Sam Allardyce’s tenure as West Bromwich Albion manager began with a vital point at Anfield when Paul Ajayi led a late equalizer home to draw 1-1 with the Baggies.
The Reds dominated the first 45 minutes completely and looked ready to extend their lead at the top to five points when Sadio Mane crossed a Joel Matip after 12 minutes.
However, despite controlling the game and owning 72 percent of it, the hosts failed to put the game out of reach. In the end they were punished for their lack of efficiency for the goal when Ajayi took the highest rise for Alisson to level.
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You’ll be forgiven for thinking that Liverpool will never lose another Premier League game at Anfield, as the Reds have closed the calendar year unbeaten at home and increased their lead to three points.
Klopp will be disappointed that his side led by only a goal at half, despite possessing 84 percent, and paid the price for not putting the visitors in control when Ajayi levelled at both posts.
Manager rated from 10
5 — It’s a season of give and take and the German got a yellow card for a slight overreaction to a free kick against his team. If he was angry then, it was probably nothing compared to how he felt after the equalization of West Brom.
Player ranking (1-10; 10 = best. Players used after 70 minutes will not be ranked).
Six-year goalkeeper Alisson – The Brazilian didn’t do much for long periods, but he kept his guard up and made a great save against Carlan Grant, who ran away from Rhys Williams. Yet the scrambler was overtaken by Ajayi’s excellent header.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 — After the first ten minutes of half time, the rightback started making passes and destroyed the visitors’ penalty area with some dangerous passes.
DF Joel Matip, 7 — Demonstrated the level of authority his coach wanted from the start and stood in line at halftime. He also provided a rare help when playing in Mane, which was not wrong up close.
DF MF Fabinho 6 – A midfielder by profession, he proved he was more than capable of playing in midfield. Like Matip, he pressed high and pushed the visitors in their own half, but he shot comfortably over the beam directly from the penalty area.
Д. F. Andrew Robertson, 7 years old. He crossed the back line twice in the early stages and hit a couple of dangerous crosses, all of which were missed at the second pole.
Congressman Jordan Henderson, seven years old… Liverpool seems much more relaxed when they’re on the sidelines. The captain dictated the game from the midline and almost scored his second goal in as many games with a flick shortly after the restart.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 5 — He had to defend himself a bit when he blocked Romaine Sawyer’s attempt while the flag was still up. For the rest, a quiet performance by the Dutch international.
Fault! The file name is not specified. After a quick start Mo Salah and Liverpool failed to break through West Brom’s compact defence. CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images).
MF Curtis Jones, 6. The 19-year-old has had an impressive season and seems to have the ability to slide into midfield and find a pass. Once again he performed well against the visitors, who gladly tried to put themselves under pressure.
FV Mohamed Salah, 6 — Liverpool’s talisman was unavailable at Fulham and came into the game with 10 goals in just 13 games. He wasn’t as ruthless as usual, he first missed a Robertson cross and then turned around for a corner.
FW Roberto Firmino, 7 — Firmino has scored three more goals in the last two games. He came very close to scoring another goal with a header that was beautifully saved by Sam Johnstone, showing his usual talent in a neat game.
FW Sadio Mane, 7 — It took less than 12 minutes for the striker to open the scoring, skillfully playing the ball ahead of Matip for shooting at a helpless Johnstone. He almost doubled his number when he stood next to him in a Henderson cross.
DF Rhys Williams, 5 years old, was shot in the 59th minute. He came as Matip’s replacement in the 57th minute, but couldn’t keep up with Grant, who shot over the line but was pushed back by Alisson. Then he admitted an angle that led to the equalizer of West Brom.
MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, N/R — Ox replaced Curtis Jones and lost no time in the action, but the rotating midfielder could not find the goal.
FW Divock Origi, N/R — Replaced by Firmino just seconds after the attacker came so close to regaining the lead of the Reds, but failed to score.