Milner wants team to deliver better final ball

LONDON • Following two goal-less draws, Liverpool vice-captain James Milner has urged his team to improve on their finishing by adapting better to the task of breaking down stubborn opponents.

The Reds experienced a frustrating 0-0 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, when they could not translate their 65 per cent possession into decent scoring opportunities.

Earlier last week, Jurgen Klopp's men also drew 0-0 at Anfield against German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie.

"When you play for a team like Liverpool and, with the players we've got, you want to win every game no matter who it's against - and we know we can," Milner told Sky Sports ahead of today's Premier League home match against Watford.

"I just don't think we were good enough with our movements, and the final ball at times.

"Around the box, we didn't manage to open them up as much as we would have liked."

Leaders Liverpool are just a point ahead of champions Manchester City (65 points) in the Premier League table before today's round of fixtures, which will see Pep Guardiola's men take on West Ham at the Etihad Stadium.

Reds defender Andy Robertson knows how slim the margins are and has also called on his teammates to start "respecting ourselves" because Liverpool are more than capable of just one win and four draws in their last five matches in all competitions.

"Big teams like Bayern and Manchester United are full of world-class stars and they changed their way of playing to try to stop us," the left-back told the club's website.

"We need to take that as a mark of respect and not shy away from it, stand up to that and show them why there is respect."

THE GUARDIAN

LIVERPOOL V WATFORD

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2019, with the headline 'Milner wants team to deliver better final ball'. Print Edition | Subscribe