the West Brom penalty area, and Lambert hits a spinning shot over the crossbar.
56th minute, 1-1: Berahino converts the spot-kick. The score is level at Anfield.
It’s Berahino’s fifth Premier League goal of the season.
Liverpool’s defensive woes continue — even at home.
55th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: It’s a penalty kick for West Brom, as Lovren fouls Berahino on the 18-yard line.
Photos show the referee made the wrong decision.
50th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Mignolet races off his line to intercept Gamboa’s dangerous-looking cross. Both teams have threatened early on in the second half but haven’t turned them into clear-cut scoring chances.
46th minute 1-0 Liverpool: The second half is underway at Anfield.
Halftime, 1-0 Liverpool: That’s the end of the first half. Liverpool leads by one.
The Reds take a one-goal advantage into the break thanks to Lallana’s moment of inspiration. The scoreline has the Reds in front, but the balance of play was even in the first 45 minutes.
Liverpool struggled to break down West Brom’s four-man defense (and five-man midfield) in the first period. The hosts’ passing tempo was too slow to unbalance the Baggies’ well-organized and well-drilled unit and they lacked invention in the final third. When Liverpool did break through, Foster was there to preserve the level score-line.
West Brom actually grew into the game as the half progressed, threatening Liverpool with long-range shots and service from the wide areas. Then Lallana and Henderson produced a piece of magic, which brought smiles to Anfield.
45th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Lallana scores his first goal for Liverpool, rescuing the Reds from halftime disappointment.
A quick one-two with Henderson freed Lallana inside the West Brom penalty area, and the £25 million ($40 million) summer signing did the rest, beating Foster with a fine left-footed shot to the far post.
44th minute, 0-0: Sessegnon shoots from 25 yards out, but Mignolet saves it.
42nd minute, 0-0: Pocognoli delivers a dangers cross over Lovren into the goal mouth, but Berahino heads over the crossbar.
40th minute, 0-0: The Reds’ midfield pressure creates a turnover and they break forward. Sterling found Lambert inside the West Brom penalty area, but a West Brom defender blocked the Liverpool striker’s shot.
35th minute, 0-0: Berahino breaks forward, creates space with a step-over and shoots from 25 yards out. Mignolet makes the save.
It was West Brom’s best chance of the game, so far.
34th minute, 0-0: Manquillo scuffs a shot well wide of Foster’s goal. Anfield groans in frustration.
29th minute, 0-0: Dawson hacks down Lallana on the wing, and the referee cautions the West Brom center back.
28th minute, 0-0: Gerrard grabs Gamboa, as the West Brom fullback tried to dribble past him. The referee cautions Gerrard.
26th minute, 0-0: The game has settled down in recent minutes with neither team in firm control of proceedings. Liverpool has a slight advantage in possession, but the Reds aren’t forcing the Baggies into uncomfortable situations with their play.
19th minute, 0-0: Lambert shoots from the edge of the West Brom area, forcing Foster to make a fine save at the near post.
17th minute, 0-0: Skrtel is cautioned for a powerful lunging tackle on Berahino. The threat probably didn’t warrant such a robust challenge. Now Skrtel must be extra-careful for the rest of the game.
14th minute, 0-0: Sterling causes havoc with a mazy dribble and shoots, but it hits Lambert. Lallana then shoots on the follow-up, but Foster saves it.
13th minute, 0-0: Lambert has a golden chance to score early in his first start, but he whiffs on Lallana’s cross, and West Brom clears the danger.
10th minute, 0-0: Liverpool looks to have seized control in the minutes following Skrtel’s header. The Reds have the Baggies pinned back, but Gerrard’s free kick and a subsequent corner kick fail to bear fruit.
Sixth minute, 0-0: Skrtel heads Gerrard’s free kick into Foster’s hands.
Fourth minute, 0-0: It has been a mixed and even start so far, as neither team has managed to sustain possession or pose a serious threat to their opponents’ goal.
Kickoff: The Premier League game between Liverpool and West Brom is underway at Anfield.
Pregame: The big lineup news is that Lambert starts up top ahead of Balotelli.
Lambert only has started one of Liverpool’s nine games this season. The 32-year-old striker will be keen to score his first goal for Liverpool.
Moreno returns to the starting 11 in place of Jose Enrique, who is not part of the gameday squad. Johnson starts on the bench, following his recovery from a knee problem that has kept him off the field since August.
Liverpool’s defense is looking to hold an opponent to a rare shutout.
9:30 a..m.: Here are the lineups:
Simon Mignolet (22), goalkeeper
Alberto Moreno (18), left back
Dejan Lovren (6), center back
Martin Skrtel (37), center back
Javier Manquillo (19), right back
Steven Gerrard (8), midfielder
Jordan Henderson (14), midfielder
Adam Lallana (20), midfielder
Philippe Coutinho (10), midfielder
Raheem Sterling (31), forward
Rickie Lambert (9), striker
Brad Jones (1), goalkeeper
Kolo Toure (4), defender
Glen Johnson (2), defender
Lucas (21), midfielder
Lazar Markovic (50), forward
Fabio Borini (29), forward
Mario Balotelli (45), striker
Ben Foster (1), goalkeeper
Sebastien Pocognoli (15), left back
Craig Dawson (25), center back
Joleon Lescott (6), center back
Cristian Gamboa (16), right back
Craig Gardner (8), midfielder
James Morrison (7), midfielder
Graham Dorrans (17), midfielder
Chris Brunt (11), midfielder
Stephanw Sessegnon (29), forward
Saido Berahino (18), striker
Boaz Myhill (13), goalkeeper
Gareth McAuley (23), defender
Youssuf Mulumbu (21), midfielder
Chris Baird (4), midfielder
Claudio Yacob (5), midfielder
Sebastian Blanco (28), midfielder
Georgios Samaras (30), forward
9 a.m. ET: Three points can help cure what ails Liverpool. The struggling Reds look to reverse their current form Saturday when they host West Brom at Anfield.
Liverpool hasn’t won a Premier League game in over a month, and West Brom presents an opportunity to return to winning ways before the upcoming international break.
Liverpool occupies 14th place, having earned seven points from six games. West Brom sits 10th after taking eight points from its first six games.
Brendan Rodgers most likely will rely on the same players who trudged through the month of September, as injuries have limited the Liverpool manager’s options. Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will start his 50th game for Liverpool after joining the club from Sunderland in the summer of 2013.
Meanwhile, West Brom has won three-straight Premier League contests and two of their last three visits to Anfield in the Premier League (1-0 in April 2012 and 2-0 in February 2013). Manager Alan Irvine will try to maintain his team’s positive start to the 2014-15 season Saturday.
Liverpool-West Brom kicks off at 10 a.m. ET. Stay right here for all the action from Anfield.
Photo via LiverpoolFC.com