It was hardly a game that would fall under the Jürgen Klopp blueprint. It was hardly a game where Liverpool were at their usual irresistible best against a top of the table side. But then again, it was hardly a game where Liverpool made too many defensive mistakes as we’ve seen so often this season. The result? A win for Liverpool, and a clean sheet in the process. Not the performance many enjoyed, but a final result that could help them in their quest for Champions League football.
Liverpool might have been the favourites on paper considering the two lineups, but we all know it’s never easy beating West Brom away from home. That, coupled with Tony Pulis’ record against the Reds, meant it was going to be a close game.
With five games to go, Liverpool have a lot to play for in the league and it hasn’t been like that for a few years now. The last time the Merseyside-based outfit had something to play for, it was under Brendan Rodgers when his side were leading the table and spectacularly threw it away against none other than a side managed by Tony Pulis. A few years on, they have put that to rest, albeit in not so much bravado.
It was a strange game as the first half was hardly inspiring. West Brom had lost four in the previous six games prior to the afternoon’s clash and they tried their best to remain in shape and deny Liverpool any space. The irony is, they weren’t paying enough attention in a set-piece situation as Lucas made something out of a Coutinho cross and his header fell nicely for Roberto Firmino to burn into the net.
West Brom did have a period where they put Liverpool on the back foot and the away side had to rely on Simon Mignolet. The Belgian came out with flying colours in set-pieces and in one v one situations.
Liverpool now have three home games and two away games against Watford and West Ham which they should win considering the two will have nothing to play for anymore. It’s going to be a tense finish as Man United and Arsenal have deeper squads and will push the Reds. But what’ll give the fans comfort is there’s still some leeway for the Reds to even drop points since Manchester United are yet to face Arsenal and Manchester City in the league. Liverpool have their destiny firmly in their own hands and as many as three wins should do it for them.
The Reds have fallen off the pace towards the end of the season far too many times and if they can change that this campaign and finish strong, they can dream of bigger and better things next year.