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Liverpool’s Top Four Chances Dimmed

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By Tosin Omojola

Liverpool’s hopes of securing a top-four finish were dealt a blow as they were held to a goalless draw by West Brom at the Hawthorns.

After a forgettable opening, the game came to life in the second half as both sides had chances to snatch the winner.

Philippe Countino brought a full-stretch save out of Boaz Myhill while Jordon Ibe hit the post for Liverpool.

James Morrison’s header was cleared off the line for the hosts, but neither side could get the breakthrough.

Liverpool are fifth and six points behind Manchester City, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side host Aston Villa in Saturday’s evening kick-off.

The Reds’ season is heading towards a disappointing conclusion, with defeat to Aston Villa in the semi-final of the FA Cup last weekend ending their hopes of winning any trophies this season.

Three points at the Hawthorns on Steven Gerrard’s 500th league appearance would certainly have boosted hopes of a top-four finish ahead of his summer move to the MLS.

But a win looked unlikely for either side during a drab opening 45 minutes in which both sides failed to register a shot on target. Gerrard went closest with a free-kick that flew just over the bar.

It got better in the second half, with Liverpool becoming more adventurous and West Brom – who are seven points clear of the relegation zone – looking to exploit gaps on the counter-attack.

Somehow, Liverpool failed to score during a goal-mouth scramble when Countiho tried to sneak a shot through a crowd of players, Myhill made the save and Jordan Henderson was unable to get the ball home from close range.

When Ibe hit the woodwork after playing a one-two with Mario Balotelli – quiet in his first start in almost two months – it seemed it would only be a matter of time before Liverpool scored but instead it was West Brom who almost snatched the points when Morrison sent a header to far corner, but Dejan Lovren got back to clear.

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