(Reuters) – Liverpool must learn to switch off their attacking flair and tighten up defensively in certain situations to prevent opponents from scoring, midfielder James Milner said after Friday’s frantic 3-3 draw with Arsenal in the Premier League.
Liverpool held a 1-0 lead at half-time and made it 2-0 early in the second half but their defensive frailties were exposed once again as Arsenal scored thrice in five minutes to take the lead before Roberto Firmino equalised in the 71st minute.
“We’ve got to be more boring. Obviously we’re very good going forward but those are the times in the game when you’ve got to tighten up, not make mistakes for those five minutes,” Milner told Sky Sports.
“All the goals were our fault, really, and that’s something we have to learn from and we need to do it quick, because it seems to be a thing for us this year.
“We play such good football and sometimes we just need to switch that off for five to 10 minutes in a game and learn about the game, sense the situations when it’s time to take it easy, play a bit tighter and keep the ball…”
Liverpool’s poor defending has constantly negated their free-flowing attack this season with the team hosting prolific goalscorers in Mohamed Salah, Phillipe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Firmino, but failing to keep the door shut on their opponents.
Juergen Klopp’s side sit 17 points behind league leaders Manchester City in fourth position, having conceded the most goals among the league’s top four teams.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)