West Brom kept their slim hopes of Premier League survival alive with a stunning late comeback to draw 2-2 with Liverpool and take the shine off Mohamed Salah's latest goalscoring landmark.
The Egypt international matched the record of 31 goals for a 38-game top-flight season set by Alan Shearer (1995-96), Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08) and Luis Suarez (2013-14) with three matches still to spare with a clever chipped finish.
Andy Cole's record of 34 in a 42-game season looks well within the grasp of Salah, who took the limelight away from Danny Ings' first goal since October 2015.
The final word, though, belonged to Albion as they came from behind with goals from Jake Livermore and then Salomon Rondon in the 88th minute.
The point means the Baggies' grip on their eight-year Premier League stay would continue unless Crystal Palace could earn at least a draw at Watford later in the day and Swansea beat champions Manchester City on Sunday.
It was just reward for the hosts, with caretaker-manager Darren Moore extending his unbeaten run to three matches including games against two of the top four.
However, it was harsh on Ings who looked set to enjoy a day to remember after some rotten luck since moving to Anfield from Burnley, with two serious knee injuries restricting him to just 11 appearances for the club in his first two seasons.
He seized his chance replacing the rested Roberto Firmino with a fourth-minute strike, his first in 931 days since scoring the last goal of Brendan Rodgers' reign.
No-one could begrudge him his moment in the Black Country sunshine after he tore a cruciate knee ligament in Klopp's first training session at the club, just days after winning his solitary England cap against Lithuania, and suffered another injury to his other knee just over a year later.
With one eye on Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg at home to Roma Klopp made five changes, including three of the back four, and that gave Ings a chance.
Sadio Mane worked his way to the byline and drilled in a cross which Georginio Wijnaldum controlled before allowing his team-mate to blast home.
It was only the third of Liverpool's last 27 league goals not to be scored by Mane, Firmino or Professional Footballers Association Player of the Year favourite Salah.
Ings was denied a second by goalkeeper Ben Foster's outstretched foot late in the half but West Brom, to their credit, were not prepared to go down without a fight despite their long odds of escaping relegation.
They dominated the latter stages of the half and a rare miscontrol by James Milner allowed Livermore to whip over a far-post cross which James McClean drilled back across goal, but Jay Rodriguez's lunge was inches away from converting a certain equaliser.
Ings had a penalty shout turned down after the break when Craig Dawson stepped across him to prevent him reaching Joe Gomez's pass before Salah, quiet since an 11th-minute shot was deflected over by Livermore, came in from the periphery when substitutes Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined to tee him up to coolly beat Foster in the 72nd minute.
Livermore, though, gave the hosts hope with a scrambled finish from a corner and Rondon headed home Brunt's near-post free-kick with two minutes to go.
Danny Ings post-match
"Disappointed. It's alright scoring goals but the three points is the most important thing.
"I think they gathered some momentum, the pitch was very dry and suited the long ball, it really benefitted them. With their long balls they gathered momentum and scored two goals.
"A lot. I've been working so hard for the last two years for that moment. It's been a hell of a mountain I've had to climb to get there.
"When you're out for a long time there's always doubts, it's important to surround yourself with people who are positive. That's really helped push me through to get me into the shape I'm in today.
"I think it's one of them [those things], I looked the other way, it was a coming together, I don't want to throw another player under the bus. It's just a coming together, it's what English football's all about. You want to keep the physical side."
Jurgen Klopp is a terrible loser
"When they scored the goals. I think we controlled it pretty well, it was clear they only had opportunities from set pieces, Brunt, Phillips they take them really well. We gave them a corner it was difficult like the block on the goalkeeper, it makes life difficult, and what I heard the second was not a foul.
"They score twice, we had the ball constantly, West Brom decided not to water the pitch at half time and it was quite difficult the second half. We had the chance second half for Ingsy in the box and the situation with Hegazi and Ingsy I dunno. You need a little help in these situations. We have to take it as it is.
"I was not happy with the pitch. You never played football obviously. If the pitch is dry you can't pass three or four yards, but that's how it is, you have to deal with that.
"I think everybody knows they want set pieces last few minutes but the referee gives it.
"I'm not in the mood to talk about positive things. Give me a night and I'll tell Danny how good it was."
Gutted West Brom players post-match
"It's a shame. We've started to gain that belief and confidence in the last few weeks, all we can do is keep fighting for our fans.
"Probably yeh (the result reflects the season). It's not for want of trying but the rub of the green hasn't happened like last season. It's just one of those things.
"It's difficult to say, if we knew we'd try to change it months ago. I think confidence is a thing. We've thrown [lots of] points away from winning positions."
"Yes I feel ... it's difficult situation for us, relegation, so thank you to our fans, our teammates, we worked so hard."
Too little too late
Despite that late effort, West Brom are stuck bottom of the league and are basically relegated. They really did need the three points and you can see the disappointment on the faces of the players.
Rondon gives his shirt away
Rondon goes to the crowd and gives his shirt to a guy with a Spanish language sign asking for it.
What a comeback! Brilliant from West Brom. Their switch to a back three gave them the structure to work their way back into the match and they rode momentum to get those crucial goals. Jurgen Klopp looks furious.
90 mins +4
Milner sees the chance to shoot from 25 yards and takes it. Way over the bar. Foster rushes to get the ball and plays it short, Evans boots the ball long, Liverpool have everyone behind the ball. It's hooked into the area, Rondon goes for the header but it's knocked away.
The ball is hit across the box and Rodriguez swings a foot at it but kicks the air and misses the ball. Liverpool just want the final whistle!
90 mins +2
Here come West Brom again! They power down the right wing, cross into the area and strikers attack it! Van Dijk is strong and heads away.
90 mins +1
The fans believe West Brom can do this! They've got all the momentum, Liverpool are trying to hold on to a point now!
YES THEY CAN! WOW! What a comeback! West Brom win a free-kick wide left, Burke hurries to get the ball, Brunt hits an absolute belter of a cross to the front post and Karius is caught in that dimension the kids get trapped inside in Stranger Things. He is nowhere close to it and Rondon heads in at the near post! Brilliant!
Liverpool are in full counter-attack mode now. Sitting mega deep and just getting rid of the ball whenever they can. The pressure's building! Can West Brom get back into this?!
Milner tries a roulette turn in the area but leaves the ball behind. Close. Very close.
West Brom fans are urging their team on now, Liverpool sitting much deeper than they were earlier but West Brom's chips into the area are being headed away.
Here comes Lovren for the final 10 minutes. Salah is replaced.
Hegazi full on catches Salah in the face with a swinging arm. Again the referee doesn't see it.
Or is it all over?! The corner is knocked back across goal at the far post, Liverpool players are in a mess and Van Dijk plays West Brom players onside. Livermore is on the deck but swings a leg at the loose ball and finds the net!
Liverpool get nice and compact as they're forced deeper into their own half by West Brom's more direct passing. They win a corner.
West Brom are about to bring on Oliver Burke. I have a feeling it may be a little late for them to get back into this one. Relegation beckons!
Ooooooh what a finish that is! Liverpool counter-attack rapidly and are in on goal before West Brom even realise what is happening! Oxlade-Chamberlain creates the chance with an absolutely brilliant reverse pass to split the defence but Salah takes his time, stays composed and does that little dink he does to chip the goalkeeper. Superb.
More boos from West Brom fans as McClean is taken off for Jonny Evans. That'll be West Brom in a back three with Gibbs pushed higher up the pitch.
SALAH IS IN HERE!
Wijnaldum points to where he's going to pass and switches play right towards Gomez. Gomez waits, waits, waits and then loses possession as McClean nips in to intercept. Really poor from Gomez.
Moreno has been booked - the first yellow of the day - for a foul on Phillips wide right of the box. This is a decent chance to get the ball in the box.
It's chipped in and there's a bit of a pinball rammy in the area... but Karius can gather.
Gomez's pass inside nearly hands Rondon the chance to score but Henderson charges back to block everything he tries. McClean hits a cross into the area but Liverpool get it away and send Salah up the pitch! He takes on his man, attempts a lovely back-heel pass to Firmino... but it's cleared by Nyom.
Klopp is about to make a change and bring Firmino and Oxlade-Chamberlain. It looks like he wants to get another goal to kill this one off before West Brom get a lucky break from a corner or something.
Ings makes way for Firmino and Mane is rested for The Ox to get a chance upfront.
Space opens up for Salah to attack, he gets closer to the box and shoots... but it's blocked. Liverpool are dominating West Brom's half now, moving the ball around largely unchallenged. West Brom can't really afford to lose here, I'm not sure I understand the mentality of sitting and waiting.
A West Brom corner is headed away and Nyom's dreadful touch nearly plays Salah and Mane into score! Livermore gets back to force Salah to release the ball and Wijnaldum's cross is cut out.
Klavan and Van Dijk slow things down and pass around their own half, waiting for West Brom to come out of their defensive shape.
West Brom are pushing higher up the pitch, battling hard every chance they have to win the ball in duels with Liverpool players. It's working at the moment too, they have the momentum. Van Dijk reads a cut back as Phillips powers his way into the box. West Brom getting closer!
That's him punching Ings after doing what looks like a stone cold stunner on the striker as they fall to the ground.
Hegazi has a little battle with Ings and Hegazi hits him off the ball. He should be sent off but again the referee hasn't seen it. He's having a dreadful game.
What is Klavan doing?! He stops playing and suddenly Rondon runs in behind him and is close to putting the ball round Karius and slotting into an empty net. Poor defending from the Liverpool man.
Phillips does superbly on the right wing to lose Wijnaldum and then chips the ball across the penalty area at a perfect height for a striker to head at goal. Neither of West Brom's forwards can get there in time. They've started well here... and the ball drops to McClean about 25 yards out! He tries to strike across the ball and bend it into the bottom corner but it puts it wide.
Liverpool work their way into the area and Ings goes down... away from the ball... because Dawson has tripped him up on purpose and sent him flying. What on earth is he thinking?! And more to the point, what is the referee thinking?! It's a clear, obvious penalty but he doesn't seem to see it.
KICK OFF 2
Shots on goal
Danny Ings gives Liverpool the lead in a fairly even first half. Liverpool aren't at full strength and haven't quite got going but West Brom don't really look like they believe they can win this one.
Gomez tries to burn past McClean but isn't quick enough and then bounces off the West Brom man, who does well to prevent a corner.
Nyom is too strong for Wijnaldum, sends him to the floor and then tries to score from 60 yards. It doesn't work but by Jove I admire the effort.
INGS MUST SCORE! Out of nothing Liverpool create a chance. The ball is switched, Salah gets lucky against Hegazi and the ball falls to Ings in the centre of the area with only Foster to beat. The goalkeeper gets down and blocks the shot - he should really have scored that.
Moreno gets forward on the left wing but doesn't appear to have the confidence to take on Nyom for pace. Every pass he's made has been backwards so far.
CHANCE FOR WEST BROM! That's much better! Livermore sneaks in to rob Milner of the ball and then swings a cross to the back post. McClean is there and hits it first time... it's zipped juuuust past the far post! Rodriguez did his best Gazza impression, stretching on the slide to try and turn it in!
Liverpool caught sleeping there, West Brom are pressing much higher to try and catch them out. Darren Moore encourages his players from the touchline.
West Brom look good from set pieces, this might be where they get some fun. The latest in their series of corners misses everybody again, though Dawson had roamed in at the back-post unmarked, thanks to Liverpool's zonal system.
Another West Brom corner is whipped in and this one is dangerous! Klavan manages to get a head on it but Dawson was inches away from connecting and turning that in! Another corner coming.
West Brom win a corner. The big lads come up for it. Liverpool mark their zones... and Brunt's corner misses everyone and goes out for a throw-in.
West Brom working harder to press Liverpool higher up the pitch. The defensive line is still way deep to prevent Salah and Mane being played in with a direct pass over the top. Livermore passes the ball straight out for a throw-in, for no clear reason.
Oh my word that is a very heavy challenge from Rondon. He lunges into a slide tackle on Ings, gets up and then throws himself into another. I cannot believe he's not been booked - there's going in to a 50/50 to win it, and then there's aggressive studs up tackles with momentum behind them. This referee needs to calm those tackles down before someone gets hurt. Those of you who preferred the 'contact sport' of yesteryear will strongly disagree with me.
Salah takes it... but it's just over and wide.
Rodriguez and Rondon are having to work hard today, chasing the ball into space on either wing from long passes by the defenders. They'll both be knackered by about the 60th minute but it does mean West Brom can shift from a defensive shape to attacking quickly without trying to go through Liverpool's hardworking midfield.
Hegazi fouls his countryman Salah and gives Liverpool the chance to shoot from a great position just infront of the box, slightly right of goal. This suits a left-footer. Foster eagerly sets up his wall.
Phillips takes the chance to shoot on his left foot as he finds space inside the Liverpool box but his effort is weak and no trouble for the goalkeeper whatsoever.
Dawson barges through the back of Ings while contesting a header but it's a fair challenge, even if the striker gets a whack to the head.
Milner is having a great game, drifting around the pitch to link passing moves.
Moreno attacks down the left, passes inside, Liverpool keep the ball moving quickly, looking to go around the outside of the West Brom defence. Salah loses possession and the ball is punted up the pitch to groans from the fans, but Van Dijk's volleyed pass gives West Brom the chance to get forward.
Chris Brunt laughs with Salah as the West Brom man's attempted shot makes its way towards Egypt.
Dawson heads at goal from a corner but the linesman has spotted an offside in the area from the second ball. West Brom beginning to get into this game now, attacking down the wings with Phillips and McClean.
Nyom goes into a high sliding tackle on Milner, which the latter manages to avoid. If he hadn't that one would've really hurt - I'm surprised the referee hasn't pulled play back and booked him for that. It was overly and needlessly aggressive. Milner isn't going to do much damage on the touchline.
Liverpool keep the ball and pass patiently around their own half. West Brom refuse to be drawn out of their shell to take them on. They're quite clearly very scared of the attacking threat Klopp's team has. Salah is at it today too - he's enjoying himself with the ball at his feet, dancing around a couple of players with quick feet and almost creating a chance out of thin air.
Van Dijk goes into a tackle on Rondon and has hurt himself here. He looks to have jarred his knee a little off the striker's boot and isn't walking as freely as he might like. West Brom are still defending really deep... and Salah has spun his man in the box! He sets himself up for the shot on his left foot but it's deflected over!
Karius has to come off his line to boot a long ball over the top away. West Brom looking to react to that early setback immediately.
Ings scores! Boos ring out at the Hawthorns.
Liverpool win a corner. It's cleared, Milner has it wide right and hits a brilliant powerful cross to the corner of the six yard box and it's kept alive. Liverpool are in here!
Rondon tries to force his way past a defender into the box but the goalkeeper smothers, West Brom instantly fall back into a deep defensive shape behind the halfway line. That's the strategy for the day.
Rondon battles with Klavan again, the pair shoving each other as they chase the ball into the channel. Free-kick to Liverpool.
Here we go! Liverpool get the game started.
Here come the players!
Darren Moore pre-match words
"It's been great, we've gotten together as a group and worked hard as a group. there's wonderful belief in each other, everybody's working hard to turn this situation around. we're just working hard, we can't control what's happened in the past.
"No (we aren't entertaining thoughts of surviving relegation). It's the next game. The next game is today. There's nothing we can do and we'll put all our efforts into the next game. "
Result vs performance
One side of the argument says that supporting a club like West Brom means you should accept the players are of a lower quality and to survive in the Premier League they need to play defensive, rigid football and that's that.
The other says that even if they lose every game, they'd much prefer the team to have a go, attack and play football. That style is much better to watch but against stronger teams is asking for trouble.
Obviously you can have a mix and adapt depending on the opposition, but I know I'd much prefer my team to actually play football. There's a reason Pep Guardiola was able to turn the Barca B team into a machine before he took the big job. There's a reason Ajax were able to win a European cup back in the 90s. There's a reason Alex Ferguson was able to dominate Scottish football with Aberdeen - and even beat Real Madrid.
Yeh, sure, it's a different game now, but these things all happened with attacking football.
What do you think?
A lovely day
What a day it is! A fine day for football or sitting in the park listening to music through one of those little bluetooth speakers. I don't want to hear your music! Use headphones! Arrhghgghg. But really, football is the winner today. West Brom aren't relegated (yet) but Liverpool's incredible front three could kill them off today. Will Darren Moore have a cunning plan up his sleeve? I suspect it'll be a 4-5-1 low block looking to deny space in behind and try to hit an unsuspecting, frustrated opposition with a counter-attack or score from a corner.
Liverpool might be a little too good for them today.
West Brom starting lineup
Liverpool starting lineup
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, with one eye on Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma, has made five changes for the trip to rock-bottom West Brom, including giving a rest to 25-goal forward Roberto Firmino.
However, he still fields a strong front line with Mohamed Salah, one of the favourites to be named Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year on Sunday, retaining his place alongside Sadio Mane with Danny Ings replacing Firmino and James Milner in for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield.
There are three changes at the back as only Virgil van Dijk keeps his place from last weekend's win over Bournemouth as Ragnar Klavan comes in with Alberto Moreno making his first Premier League start since late November and Joe Gomez back after a month out with an ankle injury.