Liverpool were held to a poor 0-0 draw at home to West Brom in the Premier League as Alan Pardew's side climbed out of the relegation zone with a hard-fought point.
The Reds had scored 63 goals in 25 competitive games in 2017-18 heading into the Anfield clash but could not find a way through a stubborn Baggies backline, although substitute Dominic Solanke had a late strike ruled out for handball.
Mohamed Salah, who had been directly involved in 23 of those goals after his move from Roma, was particularly wasteful as Liverpool missed the chance to move up to fourth place and were instead overtaken by Tottenham, who beat Brighton and Hove Albion.
Wednesday's result means Liverpool now have seven draws and two defeats from their first 17 matches of this Premier League campaign and sit a massive 18 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City.
West Brom's Hal Robson-Kanu went closest to scoring the opening goal in the first half, the Wales international unlucky to see his 30-yard dipping effort land on the top of the crossbar.
Salah and Sadio Mane missed fine opportunities to break the deadlock after the interval, but visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster was virtually untested despite Jurgen Klopp's men dominating possession.
And while Liverpool’s unbeaten run at Anfield now stands at 15 games in all competitions, this was their third straight top-flight draw at home and another two dropped points that could ultimately prove costly in the race for Champions League qualification.
Liverpool made a flat start but should have opened the scoring after 16 minutes as Salah - in the side despite coming off in the derby against Everton last time out with a hamstring injury - found Roberto Firmino at the back post, only for the Brazil forward to slot wide.
Claudio Yacob headed Allan Nyom's right-wing cross over from 12 yards and Robson-Kanu's 30-yard strike clipped the crossbar as West Brom threatened.
The hosts were struggling to find extra gears but went close shortly before half-time, Firmino cutting inside off the left to have a firm drive blocked, with Jonny Evans getting in the way as Salah tried to turn the rebound home.
46: Back underway here at Anfield pic.twitter.com/x1K9UpxmZp— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 13, 2017
Loris Karius, deputising for Simon Mignolet after the Belgium international suffered an ankle injury at the weekend, had to backtrack to tip over a Grzegorz Krychowiak free-kick, the goalkeeper then saving Yacob's header from the resulting corner.
Mane sliced a first-time effort from Firmino's left-wing cross off target after 55 minutes, then Salah should have scored, but the Premier League's top goalscorer headed a superb Trent Alexander-Arnold centre wide from eight yards.
Evans had to clear off the line after Foster misjudged a Mane cross, with Georginio Wijnaldum trying to force the loose ball home.
Klopp introduced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Solanke for the last 15 minutes in a bid to force a late winner for his side, while Pardew brought on Chris Brunt to become the first West Brom player to reach 250 Premier League appearances for the club.
Solanke thought he had scored the winner with nine minutes to go, only for the goal to be disallowed for handball after the ball looped off Ahmed Hegazi on to his arm, West Brom holding on to ensure Liverpool dropped points at home yet again.
Key Opta Stats:
- This was just the fifth time Liverpool have failed to score in a Premier League home game under Jurgen Klopp – they had scored at least once in 38 of their previous 42.
- The Reds are unbeaten in their last eight games in the Premier League (W5 D3); their longest run without defeat in the competition since November 2016 (11 games).
- However, Klopp’s side have drawn five of their last seven games at Anfield in the Premier League (W2), including each of the last three.
- West Brom have not won any of their last 16 games in all competitions (D8 L8); their longest winless run in the club's history.
- Similarly, the Baggies are winless in 15 games in the Premier League – their only longer such run in the competition came between February 2006 and August 2008 (16 games).
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