Late equaliser earns West Brom 1-1 draw at Liverpool

Semi Ajayi's 82nd minute equaliser earned 19th-placed West Bromwich Albion a 1-1 draw at Liverpool after Sadio Mane's opened the scoring early in the first half.

Liverpool was unable to get past a stubborn West Brom defence in the second half.   -  getty images

A late header by Semi Ajayi earned struggling West Bromwich Albion a surprise 1-1 Premier League draw at Liverpool on Sunday as the defender cancelled out Sadio Mane's early opener.

The result left Liverpool on 32 points from 15 games, three ahead of second-placed Everton. West Bromwich stayed 19th on eight points but its spirited fightback will have given new boss Sam Allardyce plenty to cheer about.

It also snapped Liverpool's seven-game winning streak at home as Allardyce, beaten 3-0 by Aston Villa on his debut last Sunday, reinvigorated West Brom's hopes of avoiding relegation from the top flight.

Liverpool left back Andy Robertson acknowledged Liverpool did not deserve to win after a poor second-half performance.

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"When you go slack you get what you deserve," he told Sky Sports. "When you come up against a Sam Allardyce team you know they will stay in it and take the one chance they get.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, was left frustrated by West Brom's defensive tactics.

"It is an incredible challenge when you constantly face 10 men and I don't think anyone can expect a team that plays like West Brom in the first half, like a 6-4 or whatever it was," he said.

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Liverpool laid siege to the Baggies from the off and it was no surprise that Mane netted in the 12th minute when he chested down a deep Joel Matip pass and swept the ball past goalkeeper Sam Johnstone from 10 metres.

Mane came close to adding a second midway through the first half when he headed wide from close range after a Jordan Henderson cross before Mohamed Salah volleyed inches over the bar from the edge of the penalty area.

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West Brom came out with more purpose after the break and Karlan Grant had a sitter saved by Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker before Nigerian centre back Ajayi struck in the 82nd minute against the subdued hosts.

Liverpool conceded a sloppy corner and was punished as Matheus Pereira floated in a delightful cross from the right and Ajayi rose above Fabinho to send a looping header into the back of the net off the post.

Roberto Firmino missed a 90th-minute chance to snatch a win for Liverpool as Johnstone somehow clawed out his downward close-range header and turned it around the post.

Allardyce was overjoyed with West Brom's second-half resilience and felt the unlikely draw at Anfield was a step in the right direction.

"It was superb today and we came out with a precious point for us. There is a lot of defending you have to do against a quality team with a fantastic home record. To the man, we frustrated Liverpool as much as we could. We had to take the sting out of them in the first half," said Allardyce, who has managed 11 clubs without ever getting relegated, told the BBC.

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