EPL

Robertson frustrated by Liverpool's 'really poor' start as Klopp explains Fernandes confrontation

By Sports Desk August 23, 2022

Andy Robertson described Liverpool's start to the season as "really poor" after the Reds failed to win any of their opening three league games for the first time in 10 years, insisting better results "need to come quickly".

Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford handed Erik ten Hag his first league win as Manchester United boss at Liverpool's expense on Monday, as the Red Devils prevailed 2-1 behind a much-improved performance after losing their previous two games.

The defeat was Liverpool's first in the Premier League in 2022, with Jurgen Klopp's side having previously won 16 and drawn five of their league games this calendar year.

After coming from behind to claim draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace prior to visiting Old Trafford, Liverpool have now failed to win their first three games of a league campaign for the first time since Brendan Rodgers was at the helm in 2012-13.

Left-back Robertson knows Liverpool need to improve sharply, telling Sky Sports: "It's definitely not been the start to the season that we wanted, it's been really poor.

"We give every team a goal start which is the basis of the game, you can’t keep on giving yourself an uphill battle.

"We've conceded an early goal again, we've started slow again and that's what needs to change. We can't keep going one behind. Probably in the warm-up it was the quietest I have ever heard this stadium – they wanted something to lift them and we unfortunately gave them it and then they obviously got behind their team.

"Two points from nine is not the start that we wanted. We need to pick up our performances individually and collectively very quickly. We need to kickstart our season, that's for sure."

Having gone close to winning an unprecedented quadruple last campaign, Liverpool are already five points adrift of title favourites Manchester City after Pep Guardiola's men made an unbeaten start.

While Robertson insists the title race is not on Liverpool's minds, he knows there is little room for error moving forward, adding: "It's early on in the season but even if we were at the top of the league we wouldn't be thinking about the title race.

"We've always been consistent with that every season, you don't really think about it until you get closer to see where everyone's at.

"The start of the season is always a bit messy where you just try to find your feet. This season we haven't done it and yeah, we're not thinking about that.

"We need to get our first win on the board. We need to try to get ahead first in the game and try to put in a good performance, get our first clean sheet and get back to our basics.

"And if we can do that, that's the only way we will win games, it's as simple as that. We've always been a hard-working team, we've always been honest, we've always been passionate.

"We need to keep doing that, but we also need to be clinical in both boxes and if we do that I believe the results will come. But they need to come quickly."

Klopp echoed those sentiments in his post-match news conference, ruing Liverpool's injury problems but acknowledging they should be performing to a higher level.

"It's not the nicest thing to look at, that's clear, but it's our situation. Look, we can talk about all the things but in the end I saw tonight a game," Klopp said.

"So, during the week it is not easy because we have 15 senior outfield players, I think, in training. That's obviously not cool. But for the game tonight, I liked the line-up, saw good performances as well tonight.

"So, our situation is how it is. It's not perfect but good enough to play better tonight, and I think our situation is good enough that we could've won the game tonight if we would have played slightly better."

Klopp moved to play down his post-match confrontation with Bruno Fernandes after appearing frustrated by perceived simulation from United, adding: "It was not animated. It was the most harmless conversation I ever had, with a player who is as emotional as I maybe was!

"It was the situation with the centre-half, [Lisandro] Martinez, when he went down. He was talking to me and said, 'You would do the same', but I said, 'No, I cannot fall like this'.

"It was all fine after the game, he told me he needs these kind of conversations during the game and so I said, 'Fine, use me!'."

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