Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes the defeat by West Brom is a “setback” to the club’s hopes of qualifying for Europe this season.

Gareth McAuley and Romelu Lukaku’s goals saw Liverpool fall to a 2-0 loss.

The result left them 12 points off Tottenham in the last Champions League spot and eight points behind potential Europa League qualifiers Everton.

“It’s a setback, this is a game we targeted as a possibility of winning but it was not to be,” he told the BBC.

“We see our home games as real opportunities, especially in the form we’re in.

“The effort was terrific, I can’t ask any more from them. The ball never fell for us, we probably should have got more from the game.”

Liverpool came into the match after two confidence-building draws against Arsenal and Manchester City.

Following a sluggish start at Anfield, the hosts built up pressure in the second half before the game’s pivotal moment came as Steven Gerrard’s penalty-kick was saved by visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster minutes before McAuley opened the scoring.

“He’s shown why he [Foster] has played at a top club [Manchester United] and played for England,” Rodgers said. “He’s an outstanding shot-stopper and his agility was fantastic and that’s what got them the points.

“We had opportunities, lots of pressure, lots of efforts on goal but couldn’t quite make the breakthrough.

“It’s a moment in the game if you take it, they have to open up a bit more. They were solid, stayed together and tried to limit the space.

“I always admire people who have the courage and bravery to step up and take the penalty. Steven [Gerrard] was terrific and it’s unfortunate for him.”

BBC Sport