Jürgen Klopp said Liverpool only had themselves to blame for failing to maintain their 100% 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 West Brom’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 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% 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.”
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. “Joël 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 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.”