Robertson glad hungry Liverpool have proved critics wrong
Liverpool appear to be back on track after recovering from a tough spell and left-back Andy Robertson is pleased with the character shown by his side.
Andy Robertson says Liverpool are hungry for more after proving their critics wrong with some impressive recent results. The champions lost on penalties to Arsenal in the Community Shield and EFL Carabao Cup while their first ever Premier League title defence also got off to a shaky start.
Blips at the start of the campaign
They suffered an embarrassing 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa in their fourth top-flight outing - the first time they had conceded seven goals in a game since 1963 - and then lost influential defender Virgil van Dijk to a long-term injury in the following match, a 2-2 draw with Everton.
However, the reigning champions have since won their opening three Champions League group games for the first time ever and are now unbeaten in four league matches, a run that includes a 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Sunday.
Robertson has played in 12 of Liverpool's opening 14 matches and is pleased with the response his side have shown. "We are always hungry for more," he told the club's official website following the match at the Etihad. "As footballers, we are always a bit greedy for a little bit more. But look, we have to be happy. I think when we started getting some injuries and lost a couple of players with Covid-19 and stuff, everyone expected the wheels to fall off. But we've managed to steady the ship a little bit and pick up some great results, especially in Europe. In the Premier League we've maybe not been at our best at times but we've picked up results and that's why we are near the top of the league. So, long may that continue and long may we keep building our confidence and building our performances."
Jürgen Klopp made a bold selection call on Sunday by naming in-form Diogo Jota in the same line-up as regular starters Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah. It meant Liverpool reverting from their tried-and-trusted 4-3-3 formation that has worked so well over the past couple of seasons, but Robertson welcomed the tactical shift.
"Look, that's what happens with players like Diogo, who scored a hat-trick in midweek and has scored so many goals. Obviously the manager looked at it and thought, 'I have to get him in the team'," the defender said. "The front three have been phenomenal the last three years and then we bring on quality like [Xherdan] Shaqiri, who is in such a good moment right now. He has played phenomenal football the past couple of weeks and then we bring on Millie [James Milner], trusty Millie, slotting in for Trent [Alexander-Arnold]. That was part of us maybe adapting as a team, being able to play different formations, being able to play different personnel and things like that - and we managed to do that against one of the best teams in the league. I thought we did it pretty well and we can adapt, and it means that we can maybe play it more often - but the 4-3-3 has worked so well for us. So we won't play it all the time, but it means we can adapt to certain teams, certain situations and it's about us evolving as a team. So that was a big step."
De Bruyne penalty miss
Gabriel Jesus cancelled out Mohamed Salah's penalty but Kevin De Bruyne was unable to convert a spot-kick of his own - the first time a player has missed the target entirely from the spot in a Premier League game in over two years. Liverpool avoided defeat away to City in the league for the first time in four trips and are five points better off than their opponents, having played one game more.
Reflecting on the match, Robertson said: "A point is a fair enough result for both teams. I don't think we can have many arguments. We had to capitalise on surprising them a wee bit with our formation and having the lads between the lines. I thought we were excellent the first 20 minutes and were on top. We took a deserved lead but good players adapt to situations and City started to adapt and started to work out how to fix that. Then they started causing problems of their own. I think if we had just had a bit more quality in the final third, we could have maybe got through. But all in all, a good performance from us, a decent enough result."
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