West Bromwich Albion withstood a dominant Liverpool and pounced late in a stunning 2-0 Premier league defeat of the Reds on Monday.
In a match dominated by Liverpool, who wasted a spate of opportunities in front of goal including a missed penalty from Steven Gerrard in the second half, West Brom netted twice in the final 10 minutes through Gareth McAuley and Romelu Lukaku to record their second consecutive win at Anfield.
Luis Suarez was the first to threaten with a flashed volley that drifted wide of Ben Foster’s right-hand post before Jonjo Shelvey stroked home a rebound only for the effort to be ruled out for offside.
Brendan Rodgers’ side were in control and could have taken the lead when a free header from Daniel Agger was tipped over the bar by Foster before Stewart Downing saw a fierce left-footed effort from long-range sting the hands of the West Brom goalkeeper.
Agger threatened again on the half-hour mark, failing to make contact with his head despite some loose marking inside the West Brom penalty area.
Steven Reid then came close to an embarrassing own goal when he sliced a Shelvey cross that only just cleared the top of Foster’s crossbar as the two sides closed out the first half on level terms.
Foster continued to frustrate the hosts after the interval, the Englishman producing a sprawling block to deny Downing and then Gerrard.
Minutes later, Jordan Henderson’s improvised back-flick brought out more sharp reflexes from Foster.
Fabio Borini continued Liverpool’s siege but Foster was again up to the task, denying the substitute with another key save.
The best was still to come from the former Manchester United custodian, who parried Gerrard’s penalty away after Jonas Olsson was adjudged to have felled Suarez with 15 minutes to go.
That miss would come back to haunt the home side when Youssuf Mulumbu’s long-range strike was tipped wide by Pepe Reina before McAuley thumped a header into goal from the resulting corner.
The home fans were stunned and their misery was complete in stoppage time when substitute Lukaku ran through and slotted past Reina as the Reds’ top four hopes were dealt a massive blow.