Liverpool suffered more frustration at Anfield as they again dropped crucial home points after being held to a goalless draw by a resilient West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.
After criticism for not starting with Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in the Merseyside derby draw against Everton, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp reunited all his big guns only to find them still misfiring.
Klopp felt his side had been out of luck after a late goal from Dominic Solanke was ruled out for handball but could have no real complaints after a fine Albion performance under new manager Alan Pardew that steered them out of the bottom three.
Even with their attacking ‘Fab Four’ of Coutinho, Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, the Reds could not manage a shot on target in the first half while Albion came closest with Hal Robson-Kanu’s effort striking the top of the bar.
The home side, after belatedly getting into gear and pushing hard for victory late in the second half, thought they had broken through, only for Solanke’s bundled effort to be ruled out for accidental handball by referee.
It deprived the youngster of his first Liverpool goal and things could have been even worse for the home side when Salomon Rondon hit the post in the dying seconds.
The draw kept Liverpool out of the top four. They now sit between fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and sixth-placed Burnley, all on 31 points.
“It is twice deflected and I am still not sure,” Klopp said of the disallowed goal. “It is for sure his chest and then I am not sure if it’s handball. We cannot take the decision back so all good.”
Albion manager Pardew had almost resigned himself to thinking it was a goal.
“I thought it was until I saw the linesman not move. That’s always a good sign. It is a good call by the linesman. He made the right decision.”
Overall, though, Klopp felt he could have no complaints about a result that left Liverpool 18 points adrift of pacesetters Manchester City and out of the automatic Champions League places.
“First half, we were a little bit stiff, the passing and movement was not so good as usual,” the German said.
“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.” -- Reuters