|Sunday, 19 August 2012 03:01|
LONDON: Liverpool suffered their biggest opening day loss in the top flight since 1937 when they were convincingly beaten 3-0 by West Bromwich Albion in their Premier League match at the Hawthorns yesterday.
The Reds' new manager Brendan Rodgers felt aggrieved with this defeat, claiming the two penalties and the sending off of defender Daniel Agger were “very, very harsh”.
Zoltan Gera's spectacular volley was all that separated the two sides at halftime. However, two spot-kicks, one of which the Baggies scored, as well as a red card for Agger saw the hosts dominate the second half and scored a third through Romelu Lukaku.
"But we're not going to get everything our way, we've got to accept it. Pepe Reina made a great save from one of the penalties. When you see the close ups of the sending off and penalties they're very, very harsh."
Despite the disappointment the 39-year-old was pleased with the determination his players showed when being reduced to 10 men.
"It's always difficult then, you're 2-0 down and you've got a man down and you lose structure to your team.
"I've got to give players credit, the score was 3-0 but they never stopped, they ran themselves to a standstill, and I can’t ask any more than that.
"We'll have days along the way and it will hurt, and it will be difficult for us, but I can't ask any more from them in terms of commitment and effort. When you go a man down at this level it's very difficult and so early on in the second half."
Liverpool scored just nine per cent of total attempts on goal last season, the worst return of any Premier League side.
Their finishing was just as suspect yesterday with Luis Suarez in particular guilty of squandering a number of chances.
Rodgers acknowledged that they need to sharpen up in front of goal if they are to progress, while congratulating opposite number Steve Clarke for recording a victory in his first Premier League game with his new side.
"There's no doubt that's the reality, we need to score more goals." He said. "We had half chances, Suarez had a great header in the first half, we worked the ball really well on the side, brilliant cross, and it looked like he was going to score. There's no doubt that if you're going to affect the top of this league you've got to score more goals.
"Today wasn't our day and congratulations to Clarke it's nice for him in his first game to get a result. Hopefully for us we won't have too many days like that and we'll keep moving forward."