Roberto Firmino’s first-half header saw Liverpool consolidate their position in the Premier League’s top four with a 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday afternoon.
Firmino – back in the Reds’ starting line-up along with Philippe Coutinho – converted James Milner’s free-kick, via a flick-on from Lucas Leiva, in stoppage time at the end of the first period to move Jürgen Klopp’s side back into third place in the standings.
The visitors had the better of the second half, too, but were unable to add to their advantage. Milner blazed over the crossbar from close range before Divock Origi saw a close-range header disallowed due to Firmino straying offside shortly after the hour.
Simon Mignolet denied Matt Phillips as West Brom broke away with 10 minutes to go, and Liverpool stood firm in the face of some late pressure to claim what could prove to be a vital three points in the race for Champions League qualification.
The key points…
• Firmino struck in first-half stoppage time to put Liverpool ahead.
• Milner shot over from close range early in the second half.
• Origi saw goal disallowed after Firmino flagged offside.
• The Reds, now unbeaten in seven, back up to third in the table.
The team news…
With Firmino and Coutinho deemed fit, Klopp recalled the Brazilian duo to his starting line-up along with their compatriot Lucas, who replaced the injured Ragnar Klavan.
The first half…
After a cagey start to proceedings, Liverpool had the first meaningful attempt on goal with a quarter of an hour on the clock.
Coutinho seized on a loose Claudio Yacob pass in the centre-circle and fed Firmino in the inside-left channel, but the No.11’s low shot across Ben Foster went narrowly wide.
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