Liverpool missed the chance to top the Premier League after a dominant display brought them a 2-1 win at home to West Bromwich Albion — but not the two-goal margin they had needed to reach the summit.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had too much pace and movement for their opponents for large chunks of the game and wanted a penalty in the second minute when Sadio Mane went down under Allan Nyom’s challenge but referee Neil Swarbrick said no.
Although Liverpool were monopolising possession in the early stages, they were given a scare when the visitors broke after 13 minutes.
Nacer Chadli found Matt Phillips in space, but his attempted square ball on to striker Salomon Rondon was cut out.
But the home side soon got back onto the front foot with James Milner getting forward to steer an effort just over.
And they were in front with 20 minutes played thanks to a superbly-crafted goal.
A Philippe Coutinho dummy put Emre Can into space, and when he steered a pass to Roberto Firmino, his dinked cross evaded Nyom and was sidefooted past Ben Foster by the unmarked Mane.
As the home side searched for a second, Lallana steered an effort over the bar after some neat footwork inside the West Brom area — but they did not have to wait for long.
Coutinho was found by Mane and dragged the ball beyond Craig Dawson before sliding his finish inside the far post.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis brought off Claudio Yacob for Chris Brunt at the break, but there was no change to the pattern of the match.
Mane almost set up a third when he played in Coutinho, whose effort was blocked, before Nathaniel Clyne’s low cross was scraped away from danger with attackers closing in.
Another West Brom change followed, with James Morrison on for Phillips, but the visitors were soon grateful to keeper Foster as fine saves denied Firmino and Dejan Lovren.
Nacer Chadli briefly threatened to create some danger for the visitors before being crowded out on the edge of the Liverpool area but the action again switched to the other end as only a fine Jonas Olsson block prevented Can from firing home a third.
Pulis made his final change as Wales forward Hal Robson-Kanu came on for James McClean, and the Baggies almost pulled one back when Chadli made himself some space but fired over the bar following a corner.
As the game approached the final quarter of an hour and the visitors hunted for a lifeline, Morrison fired over the top from 20 yards.
Klopp made a change, bringing on Georginio Wijnaldum in place of Lallana — but within moments of that substitution what had been a thoroughly comfortable evening became altogether more jittery as Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius gave away a corner which was thumped in by the unmarked Gareth McAuley.
Foster made good stops from Firmino and Coutinho as Liverpool looked to regain their two-goal cushion, but with five minutes remaining Chadli again created a moment of threat before blasting over from 20 yards.
Coutinho fired straight at Foster in his last action of the game before being replaced by Lucas Leiva and Divock Origi came on for Mane as Klopp and Liverpool saw the match out.