London - A mistake by Kolo Toure prevented Liverpool from strengthening their
grip on fourth place in the Premier League table as they drew 1-1 at
West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Liverpool were seeking to move
four points clear of fifth-place Everton and they took the lead through
Daniel Sturridge at The Hawthorns, only for Toure to gift West Brom a
67th-minute equaliser by passing the ball straight to Victor Anichebe.
Nigerian striker accepted the gift to level the scores, leaving
Liverpool with only a two-point cushion in fourth place and lifting Pepe
Mel's West Brom a point clear of the relegation places.
manager Brendan Rodgers refused to criticise Toure, saying: "He is a
wonderful player. He probably should not have received the ball in the
"I will never criticise any player, especially a
defender. We have won many games and played outstanding football, and
key to that is constructing from the back."
Rodgers kept faith
with the team that had crushed Everton 4-0 in mid-week and he saw his
side take a 24th-minute lead when Sturridge volleyed in Luis Suarez's
cross from close range.
West Brom suffered a blow when centre-back
Jonas Olsson had to limp off four minutes before the break, but a
half-time shift to a 4-4-2 formation gave them fresh impetus.
Gera had gone close shortly before the interval and it took a stunning
one-handed save from Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to repel Gareth
McAuley's header early in the second period.
West Brom goalkeeper
Ben Foster kept his side in the game by blocking from Suarez in a
one-on-one situation and less than 10 minutes later, the hosts drew
Ivorian centre-back Toure did not appear to see Anichebe
lurking outside the Liverpool box and his attempted pass to Jon Flanagan
was cut out by the former Everton man, who lashed home a low shot from
just inside the area.
Arsenal will look to return to the top of the table later on Sunday when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates Stadium.
Wenger's side were knocked off the summit by Manchester City in
mid-week, but with City not in action until Monday, when they host
third-place Chelsea, Arsenal can move above them by beating Palace.