Jürgen Klopp says draw with West Brom ‘feels like a defeat’

Liverpool manager says they only have themselves to blame for points dropped

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp waves to the fans at the end of the Premier League draw with West Brim at Anfield. Photo: Clive Brunskill/PA Wire

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp waves to the fans at the end of the Premier League draw with West Brim at Anfield. Photo: Clive Brunskill/PA Wire

 

Jürgen Klopp said Liverpool only had themselves to blame for failing to maintain their 100 per cent home record in the Premier League this season as struggling West Brom claimed a valuable point at Anfield.

Semi Ajayi cancelled out Sadio Mané’s early goal with an 82nd-minute header as Sam Allardyce made it four visits to Anfield unbeaten with four different clubs. “We weren’t lucky by the way, we were very good,” said Albion’s new manager, whose team restricted Liverpool to only two attempts on target including an 89th-minute header from Roberto Firmino that brought a fine save from Sam Johnstone.

Liverpool, dominant in the first half, were flat in the second and lost the central defender Joël Matip to an adductor injury. Klopp said: “It does feel like a defeat but we have a point more than before so it is completely fine in that sense.

“The problem that we have is that West Brom deserved their point. And that is our fault. The first half was a really strange game with something like 90-100 per cent possession for us and a system I am not sure I have seen very often before. It is a massive challenge to stay on track and keep doing it again but we should have done it again. It is also a challenge for West Brom to defend like they did for 90 minutes.

“They had more situations at the start of the second half than in the whole of the first half. We could have sorted that with the right runs and passes, but we didn’t. That is why it is our fault in the end and why it is 1-1 instead of 2-0 or 2-1. We have to accept that and we do.”

‘Not good’

The extent of Matip’s injury is expected to be known on Monday but Klopp fears the central defender faces another spell on the sidelines. “Joel has felt something in his adductor,” he said. “That is obviously not good. I don’t know how serious it is, just serious enough that he had to leave the pitch.”

Klopp added: “The boys are more angry with themselves than anyone else. They know it was not perfect. We had enough situations but we didn’t play the right pass and it can happen in the Premier League. West Brom have a new manager, they played a system I haven’t seen a lot in my life – a four-six or whatever – and of course we could have played better.”

Allardyce told Sky Sports he felt he had seen a desire from his side to battle for top-flight survival. “I think the lads have shown a lot of grit and determination and organisation, and team spirit, at a very difficult place.

“I see the players telling me that they really want to stay in this division. I haven’t been here long and I don’t know them that well, but I saw a lot of guts, a lot of determination and ultimately a lot of quality.

“It’s all about staying in the game when you come here, and not opening up too much and allowing Liverpool to breeze through and win four or five-nil. We kept that tight ship going for a long time and the resilience of the side gave us an opportunity to create more in the second half.”

New contract

Meanwhile, Georginio Wijnaldum has asked Liverpool for more time before deciding whether to accept a new contract offer from the club.

The Dutchman will be a free agent in the summer and can talk to clubs from abroad from January 1st. Liverpool and Klopp would like to see the 30-year-old stay but have so far not been able to convince him to sign the new deal.

Liverpool presented their new contract offer to Wijnaldum at the start of December but the player said this week that he would like a few more days to decide on this future.

He has promised Liverpool that he will let the club know of his decision before he starts talking to any clubs, should he decide that his future lies elsewhere.

The Dutchman arrived at Liverpool in 2016 on a deal worth an initial £23 million and has won the Premier League and the Champions League during his time at the club. – Guardian

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