Live Commentary: West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Liverpool - as it happened

Brendan Rodgers the Liverpool manager looks on prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns on February 2, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's text coverage of the Premier League encounter between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns.

Pepe Mel was searching for his first win since taking charge of West Bromwich Albion when Liverpool visited The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon.

The Baggies couldn't deliver a maximum but did earn a point thanks to a goal from former Everton striker Victor Anichebe midway through the second half, which cancelled out Daniel Sturridge's opener.

Read how it all unfolded in our minute-by-minute updates below.


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12.56pmAfternoon folks! Just 35 minutes separates us from kickoff at The Hawthorns so let's get straight to it. Team news on the way...

12.57pmWEST BROM XI: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Gera, Yacob, Mulumbu, Brunt; Berahino, Vydra

12.58pmWEST BROM SUBS: Myhill, Dorrans, Anichebe, Lugano, Reid, Sinclair, Amalfitano

12.59pmLIVERPOOL XI: Mignolet; Flanagan, Toure, Skrtel, Cissokho; Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling, Coutinho; Suarez; Sturridge

12.59pmLIVERPOOL SUBS: Jones, Kelly, Ibe, Allen, Alberto, Aspas, Moses


1.03pmMr Mel, meanwhile, alters his team by making five changes to the XI that were spectacularly beaten by Aston Villa. The Baggies led 2-0 but ended up losing 4-3 on Wednesday.

Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Zoltan Gera, Saido Berahino and Matej Vydra are brought in, with Stephen Reid, Diego Lugano, James Morrison, Victor Anichebe and Nicolas Anelka dropping out.

1.05pm

1.08pmREFEREE WATCH! The man with the whistle today is Kevin Friend. The last time he officiated a match involving one of these two teams it was a thriller as West Ham and West Brom played out a 3-3 draw just after Christmas. Let's hope for more goals today!

1.11pm

1.15pmLAST TIME OUT! Despite their good form against Liverpool indicated below, in the reverse fixture between these two sides back in October Liverpool were victorious by four goals to one. Last season at Anfield things did go West Brom's way as late goals from McAuley and Romelu Lukaku led to a memorable victory.

1.18pmClick here to check out the latest Premier League table ahead of this afternoon's two games. West Brom remain dangerously close to the bottom three and a defeat by four goals or more will see them plunge into the drop zone. If they get a win though they will climb five places up to 12th! Liverpool can't move if they get the points but will close to within a point of third-placed Chelsea, who face the daunting trip to Manchester City tomorrow.

1.20pmPREDICTION TIME! Just 10 minutes until things get started so I best make my pre-game prediction. It's hard to look past the visitors here and I expect them to come out on top 3-1. Suarez will of course find the net and stretch his lead in the scoring charts.

1.22pm

1.25pmThe two sides are lined up in the tunnel and ready to go. Steven Gerrard will lead the Reds out, with Chris Brunt captaining the Baggies.

1.28pmEngland manager Roy Hodgson is in the stands today. He watched Southampton's England internationals all score against Fulham yesterday and will have a keen eye on Foster, Berahino, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling and Sturridge.

0 minKICKOFF! The Baggies get us underway under the winter sunshine in the West Midlands.

1 minHesitancy early on in the Liverpool box as neither Flanagan or Skrtel deals with a high ball. Gera pounces and acrobatically overhead kicks it across the area where there's no West Brom teammate to take advantage.

5 minNothing to speak of in either penalty area since that early Liverpool wobble. It's been really scrappy so far with neither side able to string a decent set of passes together.

7 minYacob clips Suarez from behind and the Reds have a free kick 30 yards out, pretty central. Suarez to take...

8 minThe Uruguayan's curling effort flicks the top of the wall and goes out for a corner.

9 minSterling wriggles away from Brunt and then nutmegs Ridgewell but he can't get past Olsson, who makes a great sliding challenge to prevent Liverpool countering down the right.

11 minGera hooks up an improvised cross from the right that Toure just beats Vydra to at the near post. The ball reaches Sterling who again looks to start a break but is tugged back by Yacob, who is lucky not to be booked.

14 minHe may be the top scorer by a country mile in the league this year, but that's poor from Suarez. He got the ball with just McAuley to beat but hesitated and then got the ball stuck under his feet.

15 minBOOKING! One of the easiest yellow cards for Friend to show as Yacob commits his third foul by carelessly tripping Gerrard.

17 minFirst shot of the game for the Baggies as Brunt hits a corner deep that Olsson heads back across the area. It's laid off for Mulumbu, who stabs a shot towards the near post where it's blocked by a red shirt.

19 min

23 minNice graphic from @Squawka. Shows exactly how little action there's been in either area:


24 minGOAL! WEST BROM 0-1 LIVERPOOL (STURRIDGE)

24 minOf course, just as I was talking about the lack of action there's a goal. I find the whole 'SAS' thing quite annoying but this is great link-up play between the two. Suarez dug out a cross/shot that Sturridge couldn't miss at the back post. Certainly a hint of offside but Sturridge gets the benefit of the doubt.

26 minSturridge continues his fine form this season. He's now scored (14) or assisted (3) 17 goals in his 16 Premier League appearances this season.

27 minSuarez is brought down at least 30 yards from goal and has another go from the resulting free kick. This one gets over the wall but is wide of the target.

30 minSome record, this:

33 minSCRAMBLE! Gerrard's corner is just missed by Suarez before the ball drops into the six-yard box. It's hard to work out exactly where it is but both Suarez and Toure couldn't get a toe to it and Foster managed to swallow it up.

37 minCoutinho has his first shot of the game, letting fly from outside the area but not testing Foster as it fizzes wide.

39 minFantastic defence-to-attack play from Liverpool as Sturridge, helping back, clips a pass into Cissokho on the left. There's little help for the left-back so he just charges down the wing and beats two players before his cross to Suarez is cut out by Olsson.

41 minWEST BROM SUB: Looks like Olsson has pulled his hamstring. The Swede can't continue and is replaced by Diego Lugano, who had a nightmare evening against Villa on Wednesday. Facing Uruguayan teammate Suarez won't make him feel much better!

42 minJUST WIDE! Gera has probably been the hosts' most lively player and he's just come close to an equaliser with rising shot that whizzed just wide of the upright.

44 min

45+1 minTwo minutes have just been added on at the end of the first half. Liverpool have another 30-yard free kick after Sturridge was brought down by Mulumbu. Will Suarez have a third go or try to cross it?

45+2 minThe Reds in fact went short with it and nothing came of it. Moments later they probably have the last chance of the half as Coutinho races into the West Brom half but is tackled just as he was about to pass/shoot.

45+3 minHALF TIME: WEST BROM 0-1 LIVERPOOL

2.20pmThe Reds hold a narrow advantage thanks to Sturridge then. It's not been the most thrilling of games but Rodgers won't care a jot as his side have looked very solid.

2.23pmWest Brom have had four shots at goal but none of them have tested Mignolet, with two blocked and two off target. Gera came closest for the hosts with his scorcher that flew wide.

2.25pmLiverpool, meanwhile, have had five attempts on goal but just one successful on target. Sturridge simply couldn't miss at the back post.

2.27pmIf you want a quick recap of the opening 45, read our HT report by clicking here or use the game tab at the top of this commentary.

46 minKICKOFF! No changes at the break from either manager as Liverpool get us underway. Remember, Mel has already had to make a change because of Olsson's injury. His replacement Lugano was out on the pitch for most of half time going through drills.

48 minHe may have scored a screamer against Villa in midweek, but Brunt has just shot with his weaker right foot and put it out for a throw-in!

50 minBig boos from the West Brom fans as Gerrard escapes a booking for tripping up Jones just outside the area. Free kick to West Brom on the right of the box. Brunt to whip it in...

51 minDear me! Brunt had an age to line up the free kick as Friend was lecturing a couple of players. When the whistle finally blew, the Baggies' skipper skied it miles over the bar. Not a great few minutes for him.

53 minCHANCES! West Brom are so close to an equaliser as first Brunt's back-post prod goalwards is blocked by Flanagan before the resulting corner is powerfully met by McAuley. It looks like a certain goal until Mignolet makes a stunning one-handed stop. Brilliant reactions from the Belgian.

54 minLiverpool break down the other end but can't make the most of it as two shots from Coutinho fail to hit the target.

56 minThat header from McAuley was the Baggies' first shot on target. Liverpool have also only had one and that was crucially the goal.

59 minSAVE! Oh you'd back Suarez to score there! The Uruguayan outmuscles international teammate Lugano and then sells McAuley a dummy to open up a shot at goal. He opens his body for the far corner but can't beat Foster, who makes a superb stop with his leg.

61 minHere's England manager Roy Hodgson watching on. He will have been impressed with Sterling's performance in particular so far:

England manager Roy Hodgson takes his seat prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns on February 2, 2014© Getty Images

62 minBOOKING! Friend shows a yellow card to Ridgewell, who cynically tugged back Sterling on the touchline.

64 minWEST BROM SUB: Mel makes a change up top by bringing on the physical presence of Victor Anichebe in place of Berahino.

65 minToure clumsily clatters into Anichebe and that gives West Brom a free kick in a great position just outside the box. Brunt has had some terrible shots this half but will take this one.

66 minSAVE! The skipper shoots low and it's very well held by Mignolet. He could have easily spilled that to present a chance but did ever so well to not let it out of his grasp.

67 minGOAL! WEST BROM 1-1 LIVERPOOL (ANICHEBE)

67 minHowler alert!!

67 minWhat on earth are you doing KOLO TOURE?! He must not see Anichebe as he plays the ball straight to the substitute, who takes a touch on the edge of the area before finding the bottom corner. Toure can't believe it and rightly has his head in his hands.

71 minWest Brom have been really buoyed by that goal and now the crowd is getting right behind them as they look for an unlikely winner. Brunt just curled over a deep free kick that Yacob headed back across goal to no-one.

74 minBOOKING! Cheers ring out around The Hawthorns as Suarez is booked for a stupid late foul on Yacob. The home supporters are still annoyed that Gerrard wasn't cautioned a little earlier.

74 minLIVERPOOL SUBS: Rodgers makes his first substitutions by sending on Martin Kelly and Joe Allen for Flanagan and Coutinho.

75 minMulumbu works Mignolet with a low shot that the Belgian again held well.

78 minFoster makes a similar save at the other end after Skrtel laid the ball back to Allen. Really hard to say who's favourite to win this now.

79 minCHANCE! Opening for the visitors as Sterling slips in Sturridge. Foster is out quickly and makes a great tackle before Sterling's shot on the follow-up is blocked.

81 minBOOKING! Gerrard gets the card the West Brom fans want after a late tackle on McAuley.

82 minBOOKING! Mulumbu is next to go in the book for tugging back Sterling. Card count now WBA 3-2 Liverpool.

85 minBOOKING! Yellow cards galore at the moment as Lugano becomes the next Baggie in the book for charging into Sturridge.

86 minHere's a photo from West Brom's Instagram account of Anichebe celebrating the equaliser:

89 minHard to say who might nick a winner here. You'd expect Liverpool to be the ones who go for it but West Brom look just as likely right now.

90+1 minFOUR minutes added on by the officials.

90+2 minAnichebe's physical presence wins the Baggies a free kick about 30 yards out on the left. Looks like it will be swung in for a cross...

90+2 minMignolet collects it under no pressure. Wasted.

90+4 minMel strolls up and down the touchline contentedly. He must be over the moon with his side's second-half display.

90+5 minFULL TIME: WEST BROM 1-1 LIVERPOOL

3.22pmIt finishes all square at The Hawthorns because of a clanger from Kolo.

3.24pmRodgers will definitely feel that his side threw that one away but you have to give credit to West Brom for the way they came back into the game after the interval.

3.27pmA point sees Liverpool edge two clear of fifth-placed Everton. They're six behind leaders Manchester City and three shy of Chelsea above them in third.

3.29pmWest Brom, meanwhile, climb one place up to 16th but are still just a point above the relegation zone in what is such a tight bottom half.

3.31pmAnyway, that's all we've got time for here on this commentary. I recommend that you now follow this link and join Jack Prescott for coverage of the second top-flight game today between London clubs Arsenal and Crystal Palace. Enjoy!

Luis Suarez of Liverpool scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on October 26, 2013
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