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Liverpool's Fab Four were flat as Reds lacked cutting edge, admits Klopp

Liverpool 0-0 West Brom

By Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reunited the 'Fab Four', but his prolific attacking quartet were all distinctly off-key as West Brom held out for a goalless draw at Anfield.

Prior to this game the Reds averaged a goal every 23 minutes when Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho were on the pitch, but on this occasion they could not find the net.

For the second time in four days Klopp was left frustrated at the officials after substitute Dominic Solanke's late goal was ruled out for handball by an assistant referee having initially been given by referee Paul Tierney.

The Reds boss had been unhappy about the award of Everton's penalty in Sunday's Merseyside derby and he was equally unimpressed by this decision.

On the Reds' disallowed goal, Klopp said: "It deflected twice and I am still not sure. It hits the chest and then I am not sure if it is handball. We cannot take the decision back.

"In the first half we were a little bit stiff, the passing and movement was not so good but even then we had two or three chances. The second half we changed the system two or three times.

"We can do better, and we have to do better, but on a night like this when you are not at your best you need a bit of luck. That was not our best game but I think we had enough chances to win. We didn't take them and we have to accept the result."

West Brom boss Alan Pardew said: "We were so disappointed to lose at Swansea, we didn't think we deserved to, but you have to earn your right and we were excellent in all aspects of our defending today. We are growing with defensive confidence."

On Liverpool's disallowed goal, he said: "I thought it was a goal until I saw the linesman not move. That's always a good sign. It is a good call by the linesman because it is handball."

Liverpool's best first-half chances came from the right-hand side. Salah crossed to the far post where Firmino's left-footed shot flew across the face of goal and just wide of the upright, and Trent Alexander-Arnold, on a charging counter-attack run, narrowly missed picking out Salah just beyond the penalty spot.

Andrew Robertson had a volley blocked by Jake Livermore, Firmino's shot deflected off Ahmed Hegazi and fell to Salah but his effort was cleared by Kieran Gibbs.

The visitors came closest to scoring in the first half with Hal Robson-Kanu's 30th-minute curler dropping over Karius and onto the top of the crossbar.

Five minutes into the second half, Karius was forced to tip over Gregorz Krychowiak's in-swinging free-kick and also Claudio Yacob's header from the resulting corner.

Pressure at the other end saw Mane skew wide from Firmino's cut-back and Salah fail to get enough on his header from Alexander-Arnold's deflected cross.

Solanke thought he had broken the deadlock with seven minutes to go but his goal was ruled out - having initially been given by referee Tierney - after a linesman spotted the ball had rebounded off his chest and onto his arm.

Klopp's mood was not helped when the excellent Hegazi cleared Solanke's shot off the line from their next attack.

For new Baggies boss Pardew it was a second draw in three matches but nevertheless set a new club record of 16 matches without a win in all competitions.

LIVERPOOL: Karius, Alexander-Arnold (Gomez 80), Lovren, Klavan, Robertson, Wijnaldum (Oxlade-Chamberlain 76), Can, Coutinho, Mané (Solanke 76), Salah, Firmino.

Subs not used: Milner, Henderson, Mignolet, Ings.

WEST BROM: Foster, Nyom, Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs, Livermore, Yacob, Krychowiak (Brunt 79), Robson-Kanu (Rodriguez 71), Rondón, McClean.

Subs not used: Myhill, Burke, McAuley, Field, Ferguson.

Man of the match: Hegazi

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Paul Tierney

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