West Brom manager Steve Clarke hailed a superb performance from goalkeeper Ben Foster after his side’s 2-0 win at Liverpool on Monday.
Foster saved a Steven Gerrard penalty to keep the score at 0-0 in the 76th minute at Anfield before Gareth McAuley and Romelu Lukaku netted to give Clarke’s side their first victory of 2013.
Despite his delight, Clarke did not believe that his side should have conceded a spot-kick for an alleged foul on Luis Suarez by Jonas Olsson.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Clarke said of Foster: “He’s a fantastic goalkeeper. That’s why we spent a bit of money on him.
“I think it (the penalty) was a bit harsh – looking back on it, I think it’s more than harsh – but I think it spurred us on a little bit after Ben saved the penalty and we thought we could go on to win it from here.
“To come here and win against a Liverpool side that is playing as well as anyone at the moment is fantastic. Full credit to the team for the effort we put in.
“For a change, something went right; 2013 hasn’t been the best year so it’s good to come here and play well. It was a great win for us.
“Hopefully we can use this win as a springboard to move forward and continue to move up the league.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was on the defence after his side’s shock defeat, which came despite the Reds laying siege on the West Brom goal throughout the encounter.
“The players gave everything,” he told Sky Sports. “It was one of those games where we just couldn’t make the breakthrough.
“The longer the game goes on the more likely it is that they nick one. I can’t fault the players’ efforts today – it was just one of those games where we couldn’t get the first goal.
“We weren’t at our best but we were certainly on the front foot and looking to create. Full credit to West Brom, Foster’s made some brilliant saves. It was a good away performance from them and the longer it was 0-0, the riskier it got.
“I can’t blame Gerrard for missing the penalty; he had a fantastic game and he had the courage to step up and take it.”
The Reds had won their previous three games at Anfield while drawing at Manchester City and Arsenal in their last two fixtures, and Rodgers is keen to get his side back into form.
“I’m just disappointed that our good run, particularly at home, has come to an end,” he added.
“We gave everything and the ‘keeper had a fantastic match but we’ll go again; we’ve got an important game in the Europa League on Thursday and we’ll be ready for that.”