Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his players were “angry” in the dressing room after being held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Sam Allardyce’s West Brom on Sunday night. The Reds are formidable at Anfield and rarely drop points but could not clinch victory on this occasion.
Sadio Mane put the hosts ahead after just 12 months with brilliant control of the ball with his chest before lashing past Sam Johnstone.
The Reds dominated the rest of the first half, enjoying nearly 85 per cent possession, but could not find a second goal.
And as the Baggies improved after the interval, Liverpool were made to pay for not adding to their lead as Semi Ajayi headed in from a corner after leaping beyond Fabinho.
Liverpool pushed for a late winner but Roberto Firmino was denied by a sublime fingertip Johnstone stop after heading down towards the bottom corner at the Kop end.
And in just Allardyce’s second match with West Brom the veteran coach, the last manager to win at Anfield in the Premier League with Crystal Palace in April 2017, the Midlands club claimed a deserved point for a dogged defensive display.
Liverpool managed just two shots on target all game, Mane’s goal and Firmino’s header, and Klopp admitted his side did not deserve a win that would have taken them five points clear at the summit of the table.
“It was our own fault,” the German coach said. “It is a massive challenge when they have six at the back or whatever, but it is our fault and that is what we have to accept.
“The boys are more angry with themselves than anyone. We had enough situations but we didn’t play the right pass.
“I don’t think that anybody can expect that a team plays like West Brom tonight in first half, like a six-four or whatever it was,
“But everybody knows and feels we could and should have done better – it does feel like a defeat.
“It’s an incredible challenge to stay active, to stay lively when you constantly face 10-men. To be fair West Brom did that. They did their job exactly 90 minutes. We were 1-0 up and didn’t change a little bit.
“West Brom deserve the point because we didn’t finish the game. We gave them easy, simple corners, too many. It was the only thing they had tonight and we gave it so that’s our fault.
“It’s not the end of the world. Sam Allardyce is experienced and sets the team up like this and that is completely fine.
“It is not the first time we played against a deep block and usually we find the solutions for it.”
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Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson, the best player on the pitch in the first half, admitted similarly that a draw was all that the performance of the home side warranted given their second-half drop-off.
“Once you start going slack you get what you deserve,” he reacted to Sky Sports.
“They came here with a game plan, they were happy with one-nil at half-time. When you come up against a Sam Allardyce team they want to stay in it as long as they can and take the once chance they get. And they done that.
“They got what they deserved and we got what we deserved. First half was good, we dominated the ball, counter press, counter attacks, really good, created a lot of chances.
“Then second half it was as if we didn’t want to do it again. Tried different things which wasn’t working. We all went slack.
“I think every one of us made a mistake in the second half which can’t happen. It’s something we’ve got to learn from. Credit to West Brom for the way they played in second half.”
To add to Liverpool’s misery, Joel Matip suffered an adductor injury against West Brom while Klopp revealed post-match that Naby Keita will be absent for their trip to Newcastle on Wednesday night (8pm kick-off).
Matip is also highly likely to miss out meaning Rhys Williams or Nat Phillips will step in alongside Fabinho at the back at St James’ Park.