Feb 04, 2014

    Liverpool won't change tactic despite costly error


    LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers wants his side to continue to play football from the back, despite defender Kolo Toure's costly mistake in their 1-1 English Premier League draw at West Bromwich Albion.

    Toure's misplaced pass allowed West Brom substitute Victor Anichebe to equalise at The Hawthorns on Sunday, after Liverpool had earlier taken the lead through Daniel Sturridge.

    But Rodgers claimed he will still urge his players to place an emphasis on possession and retention of the ball, even though it meant they dropped two valuable points in their bid to qualify for the Champions League.

    "Kolo is devastated, but I said to him: 'Sometimes, that's the price you pay when you try to play football'," Rodgers said.

    "In the last 18 months, we've shown the courage and bravery to play football. Part of that is to build the game from behind. Unfortunately, for the first time this season, we've been punished for that.

    "We'll carry on playing like that. It's just decision-making and a mistake, but that's how we work and how we play. There's no blame for any of the players.

    "Unfortunately for us, it's cost us two points, but we'll see it as a point gained at the end of the season, hopefully."

    The result helped West Brom in their battle to avoid relegation as they moved a point clear of the drop zone.

    At the other end of table, Arsenal moved two points clear at the top on 55 points - ahead of second-placed Manchester City's match against third-placed Chelsea last night - following their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

    And Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 20, proved him right by scoring two goals from midfield.

    "I've always believed that he can play wide and central," said Wenger.

    "I've said many times that his future will be central, and he has proven me right today by scoring the goals and through the quality of his performance.

    "It took him quite a while to get back because he was injured against Aston Villa (on opening day).

    "Overall, I'm pleased that he's back to full fitness. You could see that, at some time near the end, that he's still a bit short."