Liverpool 0 West Brom 2: I can’t fault my players, insists Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool 0 West Brom 2: Reds manager Brendan Rodgers says he can't fault his players despite a shock loss to the Baggies at Anfield
Brendan Rodgers refused to criticise his Liverpool players despite West Bromwich Albion’s shock victory over the Reds at Anfield.
The home side managed to register just two shots on Ben Foster’s goal in a tight first half before the West Brom goalkeeper denied Stewart Downing, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson after the interval.
The Liverpool captain was presented with a chance to open the scoring from the spot after Luis Suárez was fouled in the 77th minute, but the England international was denied again by West Brom’s shot-stopper.
Rodgers’ side had 14 efforts on target but were made to pay for being wasteful when Gareth McAuley headed past Pepe Reina with eight minutes remaining, and Romelu Lukaku added a second on the stroke of full-time.
“The players gave everything into the game. We just couldn’t make the breakthrough and the longer it goes on, it gives them a wee bit more encouragement,” Rodgers told Sky Sports.
“I can’t fault the payers. I thought they gave everything tonight. We just needed that first goal. We weren’t at our best but we certainly were on the front foot, looking to create.”
Rodgers added: “We weren’t at our best tonight but certainly we were on the front-foot looking to create.
“It was a good away performance from West Brom. You come, defend and keep the score 0-0, and you’re always in with that chance. Their goalkeeper’s made some fantastic saves and kept them in the game.
“I’m just disappointed for the players. We’ve been on a terrific little run, especially here at home.
“We’ve defended very well throughout the season here and we’re obviously disappointed with the goal. The second goal’s one when you’re chasing the game – it’s on the counter-attack and he [Lukaku] has put it away well.”
West Brom’s McAuley also defended Suárez after the Uruguayan controversially won Liverpool a penalty, with the centre-half thrilled to score at Anfield.
“There was contact between Jonas Olsson and Luis Suárez and the referee gave the penalty. It is always nice to score here at Anfield. It is a club my family supports so it it was a good night,” said McAuley.
West Brom’s victory sees Steve Clarke’s side leapfrog Liverpool and move into eighth place in the Premier League table.