Inspired Suarez falls to keep Liverpool rising

West Bromwich Albion 0 Liverpool 2: Striker tumbles for disputed penalty before setting up second for Carroll

Liverpool had to manage again without Steven Gerrard but turned in a performance to confirm the view that they have found another inspirational force after the energy of Luis Suarez drove them to a third victory in an unbeaten run of five, to go fifth in the Premier League.

Despite numerous chances, the Uruguayan failed to add to the two fine goals he scored against Stoke in the Carling Cup in midweek – which earned his side a quarter-final against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – yet his perpetual willingness to be at the heart of the action set an example his team-mates were almost obliged to match. Goals from Charlie Adam, from a penalty won by Suarez, and Andy Carroll, from Suarez's pass, saw Liverpool home.

Liverpool insisted that Gerrard's absence had nothing to do with the groin problem that caused him a six-month lay-off but was due to an ankle infection. Yet manager Kenny Dalglish could offer no guidance on when the England midfielder would return. "It's nothing to do with any injury he has had before and he was in our minds to play today before it flared up," Dalglish said.

Jamie Carragher was missing with a calf strain, but the ankle injury that Suarez suffered at Stoke had cleared up and he found himself at the centre of controversy when Liverpool were awarded the penalty from which Adam gave them the lead after nine minutes.

Referee Lee Mason appeared unmoved when Jerome Thomas blocked Suarez's path after the striker attempted to push the ball past him, but he gave the penalty on the advice of his assistant, whose view that Thomas barged into the Liverpool player while making no attempt to play the ball was supported by television replays.

Albion's manager Roy Hodgson took a different view. "I think my player was entitled to screen the ball to clear the ball and it worries me that penalties are given for things like that," he said. "I think that penalties should be a bit harder to achieve." Dalglish had no opinion on the matter. "I'm not trying to be evasive," he said. "I couldn't tell from my view and I haven't seen the replays."

Hodgson became more and more frustrated with Mason's decision-making. One free-kick given Liverpool's way prompted him to throw his coat on to the floor in exasperation, although he put it back on quickly on a chilly night after Suarez took aim but fired well over the bar.

He had feared he might be on the wrong end of a Suarez-inspired nightmare after being thwarted in his attempts to sign the former Ajax forward while he was Liverpool's manager. Yet his erstwhile quarry, for all his dazzling footwork and penchant for spectacular goals, could not produce finishing to match. He lofted the ball over the bar when Martin Skrtel set him up inside the six-yard box in the first half and a sequence of intricate manoeuvres in the second half each ended with shots that missed the target.

Liverpool were still two goals to the good at half-time after Lucas Leiva intercepted a free-kick by Jonas Olsson with Albion set up to attack. Lucas sent Suarez clear with Carroll breaking into space down the middle. Suarez's pass was true and though his team-mate's first touch was dreadful, his second just managed to push it past Ben Foster.

Albion at least managed a meaningful attack at the start of the second half, with Somen Tchoyi going close, and they were more effective after Graham Dorrans and James Morrison replaced Youssouf Mulumbu and Paul Scharner in central midfield – changes Hodgson was planning to make irrespective of the knee injury that forced the latter to withdraw.

Yet the threat of more goals came from Liverpool. In addition to the chances Suarez did not take, he was denied by Olsson's block with one that was heading for goal. Foster saved from Carroll and Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing hit a post in the 90th minute.

West Bromwich (4-4-2): Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Jones; Brunt, Sharner (Morrison, 58), Mulumbu (Dorrans, 62), Thomas; Odemwingie, Tchoyi (Cox, 71).

Liverpool (4-4-2): Reina; Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Jose Enrique; Henderson, Lucas, Adam, Downing; Carroll, Suarez (Bellamy, 81).

Referee Lee Mason.

Man of the match Suarez (Liverpool).

Match rating 7/10.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?