After failing to open his account in 11 league fixtures, boyhood Red Robbie Keane finally broke his duck against West Brom – and then doubled his tally with a second within ten minutes. The Irishman had scored twice in European action and got off the mark in the Premier League with two goals in the first half.
First he finished well by lifting the ball over the advancing Scott Carson from a Steven Gerrard through-ball on 34 minutes. Seven minutes later he had his second after Carson raced out allowing Keane to slot home from just outside the box.
The goals gave everyone a lift and the goalscorer himself looked a different player with great movement up front, alongside the ever-industrious Dirk Kuyt.
Full back Alvaro Arbeloa made the scoreline more comfortable with a superb finish in stoppage time, breaking into the box before curling the ball into the top corner with his left foot at the Kop end.
Liverpool bossed the match and return to the top of the league – Chelsea play at lunchtime on Sunday. Fernando Torres made his return to action after six matches out, coming on for the last 20 minutes.
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Benitez on Keane: “I have had no doubts that he would start to score regularly for us. Robbie has told me he has got a monkey off his back, not an expression I had heard before but I understand it.
“It was only a matter of time before he scored in the league. He is quick and can punish any mistakes that defenders make, and that is what he did.”
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Agger, Carragher, Aurelio, Benayoun, Mascherano, Gerrard (Alonso 80), Riera (Babel 65), Keane (Torres 72), Kuyt.
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Insua, El Zhar.
Booked: Arbeloa, Mascherano.
Goals: Keane 34, 43, Arbeloa 90.
West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Olsson, Donk, Robinson, Koren, Borja Valero, Greening, Kim (Filipe Teixeira 56), Bednar (Moore 56), Miller (Brunt 71).
Subs Not Used: Kiely, Hoefkens, Dorrans, Pele.
Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
Weather: (Very) Wet