First published by the argus.co.uk
If you need evidence of Albion’s improvement, look no further than their results against Liverpool.
The aggregate was 9-1 last season. A 4-0 defeat at Anfield came on the final day, shortly after safety had been sealed, but a 5-1 hammering at the Amex was in the guts of the survival bid in December.
This season a better Liverpool, the version now seven points clear again of Manchester City at the summit, have needed a Mo Salah goal in both games to foil Chris Hughton‘s side.
And a bit of help on both occasions from the unfortunate Pascal Gross to secure those victories.
Jurgen Klopp (below left) observed that Liverpool produced their most mature performance of the season to put their title challenge firmly back on track after losing to nearest pursuers Manchester City and at Wolves with a much-changed team in the FA Cup.
Albion are maturing too, as the progression in the scale of the defeats by Klopp’s team demonstrate.
Hughton said: “Yes. It has to be (a sign of improvement). I think the fact we’ve come away from the game disappointed we didn’t get a result – and of course a draw against these is very much a result.
“That has been determined by a penalty, which I have no problems with. That shows just how close we ran them.”
Barring one moment, when Gross was left exposed inside his own box one-on-one with Salah, Hughton’s game plan worked.
The recent move to a 4-3-3 became very