Andrew Robertson gave an honest assessment of Liverpool’s struggles this season as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by a stoppage-time winner from Brighton.
The two sides only met two weeks ago in the Premier League, with Liverpool perhaps coming into the tie with a score to settle, the Seagulls running out 3-0 winners at the AmEx as Jurgen Klopp described his side’s performance that day as the worst of his career.
The Reds had the first big chance of the game, Mohamed Salah seeing an effort cleared off the line by Lewis Dunk in just the fourth minute in what was a lively opening from both sides.
The hosts would also have one cleared off the line within the opening 15 minutes, Trent Alexander-Arnold preventing Evan Ferguson’s effort from crossing the line following some good work down the right by Solly March.
It was Liverpool who took the lead in the 30th minute, the Reds releasing Salah down the right before the Egyptian played a well-weighted ball into the path of Harvey Elliott. The teenager had scored the winner in Liverpool’s third-round replay win over Wolves, and he once again fired his side ahead from a narrowing angle.
The lead lasted just nine minutes though, Tariq Lamptey latching onto a headed Trent Alexander-Arnold clearance with the full-back’s first-time strike taking a crucial deflection off Lewis Dunk that sent the ball spinning past Alisson.
The second half was equally as energetic and entertaining, as both sides went in search of a winner, though it would take until the second minute of stoppage time for it to come. Pascal Gross’ floated free-kick found Pervis Estupiñan at the back post before the Ecuadorean put the ball back across the box to pick out Kaoru Mitoma. The influential Japan international took a couple of wonderful touches before excellently flicking the ball past Alisson to book his side’s passage into the fifth round and send the FA Cup holders packing.
OH. MY. WORD.@kaoru_mitoma with a late stunner for @OfficialBHAFC 🤯#EmiratesFACup pic.twitter.com/R6bfaXSGVW
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 29, 2023
Andrew Robertson was made captain for the day, and while he felt Liverpool were better than the 3-0 defeat from two weeks previous, he gave an honest assessment of the club’s current struggles – the Reds out of both cup competitions and sitting ninth in the league.
“Bitterly disappointing. I thought it was a good cup tie, end to end and both had chances,” he told ITV.
“We were more competitive than two weeks ago but that didn’t take much. We created chances and were more compact but at the end of the day we are out of the cup.
“At a club like Liverpool, fans expect a lot and to lose with the last kick of the ball it’s disappointing. We need to start winning games. It’s easy to say but harder to fix.
“This season has been nowhere near good enough. At the start of the year, we wanted a fresh start but that hasn’t happened. We’ve been worse. In the league, we haven’t been good enough and now we’re out of both cups now.
“You can’t put your finger on one thing, it’s more than that. You can tell we’re not as confident in front of goal and in defence we are a wee bit open. We had two clean sheets coming into today but then go and concede two goals.
“We need to get the confidence back, it’s easier said than done, and that’s how we will get results.
“We need to do it quick and we’re not. That it doesn’t help the fans, I’m sorry for them and the way we are putting on a show. We let them down again.”
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