Robertson says Reds were punished for not “keeping it simple” against West Brom

Andy Robertson
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Liverpool defender Andy Robertson believes his side paid the price for not keeping hold of the ball and seeing out their game with West Brom.

Jürgen Klopp’s men had dominated possession at Anfield against Sam Allardyce’s Baggies without being able to create many clear-cut scoring opportunities.

Sadio Mané had finished brilliantly in the first half to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead at the break. However, they could not expand on that lead in the second half as West Brom employed a very low block setup.

Some sloppy play from Curtis Jones across the front of Liverpool’s penalty area resulted in West Brom winning one of just three corner kicks they had all game. Semi Ajayi rose highest to head home an equaliser from that attacking phase of play and the game would finish 1-1.

Speaking to after the draw, Robertson said:

“Obviously we always want the second goal, but also we wanted to keep the ball.

“If they don’t have the ball they can’t score, simple as that. We didn’t keep the ball well enough, we were giving it away and they were building in confidence; they hit us on the counter-attack, Ali had an unbelievable save with a one-v-one.

“These things can’t happen when you’re 1-0 up, when you’re at the top of the league and you’ve got aspirations for the season you need to see out these games 1-0 – you take the clean sheet and accept that OK, maybe in front of goal we weren’t as clinical but the one chance that mattered we got and we go and win 1-0.

“We had to be better with the ball; of course, if the second goal came along great but we had to be better moving the ball, doing things right, keeping it off them, making them tired. We didn’t do enough of that. They created a couple of chances in the second half and unfortunately for us they took one.”

Robertson went on to discuss the team’s need to use its experience in any such situations:

“We’ve been together a long time and we’ve got a lot of experience now.

“Today was a time to use it and we probably didn’t use it as well as we could have by just putting our foot on the ball, keeping it moving and keeping it simple. When you don’t do that and they start winning their tackles, start getting up the pitch and start creating a couple of chances, they build in confidence and you could see that.

“And then we started giving the ball away even more. When that happens – and I’ve been in a team that’s down at the bottom fighting for everything – you do build in confidence. That’s where we need to be a wee bit more clinical in our passing and just saying, ‘OK, we’ll keep it off them for a bit and try to tire them out a little bit.’ But we didn’t do that.

“It’s a point, a point more than we had this morning, and we move on now.”

Liverpool have a chance to get back on track when they travel to play Newcastle United on Wednesday night. Then it’s a trip down south to face Southampton at St Mary’s on Monday, January 4th.

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