Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock has claimed that Roberto Firmino and Curtis Jones were the two players who directly suffered the most as a result of West Brom’s defensive set-up during the 1-1 draw at Anfield on Sunday.
It was only the second occasion of 2020 that the English champions surrendered points at their fortress of a home ground in the league.
Liverpool totally dominated possession but failed to make their dominance on the ball count. In-fact, West Brom even managed to register more shots on target (3) than the Reds (2).
Nullifying Liverpool’s threat
Jones and Firmino suffered heavily as a result of the compact shape Sam Allardyce had West Brom set-up. Both players failed to create a single chance for Liverpool.
Prior to the clash, Firmino was in scintillating form, scoring three goals in his previous two league matches. Warnock, himself felt that West Brom purposely set up to frustrate both of Liverpool’s creative outlets.
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“What it is all about when you go to Anfield is that you know you are going to have to give up possession,” Warnock said on BBC’s Match of the Day 2.
“Liverpool had 78% of the possession and West Brom had 22%, but they were so organised and set traps.
“They remained nice and narrow and allowed Liverpool no space to break through and get balls into the likes of Roberto Firmino and Curtis Jones.
“It stopped the intricate play of the front three and did it perfectly. They made it so difficult.”
It was a typical performance from Premier League veteran Sam Allardyce.
Few managers in world football count Anfield as a happy hunting ground, but the West Brom manager certainly does.
Once again, he performed his role as the notorious Anfield party pooper to perfection. Allardyce is now unbeaten in his previous four league visits to the home of the English champions.
He remains the last visiting manager to win at Anfield in the league, doing so with Crystal Palace in April 2017.
This, to a larger extent, was a bigger achievement. There looked to be no chance for the Baggies following the Liverpool onslaught in the first-half, but Allardyce’s plan came to fruition as the game wore on.
Liverpool are not used to performances like this. Not at home, not against such limited opposition. “It’s our fault,” said Klopp in the aftermath, though there was a pointed dig at West Brom’s “4-6-0” formation from the Reds boss.
It was a rare flashback to a time when a deep-lying defence was Liverpool’s kryptonite. Typical Allardyce you could say. Come for a point, got a point and emphatically made a point to the rest of the league.