ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
West Bromwich Albion 2
LONDON • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was in a grumpy mood after his side's 2-2 Premier League draw with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns yesterday.
He blamed West Brom's failure to water the pitch at half-time as the Baggies, rooted to the bottom of the league table, scored twice in the last 11 minutes to salvage an unlikely point.
He also bemoaned referee Stuart Attwell's refusal to send off Ahmed Hegazi for appearing to punch Danny Ings and claimed Liverpool should have had a penalty.
Klopp said: "It was a difficult game as the pitch got drier and drier. West Brom decided not to water the pitch at half-time and that makes it difficult. It makes a massive difference.
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West Brom 2 Liverpool 2
Watford 0 Crystal Palace 0
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"A team like West Brom do not need a wet pitch, they can do it next year playing on a dry pitch in the Championship."
It was not exactly the script the German had in mind ahead of a critical week for Liverpool as Darren Moore's side played with the sort of spirit and conviction that was so badly missing prior to him taking over as caretaker manager.
The Reds, who face Roma in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday, will rue the way that they allowed a game that was firmly within their grasp to slip through their fingers.
Ings, with his first goal since October 2015, put them ahead on four minutes. And the outcome appeared to be a formality when Mohamed Salah scored his 31st EPL goal of the campaign - equalling the record set by Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez.
West Brom, however, staged a comeback that felt in keeping with the mood at the Hawthorns ever since Alan Pardew departed.
Jake Livermore hooked in the first and, two minutes from time, Salomon Rondon headed in the second to make it five points from three games on the back of their win at Old Trafford last Sunday.
But the Baggies could still be relegated today if 17th-placed Swansea City beat newly crowned champions Manchester City. Fellow strugglers Crystal Palace earned a 0-0 draw at Watford yesterday to take them up to 15th in the table.
Moore said on Sky Sports: "We've gone out there today and taken on a very good team and given it a good go and come out with a deserved performance and results.
"From being 2-0 down and coming back is no mean feat."
There were a couple of incidents early in the second half when Ings was entitled to think that he was on the wrong end of the officials' poor decisions.
West Brom defender Craig Dawson was playing the man and not the ball when he stepped across Ings in the penalty area, yet Attwell had a different view.
Moments later Attwell penalised Ings for a foul on Hegazi and, as Ings was lying on the floor protesting his innocence, the Baggies defender aimed a punch into his stomach. Attwell took no action but the Football Association will surely act retrospectively.
Asked about Hegazi's clash with Ings, Klopp said: "I don't know why he did it, there is no reason."
On the penalty appeal, Klopp said: "We need the right decisions, everything would be fine and we win 3-0 or 3-1."
THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE