Liverpool falls to West Brom at Anfield

Liverpool's hopes of reaching a top-four spot in the Premiership took a hit on Monday as the Reds dropped three crucial points in a 2-0 loss to West Bromwich at Anfield.

Brendan Rodgers' side entered the match riding a three-game home winning streak and dominated play for the majority of the 90 minutes, but goals from Gareth McAuley and second-half substitute Romelu Lukaku were enough to allow the visitors to escape with the points.

The hosts appeared to open the scoring in the ninth minute when Jonjo Shelvey put it past West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster on the rebound from a Glen Johnson shot, but Shelvey was flagged for offside.

After the break, the home side had another outstanding chance to find the net when Stewart Downing went streaking down the right wing and laid it off to an overlapping Johnson, who fired a low cross into the area where Joe Allen got a foot to it for the shot, but Foster was there for the save.

Liverpool was again buzzing around the net 20 minutes from time as Steven Gerrard found a ball just outside the box and ripped a powerful left-footed strike, but Foster stood tall and parried it over the bar.

Liverpool was gifted its best chance of the contest 13 minutes from time when Luis Suarez was gingerly pulled down in the box and the Reds were awarded a penalty kick.

Gerrard stepped up to take the kick and blasted a low shot earmarked for the bottom right corner, but Foster guessed correctly and got a hand to it to keep it out.

West Brom finally found its breakthrough with nine minutes remaining as Chris Brunt lofted a corner kick into the area and McAuley raced in completely unmarked and powered a header past Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina for the 1-0 lead.

Things got worse for Liverpool in stoppage time as Lukaku collected a pass from James Morrison on the right flank, raced past a stationary Daniel Agger and beat Reina with a low shot just inside the far past to seal the result.

The Baggies rise to eighth place on 37 points with the victory, while Liverpool falls to ninth on 36 points.