Now we have seen it all. In this crazy season, with Liverpool’s title defense in tatters long before Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions, their chances of qualifying for the Champions League were about to disappear after a draw with West Bromwich. Albion, who had already descended. Goalkeeper Alisson headed in the winning goal three minutes into injury time.
That was how desperate Liverpool had become. However, when Trent Alexander-Arnold leapt over another corner, the Brazilian stopper rose at the first post to look with a powerful header into the far upper corner.
The entire Liverpool team surrounded their unlikely hero before Alisson, whose father died earlier this year, emerged to take aim for the skies.
The Liverpool bench celebrated wildly when the final whistle sounded in a minute. So Jürgen Klopp’s team lives to fight one more day as, with Burnley and Crystal Palace still to play, they moved to one point from fourth-placed Chelsea.
In the pursuit of the golden boot, Mo Salah had equaled Harry Kane on 22 goals to nullify Hal Robson-Kanu’s opening goal for relegated West Brom. Despite FA Cup finalists Chelsea and Leicester meeting on Tuesday night, everything is still up in the air in the battle for the last two places in the Champions League.
Liverpool dominated possession, of course, despite the loss of Diogo Jota to an ankle injury sustained in Thursday’s win at Old Trafford that knocks him out of these final three games of the season. That at least offered a direct path back to the starting eleven for Sadio Mané, whom the coach said in advance that he had apologized for refusing to shake his hand at the end of the previous game.
Roberto Firmino, a two-goal scorer against Manchester United, started with the armband for the first time when Liverpool pressured West Brom to make mistakes in dangerous areas around the edge of their own area.
Conor Gallagher’s poor control invited a snapshot of Thiago who swerved back for a corner. When this was returned to Alexander-Arnold, the fit right-back center was headed in by Nat Phillips.
However, if it looked like the die was cast, the one-way traffic was quickly reversed after Thiago was judged to have fouled Okay Yokuslu near the center circle. The Spanish playmaker clutched his head in disbelief, but credibility was suspended when Albion quickly scored.
The initial free kick was cleared but in a match played in such a hurry, with such a high turnover ratio, the ball returned to Matheus Pereira for a cushioned side pass over Liverpool’s backline for Robson-Kanu to run. . into the right inner channel, he opens his body and takes a left-handed shot. In his first Premier League start to the season, it was the Wales forward’s first goal in the league since February last year.
With the pressure of a relegation battle at least over, this might have given Albion a chance to play with some freedom, but Liverpool locked them up relentlessly.
Mané should have leveled by shooting wide from the near post after Fabinho played Thiago on the right side of the penalty area. Then Salah brought Alexander-Arnold’s beautiful cross pass, left to right, out of the sky with a sumptuous first touch, but could only drop the second into the grateful arms of Sam Johnstone.
Salah didn’t waste that much 12 minutes before the break, however, when West Brom was again caught loitering near his own D. Grady Diangana played a pass to a teammate, but Mané intercepted to square the ball to Salah, who scored his goal number 22 in the league. of the season with a first left-handed shot from the edge of the area.
This put the Egyptian on par with Kane, in the chase of the Premier League golden boot subplot, and on a par with Liverpool. Almost immediately, they could have gone ahead. Mané’s heel bounced off Yokuslu on Firmino’s path, but his shot hit the post.
It was a rough game; a battle on the playground between the older students and the younger ones invited to join. Liverpool dominated in terms of territory, possession and goal attempts, but they were not in control.
It was frantic, exhilarating for neutrals, but felt like the last minutes of a cup match, not the middle of a match between the past Premier League champions and the hopefuls for next season’s Championship promotion.
When Robson-Kanu found himself running clear towards goal again, it took a dynamic recovery from Alexander-Arnold to avoid another spin.
The second half continued in the same vein of going all out. Pereira found himself in a one-on-one run with Phillips from the midline, but was only able to get away a weak shot, easily saved.
From Albion’s own corner, Conor Townsend stood waving his hands in the air as he saw Salah and Alexander-Arnold coming toward him, two at a time. It was the stuff of a young defender’s nightmares. Fortunately for the home team, although Salah timed his career perfectly with a direct pass from Alexander-Arnold, Johnstone expertly held his shot. This didn’t save Albion players from an old glee from Sam Allardyce, who suggested that since they knew what to do, they should do it too.
A Mané was canceled an effort in the net for offside; Albion was celebrating when Kyle Bartley headed home at Diangana’s corner only for the VAR to judge how offside Matt Phillips was in Allison’s line of sight. There was still time for Alexander-Arnold to easily cut through the inside just to shoot from eight yards out. It was a crazy game as Liverpool’s defunct title defense came to a crazy end.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism