Return of key players aids Albion

Posted by Matthew Evans

Alex Livesey/Getty ImagesBen Foster's save of Steven Gerrard's penalty gave West Brom the boost they needed to pull off their Anfield upset.

I'll be honest, I'm still not sure it really happened. It really is a pinch-yourself-moment, as West Brom somehow emerged from Anfield with a 2-0 victory over their illustrious rivals.

- Match report: Liverpool 0-2 West Brom

The Baggies' win was truly the definition of a back-to-the-walls performance. Liverpool peppered Albion's goal, having 19 shots, but Ben Foster displayed the kind of form that made Roy Hodgson so keen to convince the stopper to backtrack on his retirement from international football.

It was Foster's penalty save that really was the turning point in the match. There had been a constant flow of pressure from Liverpool throughout the second half and that was their big chance to take advantage, but Foster did what all of the best goalkeepers do: Win your matches.

It is not surprising that such a huge win came on the back of superb performances from the defensive spine of the Albion lineup. The aforementioned Foster was backed up by Gareth McAuley and Jonas Olsson in front of him. The Swede didn't have the best of games but still made some vital interceptions. A hugely debatable penalty decision was given against him, but it was Foster to the rescue.

Alongside him was McAuley who was a colossal figure, making a superb block from Luis Suarez in particular. It was the Northern Irishman who gave West Brom a shock lead, meeting his fellow countryman Chris Brunt's corner to perfection. However, my view is that it was the two men in front of the center halves who made the biggest contribution of the outfield players.

Seeing the midfield axis of Youssuff Mulumbu and Claudio Yacob back together in the blue and white stripes was a sight for all Albion fans to behold. The pair were so pivotal in Albion's great run at the start of the season, having them alongside each other gave the Baggies more defensive protection and the ability to win 50-50 balls.

It was left to Romelu Lukaku to provide the icing on the cake with a cool finish in added time, showing a great touch to get himself the chance at goal. This win must be an absolute delight for Steve Clarke, who has had a tough time of it the past month or so with various off-field incidents proving a distraction. He will be hoping this win can be the catalyst for Albion to kick on for the rest of the season.

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