STEVE CLARKE had the last laugh as goals from Zoltan Gera, Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku secured the points at The Hawthorns.
West Brom boss Clarke was desperate to get off to a flying start against his old club, who axed him along with Kenny Dalglish at the end of last season.
Like Clarke, Brendan Rodgers had hoped to see his side hit the ground running.
But Liverpool were caught cold a minute before half-time when James Morrison’s corner was only half cleared by Daniel Agger.
The ball dropped to Gera, who chested it down before smashing a volley beyond Reds keeper Pepe Reina.
Liverpool had Reina to thank for keeping them in the game when he saved Shane Long’s poor penalty after Daniel Agger was red-carded in the 58th minute.
But it proved to be nothing more than a temporary reprieve as Martin Skrtel gifted the Baggies another spot-kick just minutes later.
This time Long had to stand and watch as Odemwingie stepped up to make it 2-0 with 64 minutes played.
And Rodgers’ misery was compounded when Baggies substitute Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, netted to rub salt into the wounds 13 minutes from time.
More to follow…