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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 April 2006, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
West Brom 0-2 Liverpool
Robbie Fowler
Fowler salutes the Liverpool crowd after his opener
Liverpool eased to victory over a relegation-threatened West Brom side.

A defensive error allowed Reds striker Robbie Fowler to tap-in at the far post from Djibril Cisse's cross after just six minutes.

The lacklustre home side were further punished when Cisse slotted in after Xabi Alonso's 60-yard pass.

Zolten Gera inspired a Baggies revival but he saw two strikes saved while Jonathan Greening blazed over to sum up the home side's frustration.

West Brom went into the game knowing that relegation-battling rivals Portsmouth had beaten Fulham while Birmingham had earned a point again Chelsea.

But the home side got off to a nightmare start as their cheap concession of possession and poor defending was severely punished.

Baggies left-back Paul Robinson mistimed a sliding interception of Xabi Alonso's through ball and Djibril Cisse, who was not penalised for an apparent handball, was left to cross for Fowler to tap-in at the far post.

Liverpool celebrate after Djibril Cisse puts them 2-0 up against West Brom
Cisse is congratulated after his goal put Liverpool 2-0 up

The goal moved Fowler ahead of Kenny Dalglish in the Anfield club's scoring charts.

Diomansy Kamara sent a well-struck 20-yard strike into the arms of keeper Jose Reina but that was as good as it got for Bryan Robson's side.

Instead, they were fortunate not to be further behind with the visitors looking dangerous with every attack and the Baggies defence becoming more and more vulnerable.

Alonso was proving to be the architect behind Liverpool's forward foray while Cisse's pace and industry constantly troubled West Brom.

And the pair combined to extend the Reds' lead when Cisse latched onto the Spaniard's driven ball from defence and rounded keeper Tomasz Kuszczak before slotting into an empty net.

West Brom introduced Gera after the break and he immediately had an impact by sending a shot just wide of the post.

He then produced a powerful angled drive which Reina will be glad was straight at him after he gathered at the second attempt.

Kuszczak quickly came off his line to smother a Cisse shot when the Frenchman again broke clear before Gera went close with another finely struck effort at the other end.

Liverpool were happy to hold on to their lead and they gave West Brom a sniff of a goal in a rare moment of panic but Greening shot high from 15 yards.

The defeat leaves the Baggies level on points with third-from-bottom Portsmouth, who have played a game less.

  • West Brom assistant manager Nigel Pearson:
    "The way that we performed in the first half was very disappointing.

    "We knew what we had to do before the game after the other results but we just didn't turn up. That's unacceptable and the players know that.

    "We find ourselves in a difficult position but we are still confident we have got enough here and the spirit in the camp to get out of it."

  • Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:
    "We need to keep going until the end of the season.

    "You cannot think it will be impossible and you just have to think about winning the next game.

    "We know it will be really difficult as Man Utd keep winning but our idea it to carry on winning as well so we are sure to finish third and maybe second."

    West Brom: Kuszczak, Albrechtsen, Watson (Clement 62), Curtis Davies, Robinson, Kamara (Gera 45), Johnson, Wallwork, Greening, Kanu (Campbell 62), Ellington.
    Subs Not Used: Hoult, Kozak.

    Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise, Alonso, Sissoko, Kewell, Cisse (Kromkamp 78), Crouch (Morientes 71), Fowler (Luis Garcia 65).
    Subs Not Used: Dudek, Warnock.

    Goals: Fowler 7, Cisse 38.

    Att: 27,576

    Ref: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).

    Interview: Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler

    Interview: West Brom assistant boss Nigel Pearson

    Interview: Rafael Benitez


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