Football

Draw with West Brom feels like a defeat: Klopp

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said their 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion felt like a defeat and that his players were angry at missing the opportunity to go five points clear in the English Premier League.

Liverpool were on course to take all three points at Anfield yesterday morning (Singapore time) after Sadio Mane put them ahead on 12 minutes, but Semi Ajayi's 82nd-minute header denied them the victory.

Klopp said he expects a more disciplined performance from his men in Thursday morning's game at Newcastle United.

"It does (feel like a defeat), but we have a point more than before, so that's completely fine," Klopp told reporters.

"The boys are more angry than anything else because they know it wasn't perfect."

Although he was annoyed by the way his side tossed away two points, Klopp also criticised the Baggies' defensive approach.

"It is an incredible challenge when you constantly face 10 men and I don't think anyone can expect a team that plays like West Brom in the first half, like a 6-4-0 or whatever it was," the German told Sky Sports.

"To be fair... West Brom deserved the point tonight because we didn't finish the game."

Klopp's mood was hardly helped by a groin injury to centre-back Joel Matip - one of his few options with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees.

While West Brom remain in deep trouble having registered only eight points from 15 games, the result will give their fans hope that new manager Sam Allardyce, who has never been relegated from the EPL, can inspire another great escape.

Allardyce was the last visiting manager to win an EPL game at Anfield, when in charge of Crystal Palace back in April 2017.

The 66-year-old is unbeaten in his last four games against Liverpool at Anfield with four different clubs and his game plan again worked to perfection.

"Every man today showed the spirit this team needs to get out of this position," said Allardyce.

"Goals are precious to us and this one has given us a point because we defended so well and we took the opportunity when it came." - AFP, REUTERS

Football