Premier League - Liverpool beat WBA to go fifth

Sat, 29 Oct 19:27:00 2011

First-half goals from Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll were enough for Liverpool to ease past West Brom with a 2-0 Premier League win at the Hawthorns.

Miss a Match? We didn't

West Brom 0 Liverpool 2

Adam put the visitors ahead from the spot after Luis Suarez was felled by Jerome Thomas, and Suarez was involved again as he fed Carroll for the second just before half time.

The Reds were always in control against a lacklustre Baggies side as Kenny Dalglish’s men made it 10 wins out of the last 11 matches against the team managed by former boss Roy Hodgson.

The result puts Liverpool fifth, above Tottenham who play QPR on Sunday, while West Brom lie 13th.

West Brom were abject in the first half, slow in their movement with and without the ball and shoddy at the back as Liverpool earned a comfortable lead by doing the simple things effectively.

The first incident of note yielded a goal, Jerome Thomas clumsily tripping Luis Suarez in the box while Uruguayan had his back to goal. Referee Lee Mason missed the initial foul but the linesman flagged for it correctly.

Adam was forced to wait for a few minutes as Carroll and Jonas Olsson rekindled old rivalries, but the Scot kept a cool head as he stroked a left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

While the Baggies toiled to get into the Liverpool final third - Pepe Reina did not have a save to make all half - Suarez and Carroll were combining with purpose, the former swinging over an inch-perfect cross for the latter, whose goal-bound header was blocked by the arm of an unwitting Steven Reid, Liverpool’s penalty appeals waved away by Mason.

The ongoing tussle between Olsson and Carroll - who first clashed in the Championship when the latter played for Newcastle - resulted in the first yellow card of the night as the Swede clattered late into the England striker.

The subsequent free-kick led to a terrible miss from Suarez who, for all his excellent approach work, does not have a high conversion ratio: this time he fired over from close range after the ball landed at his unmarked feet.

West Brom had a brief spell of territorial ascendance, with the net result a cross-shot from Somen Tchoyi that just evaded Peter Odemwingie and Thomas at the far post.

An equaliser would have been undeserved to say the least, but it did not materialise and Liverpool doubled their lead in injury time, thanks to good approach play but, once more, terrible defending.

After Olsson needlessly gave the ball away, a lofted ball from Adam released Suarez wide on the right and there was no challenge in sight as he was allowed to pick out Carroll, who beat the onrushing Ben Foster on the edge of the box to clip a low finish home.

The hosts were marginally better in the second half, as Tchoyi used his physicality to work the Liverpool defence: on one occasional he managed to drill a low shot inches wide, and on another he just failed to turn and finish under pressure from Dan Agger.

The Baggies were still haphazard at the back though, with Liverpool still creating the better chances, Jordan Henderson mis-kicking when put through by Carroll’s knock-down and Suarez denied a volleyed goal by an Olsson block.

Suarez was also giving the hosts no end of grief with his trademark mazy dribbles, although he was unable to find an end product to his fancy footwork, while Stewart Downing fired just wide after a corner routine.

The Uruguay forward appeared unconcerned by allegations of racial abuse by Patrice Evra and he showed another side to his game by using strength to stand the ball up to Carroll, who controlled and half-volleyed to draw a good stop from Foster in a reverse of the usual combination.

The latter stages became like a training-ground match, with both sides opting for caution but Liverpool having the best chance as a Downing drive hit the woodwork - the 10th time a Reds player has done so this season.

Reda Maher (on Twitter @ Reda_Maher) / Eurosport

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