Klopp defends Liverpool team selection; Twitter reacts to stunning Ibe goal [Best Tweets]

Liverpool went to the Hawthorns to secure an alternate passage to European football next season should they fail to halt Sevilla’s fairy-tale affair with the Europa League.

Tony Pulis’s side were one point away from achieving their highest points tally in a Premier League campaign. However, the fans, following a disappointing run off late, have demanded more entertainment to the Baggies’ brand of football. With Liverpool visiting for the season finale at the Hawthorns, the Welshman would have wanted to give Baggies fans a taste of what the fans could expect from the side in the next season.

Liverpool FC vs West Bromwich Albion FC

After having little of the ball in the first twenty minutes, the Baggies won back possession and a spectacular run by 17-year-old Jonathan Leko saw him send Salomon Rondon through before the Venezuelan slotted the ball past Adam Bogdan’s goal.

Despite seeing a lot of the ball early on in the game, the Reds managed to effect little threat on Ben Foster’s goal, barring a couple of attempts from Brannagan and Ojo. That was until Jordan Ibe scored a brilliant solo effort that saw the Englishman forge a run all the way from the Liverpool half to equalize for the Reds.

The second half saw a much improved West Brom exerting their dominance over the second string Liverpool side. Rondon came incredibly close twice to giving the Baggies the lead and there were loads of other chances as well that went begging. However, the moment of the half for Liverpool was watching Danny Ings take the field for the first time in nearly 7 months, having injured his ligament back in October. Twitter was abuzz with a warm reception for the former Burnley striker as he came on for Jordan Ibe in 66th minute along with Jordan Henderson, who replaced Joe Allen.

The game ended 1-1 and with Southampton securing a 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace, Liverpool are consigned to an 8th place finish. That leaves the Reds’ hopes of European football now hanging on Wednesday’s final vs Sevilla. However, the Merseysiders’ opponents on Wednesday will fight for similar objectives having only managed a 7th place finish themselves in the Spanish premiership.

Manager Reactions

Speaking of the 11 changes he made with the Europa League final in mind, Klopp said, “We made a few changes – 11 – and it made sense because it was absolutely clear you could not play here today with 50 per cent concentration. The plan was to keep the ball as long as possible and with these young boys, it was a real challenge for them but they did good, they did really well. We played football.”

Speaking of the big final against Sevilla, the German commented, “It is difficult – we know. It is against Sevilla – we know. But we will be prepared, 100 per cent.”

“Like we deserved the point today, so we deserve to be a part of the final – 100 per cent. And who deserves to be in a final can win and that’s what we’ll try.”

As for West Brom boss Tony Pulis, he identified where the 14th-placed Baggies must improve next season, according to BBC Sport’s Mike Henson. “I think this is a wonderful club with fantastic tradition. We have to improve, especially at the top end of the pitch.”

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