West Brom stuns Liverpool 2-0 in Premier League

West Bromwich Albion punished Liverpool for an inefficient

display at Anfield on Monday, soaking up 80 minutes of pressure

before scoring two late goals for a 2-0 victory and its first

Premier League win since December.

Steven Gerrard looked set to finally provide the breakthrough

for a dominant Liverpool when the hosts were awarded a penalty in

the 77th minute, but goalkeeper Ben Foster dove to his left to palm

his spot kick away – one of several key saves that kept the

visitors in the game.

Minutes later, West Brom made sure the miss was costly.

Gareth McAuley headed home a corner in the 81st to give the

vistors an unlikely lead from their first effort on target. As the

disbelieving hosts looked for an equalizer, Romelu Lukaku put the

game away on a counterattack in injury time.

It was the Baggies’ first league win since Dec. 26, and lifted

them above Liverpool into eighth place.

”It’s a terrific win for us. Since the turn of the year, things

haven’t gone our way,” said West Brom manager Steve Clarke, whose

team has struggled after a surprisingly strong start to the season.

”We’ve always been just one result from kick-starting our season

again. Hopefully that result came tonight and we can start chasing

the teams above us.”

With West Brom having beaten Liverpool 3-0 at home on the first

day of the season, the Baggies completed their first league double

against the Reds since 1966-67.

It didn’t look likely as Liverpool dominated proceedings for

much of the game, and it only seemed a matter of time before the

first goal would come.

But Foster saved efforts from Jordan Henderson, Daniel Agger,

Stewart Downing and Fabio Borini to keep the game scoreless, and

again came up big to stop Gerrard’s spot kick.

The situation that led to the penalty is likely to renew the

debate about Luis Suarez and his perceived penchant for diving, as

the Uruguay forward collided with defender Jonas Olsson in the area

and fell to the ground dramatically, then immediately rolled around

with his hand up in the air looking toward referee Jon Moss, who

pointed to the spot.

Clarke called the decision ”a little bit worse than harsh,”

but Foster made sure it didn’t matter.

”Their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves tonight, he’s kept

them in the game,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. ”We

just couldn’t make the breakthrough. … But I can’t fault the

players. I thought they gave everything today. It was just one of

those games where we needed the first goal.”

Instead, that goal came at the other end as Chris Brunt swung

over a right-wing corner and McAuley got away from his marker in

the area to power home a header.

With Liverpool chasing an equalizer they left themselves exposed

to counterattacks, and Lukaku took full advantage by breaking into

the area and calmly slotting home the second goal.