Reaction'We stuck to the plan' - Andy Robertson analyses Brentford win
Andy Robertson felt Liverpool earned the rewards for sticking to their game plan as they battled to a 3-0 win over Brentford at Anfield.
Extended highlights: Liverpool 3-0 Brentford
Sunday’s Premier League clash was a testing affair for the Reds and Fabinho’s header 44 minutes in proved a vital breakthrough as they sought a first victory in the division for a month.
Jürgen Klopp’s side built on their lead after the break as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s diving header – from a Robertson cross – was followed by a birthday goal for Takumi Minamino.
Post-match, Robertson provided his analysis of how the contest unfolded and explained the players’ mentality with regards to chasing down an 11-point gap to leaders Manchester City.
Read a summary of his interview with Liverpoolfc.com below…
It was a day when you had to be patient at times, especially in the first half, but it all came good in the end. What are your thoughts?
Yeah, of course, playing against a team that are really good defensively – five at the back, three kind of big centre-backs, a dogged midfield and two really good strikers. So we knew it was going to be tough, we knew we had to be patient and it was just trying to get that breakthrough. It was obviously a frustrating night on Thursday, I think everyone felt it in here. You could sense the fans just wanted the first goal to maybe relax them but we had to stick to what we’d trained, what we’d planned and luckily we got the breakthrough just before half-time. And I think the second half was a really good performance.
It felt like in the first half you were knocking on the door for quite a long time and it is just about keeping that patience and trusting the process, isn’t it?
We started really well. I think all-round it was a good performance. It looks probably as if they’ve had a couple of chances but a lot of them were offside when the linesman puts his flag up late; that probably gives them confidence when it shouldn’t do. It maybe makes our fans a wee bit frustrated but we kept a really good line, their strikers kept getting caught offside and that was the plan. We did really well today – a clean sheet, three really good goals and now we move on. We’ve got an uphill task for the rest of the season and we just need to keep ticking game by game and let’s see where we end up.
And a word for Taki as well, coming off the bench again and making another pretty much instant impact. Not a bad way to celebrate his birthday…
Yeah, great way to celebrate his birthday. Probably a lot got said about Taki’s chance on Thursday night; he knew he should have scored that, of course he should have. But it’s important when you miss a good chance as a striker, you go and then put it right and he did that today. It’s probably one of the easier ones he’ll score but it was really good play by Bobby and him for the press. And for Taki to slot it home, really happy for him on his birthday but also that he’s getting a run in the team. To score goals as a striker, there’s no better feeling so that should give him confidence.
Just on the table, from your perspective you’re only focused on yourselves and all you can do is keep pushing Manchester City…
We can’t focus on Man City. Man City are one of the best teams in Premier League history and they’ve shown that especially over the last six or seven weeks, they’ve just been winning 1-0s, 2-1s and just been doing enough to win games. That’s what wins you championships. Maybe we’ve struggled a little bit at that recently, giving away leads and things like that. But all we can do is focus on ourselves, focus on each game we play and try to, if they do slip up, we have to be ready to close the gap.
The gap is a big one. I think we’ve put it down to 11 points today with a game in hand. We would rather points on the board so hopefully if we win that game in hand we can be eight points [behind]. Let’s see. They’re a fantastic team, they can win every game, we know that. The two seasons we competed really tightly with them, it was just win, win both teams. We need to do that. We’ve got to hope they slip up and rely on others, of course we do. But we just need to focus on ourselves. We have been in a bit of a sticky patch where we have drawn too many games and obviously lost to Leicester. It was important we just got three points today, back to winning ways and now we really need to try to kick on and just keep on picking up three points.
Post-match analysis at Anfield
Some momentum now to take into the second leg of the semi-final next week. What can you take from the first leg against Arsenal into the second game?
It was a frustrating night for us. Probably the Arsenal fans did leave a lot happier than our fans that night. It maybe felt as if they have gone away with a lead. Look, it’s 0-0, it’s still in the balance. We know we can play so much better. The red card obviously changed the game and I think they started playing for the 0-0. They can’t do that on Thursday, they need to win as well to get through. Both of us need a goal to get through. We’ll go there, it’s a semi-final – we want to get to the final, of course we do, we want to win trophies for this club and this is the next chance that we have. We’ll go with everything we’ve got, hopefully with the confidence we’ve got today in front of goal and hopefully cause Arsenal problems, which we know we can. But we also need to be as good defensively as today, I thought we were really good defensively today, stopped Brentford as a threat. We need to do that on Thursday if we want to get to Wembley.