Terry Wills watches Albion grind out a point against Liverpool.
The now, albeit reluctantly, Tony Pulis pre-match instructions, “Defend deep, deny space, keep a clean sheet and bingo, job done, we’re a point nearer safety” worked perfectly against a Liverpool team who despite bossing the game in terms of possession only occasionally caused Boaz Myhill serious problems.
The defence carried on from where they left off at Selhurst Park. Tight, disciplined and determined to block anything thrown at them, leaving Brendan Rodgers, his team, and even Baggies fans wondering how they’d failed to grab the three points. Led by Jolean Lescott they all gave 100% commitment right up to the final whistle as Baggies fans looked on in apprehension, wondering if the Reds would snatch a late winner.
I’ll quickly gloss over our attacking options as it wasn’t until the up to now, ‘Invisible Man’ Callum McManaman ,coming on as a substitute finally raised hopes that the Liverpool defence could be pierced. Pace, trickery, the ability to jink past defenders, provide chances, all there. Memo to Tony Pulis -If he’s fit give him a place in the starting line up.
Neither Saido Berahino, Victor Anichebe or coming on as sub, Brown Ideye, posed serious problems but then as they lacked any support from a withdrawn midfield was that surprising?
There were late glimpses to raise hopes of what would have been a kick in the teeth for Liverpool when James Morrison saw his header brilliantly saved by the keeper, in the process suffering a facial injury. Another sparkling performance from a player who judged on recent performances would be in the running to be named Player of the Season.
So, four games left to ensure the desired 40 points can be gathered. Hopefully we won’t need that many but if so a televised visit to Old Trafford is hardly one to relish. It certainly means that Tony Pulis’ defensive strategy will be severely tested, at the same time giving United supporters the chance to pay tribute to their ex-player and now Albion captain Darren Fletcher.
On that note well done Baggies fans for applauding the last Hawthorns appearance of Stephen Gerrard, a great player who has racked up 500 games for his one and only beloved club. Can anyone envisage in today’s Greed League-dominated game consider any other player going on to replicate this feat?