West Bromwich Albion 1 - Liverpool 2

Date: Sunday 16th May 2021 Live on Sky SportsBehind Closed Doors
Competition: Premier League
Johnstone 6.9, Furlong 6.3, Ajayi 6.5, Bartley 6.0, Townsend 6.5, Diangana 4.8 (Maitland-Niles, 78 5.1), Yokuslu 6.3 (Livermore, 75 5.0), Phillips 6.4, Pereira 6.5, Gallagher 6.3, Robson-Kanu 6.3 (Grant, 81 4.6)
Unused subs: Button, Robinson, Diagne, Peltier, O'Shea, Gardner-Hickman
Manager: Sam Allardyce 6.0
Scorers: Robson-Kanu (15)
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral) 3.0
Attendance: 0
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 12

Brendan Clegg:

I think when I saw the lineup and given the fact we’re already relegated I was worried we’d get a hiding.

So forget the bizarre winner and the obvious refereeing injustices as scandalous as they were - I think the players deserve enormous credit for the honesty and graft in their performance. They could’ve phoned it in but here they were, fighting for every ball and running themselves into the ground and that with carrying a couple of players who simply haven’t played much football in six months and so were not match fit or sharp. Yes, there were lapses in quality, naivety and sloppy play through tired minds and bodies but they gave it everything and executed a sensible game plan. You can’t ask for more and we overcame the ludicrous difference in resources to give them a tough match.

Rather than cover the whole match I’ll just pick out a few things.

Pereira once again looked comfortable against the best during the opening 30.

Their equaliser was harsh - Diagana lacking that sharpness but don’t kill him, he was tracking back and doing the right thing, and it’s frankly a joke Liverpool got a free kick over a drop ball in the run up. Inexplicable and inexcusable - the subtle bias for the big teams pulling through.

I thought disallowing our 2nd goal was hugely harsh - Allison would’ve got nowhere near it with clear sight and that interpretation will never be applied consistently with VAR.

We had chances and opportunities to win it after that we should’ve taken. I totally understand Allardyce wanting to give Grant a chance but Diagne instead or Robinson instead with 20 to go would’ve been stronger, might’ve got us a winner but I’m convinced would also have prevented that winner. Diagne, and to be fair HRK, do that front post job so well in the Rondon (old style Drogba!) way. Start on the front post but charge out and head it clear if it comes near post. Whatever other defenders should’ve done - it wouldn’t have mattered but Grant froze rooted to his position as Allison stooped to nod in a great header.

I’ve been fortunate enough to win the ballot and will be in the Smethwick come Wednesday night and I just hope they give us the same because if so it’ll be special whatever the outcome. Allardyce deserves credit for getting this performance out of them and I’m still in the camp that thinks we should give him the job next season to help us bounce back better prepared. I don’t see any better options.

  • SJ - 7 Big saves to keep us in it and did well generally.
  • Furlong - 7 He’s learned a lot this season. Some great defending and gave everything.
  • Ajayi - 7 Decent game. Calmed down a bit and used pace well.
  • Bartley - 7 Maybe got lost for their winner but generally put in another big performance. Maybe not good enough but will do a job next year and shows leadership.
  • Townsend - 7 Up against one of the best in the world and he didn’t let us down. Some brilliant covering and has had a right go this season.
  • Phillips - 7 Really put the yards in. The odd gaffe but covers well and going forward Allardyce has got the best out of him by simplifying it. Stay wide, carry it and cross/win throws and corners. Did a great job.
  • Yokuslu - 7 Another who was decent and who might’ve headed away the winner. Has made us competitive in midfield.
  • Gallagher - 7 Covered every blade of grass. As always, not always the best decision-maker but he’s cut the silly diving out and he did show some good touches to break us out.
  • Diangana - 6 Thought he covered well defensively and is too talented to be bit part. Agree with giving him minutes to improve him physically.
  • Pereira - 7 Can’t see how we can keep him as the numbers don’t lie. At the heart of our best moves and if he’s on the pitch we’ve always got a chance in us.
  • HRK - 7 I thought it was a bad call but fair play to him, played the role really well, took his goal superbly and looked a threat. As a 2nd or 3rd choice striker (and we’ll need one in a budget) he’s worth a year extension - better the devil you know.

I don’t think the subs were right or timed right but they did okay - although Grant looked totally lost and contributed little.

Steve Fereday:

When VAR's responsibility is to advise the referee of a clear and obvious mistake, then why didn't they contact Mike Reid after Salah's goal, to rule it out, explain it wasn't a free kick at all, and it should have been a contested drop ball?