Liverpool moved through to the last 16 of the Capital One Cup and recorded a first win over domestic opposition this term, courtesy of Nuri Sahin’s late goal at The Hawthorns.
Earlier the midfielder, loaned from Real Madrid, had equalised Gabriel Tamas’s opening strike.
Brendan Rodgers relied on youth and that policy reaped dividends as some experienced Premier League players representing West Brom failed to gain a hold on the various teens and early twenty-somethings they encountered.
A talking point came with the inclusion of Jerome Sinclair amongst the substitutes. The striker turned 16 less than a week earlier and has impressed at various junior grades since arriving at the Liverpool Academy last summer, from West Bromwich Albion.
In joining a finely balanced game nine minutes from the end he became the youngest ever player to represent the senior side.
After the game Rodgers enthused about those he picked.
"It was an outstanding performance. I'm not surprised as our performance level has been good all season," he said.
"It's great to see the kids playing with confidence. We fully deserved the win. For me it's about talent irrespective of age. We've got a small squad. It's a club where young players are going to get a chance.”
Speaking directly about the man who created history he added: “It's congratulations to Jerome Sinclair. Our future is bright with the young players.
“The style and definition of our game is improving all the time."
For the third successive game Liverpool changed their entire team. That gave Andre Wisdom another start in defence. Jack Robinson gained a chance on the left. Samed Yesil made his Liverpool debut.
Steve Clarke was less bold in his selection making just five alterations to the team which beat Reading on Saturday.
Marc-Antoine Fortune and Markus Rosenberg linked up front. Graham Dorrans and George Thorne came into midfield.
Tamas slotted into the stiff defence built at The Hawthorns – though was celebrating at the opposite end of the pitch when Brad Jones dropped an early free-kick allowing the Romanian to net from just inside the area.
The keeper had been under no pressure when making his error. He did however did deny Rosenburg with a block close to the foot of a post soon after, but that could only salve his own confidence rather than sooth some rather nervous defenders.
There was relief when Romelu Lukaku saw his shot deflect off Jamie Carragher but wide of an upright.
Yesil enjoyed Liverpool’s first chance after rising to meet Oussami Assaidi's centre without a meaningful challenge but, inside the six-yard box, he failed to get quite enough on the header which fizzed out of play as a result.
Ben Foster felt a disappointment almost equal to his opposite number when Sahin equalised 17 minutes in. The Turkish international let fly from 30-yards and somehow saw his shot creep between the keeper and the post.
All-square the game’s direction changed. Liverpool were in the ascendancy. Albion were only threatening in isolated pockets of play.
Not long after the restart Yesil had an attempt half stopped then saw the ball go narrowly over the bar as it rose due to an intervention from Foster’s leg.
A minute later Dani Pacheco skimmed the crossbar with a dipping effort.
Foster appeared vulnerable when tested; but Coates was denied by a strong save.
Within a minute of Sinclair’s introduction Sahin wrapped up the win. Liverpool’s other replacement, Suso, ran confidently at the Baggies backline before knocking the ball out to Assaidi whose low cross found the incoming midfielder.
That perfectly pitched final ball capped an excellent performance.
The Liverpool boss refrained from admitting defending the trophy was not his major priority for now. After the flurry of injuries suffered against Manchester United, Rodgers made it clear that he only had 12 senior men fit for duty.
Victory sees Swansea City, Rodgers’s former team come to Anfield at some point during the week commencing 29 October.
West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Jones, Olsson, Tamas, Ridgewell (Dawson), Mulumbu, Dorrans, Thorne, Rosenberg, Fortune (El Ghanassy), Lukaku (Long) Unused Substitutes: Daniels L, Yacob, McAuley, Berahino
Liverpool: Jones, Wisdom, Carragher, Coates, Robinson, Henderson, Sahin, Downing, Pacheco (Suso), Yesil (Sinclair), Assaidi Unused Substitutes: Gulacsi, Wilson, Sterling, Coady, Sama
West Bromwich Albion 43% Liverpool 57%
Shots on target
West Bromwich Albion 8 Liverpool 9
Shots off target
West Bromwich Albion 2 Liverpool 5
West Bromwich Albion 4 Liverpool 6