West Brom boss Tony Pulis gave ample credit to the Reds, who at times played scintillating attacking football with a fluid forward line.
Tipping them as possible champions, he said: “Their front five are as good as anything in the league. They have got a free run at it this year. They are not in Europe, which is draining.
“Last time (that was the case) they came close with Brendan, he had a free run. This team has a chance.”
As for his own side’s efforts, Pulis believes there is still room for improvement – though not in terms of effort.
“We are disappointed first half. At 2-0 down you are staring down a barrel.
“We lack certain qualities in certain areas which we will try and address but you can never fault the players’ attitude and their willingness to have a go and never give up.”