Roy Hodgson's return to Anfield was a happy one - but not for Liverpool, who were consigned to yet another bizarre home defeat. No fewer than thirty shots were fired at the West Bromwich Albion goal over the course of the match, including two that rattled Ben Foster's woodwork and several chances that came following spills by the big goalkeeper, but Liverpool simply could not force the ball home.
West Brom had their chances too - a fine save from Pepe Reina in the 28th minute against Chris Brunt kept the visitors from going ahead against the run of play, but as the match continued and Liverpool's attempts to grab the opener continued to fall somewhere between futility and hilarity, it looked increasingly likely that the Baggies would be able to snatch something on the break.
So it proved in the 75th minute, when Youssuf Mulumbu intercepted a too-clever pass from right back Glen Johnson and fed Peter Odemwingie at the edge of the box. The striker had been a non-factor in the match up to that point, but he made no mistake in blasting past a helpless Reina to give West Brom the lead.
They would not relinquish it. It's difficult to say whether it was awful luck or abysmal finishing from Liverpool's point of view - some of the shots the hosts contrived to miss with seemed guided by a particularly malicious deity - but whatever it was, it wasn't good enough.