A Fan's View: Liverpool 2 Albion 2

Last updated : 15 December 2015 By Iain Bate - Wba-mad Editor
We were looking for our third win at Anfield in five years but a cruel 96th minute deflected strike from Divock Origi dashed Albion's hopes of another famous win on Merseyside.
 
It was a pulsating encounter in which Liverpool dominated posession without severely testing Myhill on too many occasions. Tony Pulis made just one enforced change to the starting line up with Craig Gardner coming in for the injured Stephane Sessegnon. Despite Claudio Yacob being available after suspension he was unable to play due to a family bereavement which allowed Jonny Evans to once again play in a defensive midfield position.
 
Brimming with confidence after a win over Arsenal and consecutive draws against West Ham and Tottenham, Albion made a positive start to the game but it was Liverpool who threatened first. Clyne's shot wasn't on target until it was seemingly heading into the path of former Villa man Christian Benteke but Gareth McAuley came to the rescue with a fantastic clearance. Another chance soon followed but Philippe Coutinho couldn't keep his first time volley down and it went sailing over the crossbar. 
 
The closest we came to breaking the deadlock in the first 20 minutes was when Gardner's shot was deflected behind for a corner after a lovely backheel from Fletcher. But we weren't waiting much longer for the opening goal of the game, however unfortunately it was for the home side. Adam Lallana's headed knock down fell kindly for Jordan Henderson who fired in from close range.
 
But the spirit we have shown in recent games came to fruition once again. Just eight minutes later we deservedly levelled the match as Brunt's corner was swung in and as it bounced around, Rondon poked the ball into the path of Craig Dawson who had the composure to volley home from close range.
 
The game then began to get a little more scrappy until right on half time Albion thought they'd got their noses in front. Gardner, who was much improved playing in the centre of midfield played a delightful cross into the box from a free kick and Olsson was the quickest to react and slotted the ball into the net. Initially the goal was given and as the away fans were sent into raptures, the moment of controversy came. Referee Craig Pawson consulted with the linesman and they both came to the decision to disallow the goal for offside.
 
AFTER THE BREAK
 
The second half started in rather the same way as the first with Liverpool going closest to scoring through a couple of headers from Benteke and the Belgian also fired a half volley just wide of the post. Coutinho who was coming back from injury was then replaced by Jordan Ibe around 20 minutes from time. 
 
Despite Liverpool having reasonable control of the match, the game was then completely turned on its head on 73 minutes. As the Baggies grew more into the contest it was us who took the lead as Olsson rose highest to glance a header past Simon Mignolet to send the travelling fans into delirium. It was his first goal of the season and he was not to be denied this time by the linesman.
 
Just a few minutes later there was a lengthy stoppage in play as Gardner went into a heavy challenge with Dejan Lovren and even though he fairly won the ball he did catch the Croatian on his follow through and with his leg in a brace he had to be replaced. On came Origi but it was Lallana who next went closest to grabbing an equaliser. The former Southampton man was played through by Benteke and he looked certain to score but Myhill got down expertly to deny him and keep Albion in front. 
 
The game then should have been over when McClean passed to Rondon who was in a great position to score and put the game beyond Liverpool only to drag his shot wide of the left hand post. That was to be the Venezulean's last real chance as he was replaced in stoppage time by Rickie Lambert coming on, against his former club.
 
With six of the eight additional minutes played a cruel deflection broke Albion hearts as Origi tried his luck with a powerful shot from outside the area only for the ball to strike Gareth McAuley and loop over a helpless Boaz Myhill to deny us another famous Anfield win. 
 
ON REFLECTION
 
By all accounts Liverpool certainly deserved their point based on possession and chances created but for the victory to be snatched away from us in such cruel circumstances at the end of the game made the draw seem almost like a defeat. But reflecting on the game as a whole I'm sure most Albion fans would have taken a draw going into the match.
 
After the game Klopp and his players celebrated like they had won the league rather than scraped a point against 'little old Albion' and I think this is testament to how far we have come as a football club in the last few years. Albion have emerged from a tricky run of four matches unbeaten and we now go into a period of matches which are very winnable and should give us more of an indication of whether we'll be relegation candidates or looking at mid table mediocrity come the end of the season. 
 
COME ON YOU BAGGIES!