'Big Sam' pulls off another stunner at Anfield in EPL

Full Screen
1 / 9

West Bromwich Albion's manager Sam Allardyce shouts during an English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Sunday Dec. 27, 2020. (Clive Brunskill/Pool via AP)

A trip to Anfield has become the most daunting match in English soccer.

Unless, that is, you are Sam Allardyce.

“Big Sam” — as he is widely known — pulled off another masterstroke Sunday, guiding likely relegation contender West Bromwich Albion to a 1-1 draw at Liverpool as the champions dropped points at home for the first time in their Premier League title defense.

It was only Allardyce's second match in charge of West Brom since taking over, for his first managerial job in 18 months, with the team in the relegation zone.

Go back to April 2017 and it was Allardyce who led Crystal Palace to a 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield. That remains the last time Liverpool lost a league game at home.

Indeed, Allardyce is unbeaten in each of his last four league games at Anfield. They have all been with different clubs — Sunderland, Palace, Everton and now West Brom — with a short and ill-fated spell as England coach coming in between.

“We kept a tight ship all the way through,” said Allardyce, who is out to prove once again why he has a status as the survival specialist in English soccer.

Liverpool had won its first seven home matches in the league this season, and was on its way to an eighth when Sadio Mane controlled on his chest a pass from Joel Matip, swiveled and struck a fierce low shot into the corner in the 12th minute.