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Page last updated at 18:09 GMT, Sunday, 17 May 2009 19:09 UK

West Brom 0-2 Liverpool

Chris Brunt contemplates West Brom's relegation from the Premier League
Chris Brunt contemplates West Brom's relegation from the Premier League

By Mandeep Sanghera

West Brom suffered Premier League relegation after losing to Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard robbed Shelton Martis before dinking the ball in for the first, with Dirk Kuyt driving home a shot in the second half to make it 2-0.

The home side were denied a penalty for a Leiva Lucas tackle on Marc-Antoine Fortune while Luke Moore hit the post.

West Brom's late surge even provoked a heated exchange between Jamie Carragher and Alvaro Arbeloa, with the Liverpool defenders angrily pushing one another.

606: DEBATE

Arbeloa had blocked a Fortune shot but Carragher was unhappy at the Spaniard's failure to close down the Baggies forward sooner and the Liverpool centre-back still appeared to be fuming after the final whistle.

West Brom went into the match without striker Roman Bednar, who was suspended by the club pending an investigation into newspaper allegations that he bought drugs after the recent 3-1 victory over Wigan.

Despite the absence of the Czech international, the Baggies stuck to their attacking principles throughout and were backed by a vociferous and loyal crowd.

They wasted numerous chances during their late rally but the real curse of their season has been poor defending, and that weakness again reared its head to undermine their efforts after a promising start.

Bust-up was over clean sheets - Carragher

Liverpool had seen their title hopes ended after Manchester United beat them to the Premier League crown after getting the point they needed with a draw against Arsenal on Saturday.

And, the combination of Liverpool's deflation with West Brom's desperation for at least a draw to stave off relegation, saw the home side quickly take a stranglehold of the game.

The hosts were only denied taking the lead by a smart double save from Reds keeper Jose Reina.

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres inadvertently flicked on a corner to Jonathan Greening at the far post but the Baggies skipper saw his first-time shot saved and the rebound blocked by the legs of Reina.

West Brom's energy, enthusiasm and hunger had the visitors rocking before the Reds belatedly raised themselves from their stupor.

Benitez aims to build for next season

Torres and Emiliano Insua had shots blocked as they tried to shoot through a crowded Baggies defence before Liverpool were gifted the lead.

Centre-back Martis dallied on the ball and Gerrard robbed him of possession, drove through on to the home goal and lifted a shot over the on-rushing keeper Dean Kiely to score his 24th goal of the season.

They almost went further behind but Kiely tipped over a flicked Torres header form a Gerrard cross.

The Baggies had to commit more men to attack after the break and, after being wrongly ruled onside, were nearly rewarded.

Menseguez crossed for Fortune, who missed the ball as he fell under a challenge from Lucas with the referee waving away appeals for a spot-kick.

The Baggies were leaving themselves short in defence and Liverpool eventually took advantage when Kuyt manoeuvred himself to the edge of the box and drove in a low shot.

West Brom kept pressing and stretched a Reds defence which needed a lunge from Carragher to divert a Fortune shot over before the Baggies striker sent a point-blank header horribly over.

I'll stick to my principles - Mowbray

But the Reds closed out the win to move on to 83 points, which is their highest points total since 1987-88 when they notched 90 points on their way to the old Division One title played over 40 games instead of the current 38 of the Premier League.

West Brom, however, now face another season in the Championship after only one season back in the top flight following their promotion last year.


West Brom: Kiely, Zuiverloon, Martis (Borja Valero 56), Olsson, Donk, Brunt, Mulumbu (Moore 68), Greening, Koren, Menseguez, Fortune.
Subs Not Used: Carson, Filipe Teixeira, Meite, Simpson, Wood.

Booked: Greening, Olsson.

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Agger, Carragher, Insua, Lucas, Mascherano (Alonso 51), Kuyt, Gerrard, Benayoun (Ngog 73), Torres (Babel 68).
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Riera, Skrtel.

Goals: Gerrard 28, Kuyt 63.

Att: 26,138

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (8.32 on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Baggies can bounce back - Mowbray
17 May 09 |  Premier League
Benitez refuses to laud Ferguson
17 May 09 |  Liverpool
Premier League photos
17 May 09 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
17 May 09 |  Premier League
Bednar suspended over drugs claim
17 May 09 |  West Brom


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