The new English Premier League season got underway this Saturday, and it was a similar story to last season in many respects for Liverpool and their supporters.
The Reds dominated some parts of the match and possession in the first half. However, a host of chances missed by the familiar culprit Luis Suarez was followed by a sucker-punch in the form of a Zoltan Gera blockbuster for The Baggies.
Daniel Agger was then sent off in the second half for bringing down Shane Long, who harrowed the Liverpool defense continuously throughout the game. Although the contact was just outside the box, the referee on the day, Phil Dowd, pointed to the spot. It made little difference, as Long shot a weak shot that was saved easily by Pepe Reina.
Brendan Rodgers felt hard done by the second penalty decision, but it was quite clearly a clumsy tackle by Martin Skrtel, whose teammates would do well during the remainder of the season to keep heart and shout out when an opposition player is closing in even when the chips are down like they were against West Brom after Agger's sending off.
Liverpool eventually lost 3-0 and were fortunate not to concede more. The Reds should have scored at least once, but their travails from last season, in which they had the lowest conversion rate in the entire league, continued in front of goal.
There were positives for the Reds, but overall it was a very similar story to last season. To be frank, any new manager needs time and support to settle, so let us be optimists and look at reasons why the failure at the Hawthorns may have been a blessing in disguise.
Here are five reasons why the 3-0 loss was a necessary evil.