Liverpool 1-1 West Bromwich Albion: Semi Ajayi scores dramatic late equaliser



Sadio Mane gives Liverpool the lead over West Bromwich Albion at Anfield
Sadio Mane has scored six Premier League goals in 2020-21

Semi Ajayi scored a dramatic late equaliser against leaders Liverpool to earn struggling West Brom their first point since Sam Allardyce took charge.

Jurgen Klopp’s side looked to be going five points clear at the top of the table when Sadio Mane chested down Joel Matip’s long ball forward and fire past Sam Johnstone.

Liverpool dominated for long periods without adding to their lead but the Baggies improved after the break and equalised in the 83rd minute.

Ajayi leapt high above the home defence to send a header in off the post to spark jubilant celebrations from the away team at Anfield.

West Brom keeper Johnstone made a superb save to deny Roberto Firmino a winner.

Reds frustrated by Baggies

There was a deep sense of frustration at full-time from Liverpool’s players after they dropped league points at Anfield for the first time this season.

Klopp walked to the Kop to acknowledge the 2,000 fans allowed into the ground as the home team headed for the dressing room knowing they had let two points slip.

It has been a monumental 2020 with the Reds ending a 30-year wait for a first title, but this was not the result they wanted in their final home game of 2020.

Klopp’s side dominated the first half, enjoying 84% possession, but were unable to add to a sumptuous finish by Senegal forward Mane.

Their dominance was highlighted by captain Jordan Henderson, who completed 39 more passes (85) than West Brom as a team (46) before half-time.

But the visitors were livelier after the break and, after Liverpool lost defender Joel Matip to injury, the hosts allowed West Brom a way back.

Alisson did well to keep out Karlan Grant after the forward had got the better of Rhys Williams before Ajayi’s equaliser.

Johnstone’s save to keep out Firmino right at the end only added to Liverpool’s frustration, their lead at the top now three points.

Player of the match

JohnstoneSam Johnstone

West Bromwich Albion

  1. Squad number1Player nameJohnstone

  2. Squad number6Player nameAjayi

  3. Squad number2Player nameFurlong

  4. Squad number27Player nameO’Shea

  5. Squad number18Player nameGallagher

  6. Squad number11Player nameDiangana

  7. Squad number12Player nameMatheus Pereira

  8. Squad number7Player nameRobinson

  9. Squad number3Player nameGibbs

  10. Squad number29Player nameGrant

  11. Squad number10Player namePhillips

  12. Squad number19Player nameSawyers

  13. Squad number15Player nameAustin

  14. Squad number20Player nameIvanovic

More to follow.

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 32MatipSubstituted forR Williamsat 60′minutes
  • 3Fabinho
  • 26Robertson
  • 17JonesSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 83′minutes
  • 14Henderson
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 11Salah
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forOrigiat 90′minutes
  • 10Mané

Substitutes

  • 7Milner
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 18Minamino
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 27Origi
  • 46R Williams
  • 47Phillips
  • 62Kelleher
  • 76N Williams

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 2Furlong
  • 6Ajayi
  • 27O’SheaBooked at 56mins
  • 3Gibbs
  • 7RobinsonSubstituted forCosta Pereiraat 73′minutes
  • 10Phillips
  • 19Sawyers
  • 18GallagherSubstituted forIvanovicat 90+1′minutes
  • 11Diangana
  • 29GrantSubstituted forAustinat 78′minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Costa Pereira
  • 13Grosicki
  • 15Austin
  • 16Harper
  • 17Krovinovic
  • 20Ivanovic
  • 22Peltier
  • 24Kipré
  • 25Button

Referee:
Kevin Friend

Attendance:
2,000

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