Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - December 27, 2020 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp after the match (REUTERS)
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp vented his frustration with West Bromwich Albion’s defensive approach after their 1-1 draw at Anfield on Sunday while his counterpart Sam Allardyce was purring with delight.
Liverpool missed a chance to go five points clear at the top after a late Semi Ajayi header cancelled out Sadio Mane’s early opener and Klopp found it hard to stomach that a cautious visiting formation had stopped them from securing a win.
“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 or whatever it was,” the German told Sky Sports.
“To be fair West Brom did their job inside 90 minutes. West Brom deserved the point tonight because we didn’t finish the game. It is difficult to create. In the end everyone knows and feels we should have and could have done better tonight.”
Allardyce, who suffered a 3-0 home loss to Midlands rivals Aston Villa on his debut last Sunday, was overjoyed with West Brom’s second-half resilience and felt the unlikely draw at Anfield was a step in the right direction.
The Baggies still have a mountain to climb if they are to avoid relegation as they sit 19th on eight points from 15 games, five adrift of safety with 17th-placed Burnley also having a game in hand.
“It was superb today and we came out with a precious point for us,” Allardyce, who has managed 11 clubs without ever getting relegated, told the BBC.
“There is a lot of defending you have to do against a quality team with a fantastic home record. To the man, we frustrated Liverpool as much as we could. We had to take the sting out of them in the first half.
“Liverpool always take the game to you. People will say we are lucky but that was good application from the players and they took their opportunity at the other end.”