Leo Trossard scored Albion’s first Premier League hat-trick as Roberto De Zerbi’s reign began with a deserved point in a six-goal thriller.
The Belgian’s brilliantly-taken first-half brace rocked Anfield but Liverpool fought their way back to lead 3-2, although they had some fortune on the way.
Bobby Firmino’s first goal was awarded after a VAR check and although there was no doubting the quality of his second, Albion went behind through Adam Webster’s unfortunate own goal.
But Albion were a constant threat and Trossard arrived unmarked to complete his hat-trick with seven minutes to go, only the third by an opposition player at Anfield in the Premier League and first since 2009.
The De Zerbi reign got off to an unbelievable start we scored in just the fourth minute before doubling our lead 13 minutes later.
Trossard produced two clinical finishes to become the first visiting player to score twice at Anfield in the first half since 2008.
Solly March was heavily involved in both. His cross from the right broke in the box for Trossard who powered a left-foot shot across Alisson and into the far corner.
The second goal was a thing of beauty. Danny Welbeck pulled the ball back from the left, March’s prod forward was perfectly weighted to enable Trossard to stay onside and beat Allison with his left foot from close range again.
There could and perhaps should have been other goals between Trossard’s double. Welbeck met March’s cross with a free header which he directed straight at Alisson, before Liverpool’s keeper earned his corn by denying both Trossard and Welbeck as Albion threatened every time they broke forward.
But this being Anfield, Liverpool inevitably roused themselves. Rob Sanchez made a good save to deny Mo Salah before a combination of Sanchez and Lewis Dunk superbly thwarted Salah.
It was 2-1 in the 33rd minute. The assistant initially flagged for offside when Firmino followed up to score after Salah’s effort was blocked by Sanchez, but the VAR ruled that Webster had played Salah onside by a matter of inches in the build-up.
Albion got to the break unscathed and five minutes into the second half they could have scored again when Moises Caicedo took advantage of Joel Matip’s slip on the left but his pull-back went between the waiting Welbeck and Trossard.
Instead, Liverpool levelled on 53 with a fine counter-attack of their own. Substitute Luis Diaz cut inside Joel Veltman on the left and found Firmino whose touch took it wide of Dunk and enabled him to steer the ball past Sanchez from about six yards.
Firmino nearly scored again four minutes later but didn’t get firm enough contact on a close-range header and Sanchez saved comfortably.
Albion continued to threaten themselves but on 64 minutes they found themselves behind in a cruel fashion. Albion couldn’t clear Trent Alexander Arnold’s corner from the right and the ball ricocheted off the unfortunate Webster and over the line.
Albion weren’t done. Kaoru Mitoma came off the bench and began to stretch Liverpool’s defence. Alexis Mac Allister’s low cross only just eluded Welbeck who then climbed to meet Pervis Estupinan’s cross but his header was instinctively parried by Alisson.
Albion made a second change with Adam Lallana coming on to a generous ovation and in the 83rd minute we had our equaliser. Mitoma’s cross from the left eluded everyone and Trossard arrived unmarked to lash the ball into the roof of the net. De Zerbi sprinted down the touchline in delight.
Sanchez superbly finger-tipped Alexander-Arnold’s free kick from 25 yards round the post in stoppage time as Albion extended their unbeaten record at Anfield to three games.
Albion: Sanchez, Veltman, Webster, Dunk, Estupinan (Lallana 75), March, Caicedo, Mac Allister, Gross (Mitoma 64), Trossard (Lamptey 86), Welbeck.
Subs not used: Steele, Colwill, Sarmiento, Enciso, Undav, Gilmour.
Referee: Andrew Madley