Premier League
West Brom0Liverpool1

West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Liverpool

Roberto Firmino
Roberto Firmino's header brought his 11th Premier League goal of the season

Roberto Firmino scored a winner for the second weekend running as Liverpool beat West Brom to go third in the Premier League.

The Brazil striker headed in at the end of the first half after Lucas Leiva had glanced on James Milner's free-kick.

Milner volleyed over after half-time, and Simon Mignolet saved with his legs from Matt Phillips at the other end.

Late on, Alberto Moreno missed an empty goal from 40 yards after Albion keeper Ben Foster had gone up for a corner.

Despite that miss, Jurgen Klopp's side secured a fifth win in seven games, sending West Brom to a third straight defeat.

Relive West Brom v Liverpool as it happened

Liverpool find their ugly side

West Brom touchmap
West Brom had only 10 touches in Liverpool's penalty area (right)

Klopp has spoken recently of the need for Liverpool to "win ugly" - having developed a habit of beating the Premier League's top teams and then slipping up against sides lower down.

Liverpool's manager was particularly wary of the threat that West Brom might pose from set-pieces, an area in which his team have been vulnerable defensively this season.

To counter that danger, Klopp used the fierce winds that hit Merseyside last Wednesday to his advantage - getting his players to face a barrage of high crosses and long throws in training that day.

The manager's reasoning was that if his players could deal with the ball in the air as it swirled about in the wind, they would be able to handle anything West Brom threw at them.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Reds delivered perfect victory - Klopp

By and large, the preparation worked - with Liverpool also making sure not to give away too many set-pieces - although there was one hairy moment in the first half when Nacer Chadli miskicked with the goal at his mercy after Liverpool had failed to defend a free-kick.

What was particularly impressive about Liverpool, though, was their midfield domination, which restricted the home side to just a handful of efforts at goal.

Lucas, Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can were key to keeping West Brom at bay, and ensured a win that keeps Klopp's side well on course for next season's Champions League.

No Mane? No problem

Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho
Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho have scored four of Liverpool's past five goals

Before last weekend's trip to Stoke, Liverpool had not won a league game all season without Sadio Mane in the team.

Klopp needed that statistic to change after a knee injury sustained against Everton on 1 April ended the Senegalese striker's season early.

He found inspiration in the Potteries as goals from Philippe Coutinho and Firmino sealed a 2-1 victory, and the two Brazil internationals were involved in Liverpool's best attacking moments at The Hawthorns.

Firmino proved his value in terms of creating chances as well as getting the winner, providing a fine diagonal pass that Coutinho volleyed wide in the first half, and crossing for Milner to volley over when well placed in the second.

Liverpool could have won by a greater margin with better finishing - with Moreno guilty of the most glaring miss.

The full-back, on as a substitute, burst away in the closing seconds after keeper Foster was caught upfield for a corner. Instead of running the ball into the net, Moreno elected to shoot from long range, and missed the target.

Albion fall flat

Matt Phillips
Albion's Matt Phillips was denied by Simon Mignolet with 10 minutes left

West Brom remain on course to finish eighth, and equal their highest final league placing since 1981, but their season is in danger of petering out.

Of their past seven matches, Tony Pulis' side have lost five and failed to score in six, with a 3-1 win over Arsenal on 18 March providing their only win and goals during that run.

Albion under Pulis have made a habit of being well organised, and of digging out victories with a significantly smaller share of possession.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Pulis praises 'fantastic' West Brom season

But they failed to cause Liverpool enough problems, managing just two shots on target all afternoon.

Hal Robson-Kanu hit the first tamely at Mignolet in the opening half, and the goalkeeper reacted well to save with his legs as Phillips ran clear with 10 minutes to go.

Even when they won a series of set-pieces in the closing moments, they could not make Liverpool pay.

Man of the match - Emre Can (Liverpool)

Emre Can
The Liverpool midfielder was involved in more duels (20) than anyone else on the pitch - and was instrumental in breaking West Brom's rhythm

Firmino hits fine form

  • Roberto Firmino has now surpassed his Premier League goal tally from last season (10 in 2015-16, 11 in 2016-17).
  • Since the start of last season, Firmino has been directly involved in 34 Premier League goals (21 goals, 13 assists), more than any other Liverpool player.
  • Liverpool have won 66 points from 33 games this season; six points more than they picked up in the whole of 2015-16.
  • West Brom have failed to score in four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since April 2003.
  • Liverpool have scored in more league away games this season (14) than they did in 2015-16 (13).
  • Lucas has provided two assists in a Premier League season for the first time since 2009-10.
  • West Brom have lost three of their past four Premier League games at The Hawthorns, as many as they lost in their previous 14 combined.
  • Liverpool kept only their second ;eague clean sheet in 2017, in what was their 14th game of this calendar year.

'No set-pieces, no set-pieces, no set-pieces'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "It was a big win against a good, tall team. We played really well from the first second.

"We needed to adapt to what West Brom wanted to do. In all our plans, it was 'no set-pieces, no set-pieces, no set-pieces'."

On Liverpool's Champions League qualification chances: "It is the Premier League, Arsenal have three, four, five games in hand so we should not think about this. Today we could only get to 66 points, so it feels perfect.

"Next week we try at Anfield to get 69 points, and let's carry on. If we do what we have to do, we will be where we want to be."

West Brom manager Tony Pulis: "We are disappointed. I thought we did enough to get a point.

"The goal really knocked us. It took us 20 minutes, in which time they had some good opportunities.

"Chadli had a great chance at the back post, Matty Phillips should have scored one-on-one, Hal should have scored one-on-one - it wasn't all set-pieces.

"The difference between the top teams is the quality they have up front. The players have been fantastic this year, we have an opportunity to play some of the young players now too."

What next?

West Brom are at home to Leicester next Saturday (15:00 BST); Liverpool host Crystal Palace a day later at 16:30.

Line-ups

West Brom

  • 1Foster
  • 25Dawson
  • 23McAuley
  • 6EvansBooked at 66mins
  • 11BruntBooked at 45mins
  • 8Livermore
  • 5YacobSubstituted forMcCleanat 64'minutes
  • 24Fletcher
  • 10Phillips
  • 4Robson-KanuBooked at 49minsSubstituted forRondónat 64'minutes
  • 22ChadliSubstituted forMorrisonat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Nyom
  • 7Morrison
  • 9Rondón
  • 12M Wilson
  • 13Myhill
  • 14McClean
  • 47Field

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Clyne
  • 32Matip
  • 6Lovren
  • 7Milner
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 21LucasBooked at 72mins
  • 23Can
  • 11Firmino
  • 27OrigiSubstituted forSturridgeat 82'minutes
  • 10CoutinhoSubstituted forMorenoat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Karius
  • 12Gomez
  • 15Sturridge
  • 16Grujic
  • 18Moreno
  • 58Woodburn
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
25,669

Match Stats

Home TeamWest BromAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home36%
Away64%
Shots
Home7
Away15
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home15
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 0, Liverpool 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 0, Liverpool 1.

Attempt missed. Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is close, but misses to the right following a fast break.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Alberto Moreno replaces Philippe Coutinho.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by James Milner.

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Matt Phillips tries a through ball, but Salomón Rondón is caught offside.

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Brunt with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge replaces Divock Origi.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Simon Mignolet.

Attempt saved. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Salomón Rondón.

Attempt missed. Emre Can (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt missed. Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Salomón Rondón.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Craig Dawson.

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is blocked.

Divock Origi (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion).

Booking

Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Gareth McAuley tries a through ball, but James Morrison is caught offside.

Foul by Divock Origi (Liverpool).

Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Joel Matip (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by James Milner with a cross following a set piece situation.

Booking

Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card.

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion).

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Jake Livermore tries a through ball, but Salomón Rondón is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. James McClean replaces Claudio Yacob.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Salomón Rondón replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by James Milner.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. James Morrison replaces Nacer Chadli.

Offside, Liverpool. Lucas Leiva tries a through ball, but Roberto Firmino is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Divock Origi.

Attempt blocked. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.

Foul by Divock Origi (Liverpool).

Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 16th April 2017

View all Premier League results

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea32243565273875
2Tottenham32218368224671
3Liverpool33199569402966
4Man City32197663352864
5Man Utd311612348242460
6Everton33169860372357
7Arsenal30166861392254
8West Brom33128133942-344
9Southampton31117133740-340
10Watford32117143752-1540
11Stoke33109143748-1139
12Leicester32107154153-1237
13West Ham33107164459-1537
14Burnley33106173347-1436
15Crystal Palace32105174452-835
16Bournemouth3398164563-1835
17Hull3386193467-3330
18Swansea3384213768-3128
19Middlesbrough31412152237-1524
20Sunderland3256212658-3221
View full Premier League table

Top Stories