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Hodgson's revenge as Reds pay penalty

Roy Hodgson lived painfully in the shadow of Kenny Dalglish at Anfield this season until, after six months of stress and near-humiliation, he was relieved of his duties in January.

Yesterday, he exacted some small measure of revenge over Dalglish as his new side, West Bromwich Albion, snatched a stirring late victory over his former club Liverpool at The Hawthorns.

Dalglish -- "It was not easy with 'an icon' in the background," Hodgson admitted on Friday -- may be only the caretaker manager at Liverpool. Fenway Sports Group, the club's owner, has yet to decide whether iconic status will translate into a meaningful challenge in the Premier League next season. On the latest evidence, though, perhaps even the Scot might have second thoughts.

Liverpool had edged control for much of a rousing game. They took the lead in the 50th minute when central defender Martin Skrtel powered in a fearsome header from a Raul Meireles corner and should have gone on to strengthen their case for a Europa League place. But just when Dalglish wanted strength and resilience, just when a bit of nous was required, Liverpool collapsed.

It was self-inflicted, too, with West Brom scoring twice from penalties. First, Sotirios Kyrgiakos clumsily felled Peter Odemwingie in the area; then, with two minutes remaining, Jose Reina also brought down Odemwingie.

Referee Martin Atkinson, on the advice of an assistant, again pointed to the spot. And again, Chris Brunt hammered in the spot-kick, Reina having little chance with either exocet.

Not that Dalglish agreed with Atkinson's decisions. Odemwingie fell too easily for the first award, according to Dalglish, who then questioned why the assistant had got involved for the second. "When does the linesman take over responsibility from the ref?" he said. "It's important that we are told this. We can't dictate referees' decisions, we can only dictate our own."

Sunday Indo Sport