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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
07:15 16th October 2016

Albion, eighth, on 44 points with five games remaining

  • Firmino heads winner in first-half injury time (45+1)
  • Chadli, Robson-Kanu and Phillips enjoy good chances
  • Baggies, eighth, on 44 points from 33 matches
  • Attendance: 25,669
  • Albion Star Man: Jonny Evans

ALBION fell to a third successive Premier League defeat as Roberto Firmino's header proved the difference against Liverpool on Easter Sunday.

The Brazilian headed home the only goal of the game in first-half injury time at The Hawthorns, nodding in at the back post after compatriot Lucas had flicked on James Milner's free-kick.

Nacer Chadli, Hal Robson-Kanu and Matt Phillips all enjoyed good chances for the Baggies while Milner volleyed off target when well placed for the Reds - ensuring Firmino's header settled a tight encounter.

Defeat comes on the back of losses to Southampton and Watford, with the Baggies now looking to get back on track at home to Leicester City in two weeks' time.

Albion remain eighth in the table on 44 points, with five matches remaining as they continue to chase what would be a club-record 50 points in the Premier League.

Tony Pulis made three changes to the side beaten by Saints last time out - Chris Brunt, Claudio Yacob and Robson-Kanu coming in for Allan Nyom, James Morrison and Salomon Rondon.

The Baggies made a positive start to proceedings but the clearest chance of the opening 15 minutes fell to Firmino, the Brazilian dragging his shot narrowly wide of the far post.

Chadli mis-timed a great chance to volley Albion into the lead before, almost immediately at the other end, Philippe Coutinho slammed wide on the counter-attack.

Robson-Kanu broke through the Reds defence but could only fire straight at Simon Mignolet as the half looked set to finish goalless.

That was until Firmino scored with almost the last touch of the first period, heading home at the far post after Lucas had flicked on Milner's free-kick.

Liverpool wasted a glorious opportunity to double their advantage just before the hour mark as Milner volleyed over from Firmino's sublime lofted ball.

Morrison, Rondon and McClean were all introduced off the bench as Pulis looked to spark a turnaround.

The last three meetings between the two teams at The Hawthorns had all finished level and Albion searched for a route back into the encounter.

Matt Phillips was denied by Mignolet when clean through yet that was the closest the hosts came in the final stages as Liverpool closed out the game to inflict a narrow reverse.

Albion: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Brunt, Fletcher (c), Yacob (McClean 64), Livermore; Phillips, Chadli (Morrison 61); Robson-Kanu (Rondon 64).

Subs: Myhill, M Wilson, Nyom, Field.

BOOKED: Brunt (foul, 45+1), Robson-Kanu (foul, 49), Evans (persistent fouling, 66), Livermore (foul, 75)

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Lucas, Milner (c), Can, Wijnaldum, Coutinho (Moreno 90), Firmino, Origi (Sturridge 82).

Subs: Karius, Grujic, Alexander-Arnold, Woodburn, Gomez.

BOOKED: Lucas (foul, 72)

Referee: Jon Moss (West Riding)

    QUICK FACTS

    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.