Andrew Robertson conceded Scotland "didn't really show up" after their 3-1 defeat to Ukraine in Wednesday's World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final.

The tie at Hampden Park was delayed from March due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and it was an emotional evening for all concerned in Glasgow.

Yet Steve Clarke's team ultimately failed to match not only the visitors' intensity, but also their quality, with only some poor goalkeeping from Georgi Bushchan allowing Scotland a way back into the game.

Indeed, Scotland were fortunate not to have conceded more, with Craig Gordon pulling off fine stops early on and making five saves in total, while Artem Dovbyk spurned two golden chances to put the result beyond doubt before finally doing so in stoppage time.

While Ukraine will now switch focus to playing Wales in Cardiff on Sunday, with a place in Qatar the prize on offer, Scotland must lick their wounds before taking on Armenia in their opening Nations League game on June 8.

"Hugely disappointing. We've waited a long time for this game," Liverpool full-back Robertson told Sky Sports after another big game failed to go his way after the Reds' Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last week.

"Our performances beforehand had been really good and to be honest we didn't really show up.

"Ukraine settled into the game a lot quicker than us and then it kind of continued really. We knew they were probably going to get tired and that was the case but we gave ourselves too much of an uphill battle.

"We didn't play the way we wanted to play, that's the most disappointing thing. It's passed us by now. After a positive campaign, we've let ourselves down.

"We have to hurt, have to reflect, tomorrow's a new day. We've got the Nations League, we have to try and push.

"That's the World Cup gone for us for another four years, that's really hard for us because we all have dreams of trying to play in that big tournament and we didn't put in a performance that justified that."

Scotland were unbeaten in 12 home games at Hampden Park coming into this match (W8 D4), meaning Ukraine have ended their longest unbeaten run on home soil since the 1970s, when they went 16 such matches without defeat.

"We have to stick together, we know there'll be scrutiny coming our way and we know we'll be under fire, but inside we have to stick together," Robertson added.

"As a group we've made massive strides in a couple of years, there'll be a time to take perspective of that, but tonight's not that night. We have to dust ourselves down, go again."

Scotland have failed to qualify for any of the last six World Cup tournaments since appearing at the 1998 edition. Between 1974 and 1998 they missed only one of seven tournaments.

Andrew Robertson says the organisation of the Champions League final was a "shambles" after there were chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France on Saturday.

The kick-off for the showdown in Paris was delayed by over half an hour, with UEFA putting the delay down to turnstiles being blocked at the Liverpool end of the stadium by thousands of fans who had purchased fake tickets.

A message on the big screen inside the ground had claimed the game was unable to start on time due to "the late arrival of fans".

Police used tear gas to try and disperse the crowds outside the stadium before a final that ended in a 1-0 victory for Real Madrid courtesy of Vinicius Junior's second-half goal.

Liverpool defender Robertson says the scenes prior to kick-off were not acceptable.

He told BBC Sport: "One of my mates got told it was a fake which I assure you it wasn't. It was a shambles really."

UEFA vowed to further review the matters with French police and authorities and the French Football Federation.

Robertson added: "To be honest people were just making it up at times and panicking. Tear gas getting thrown at people was unacceptable.

"It was horrendous for our fans and all families that have been through it as well. It wasn't a nice experience, not a nice final to come to. The Champions League should be a celebration but it wasn't that.

"Obviously the final wasn't meant to be here and whether the preparations were not as good as maybe they should have been but I am sure in the coming days an inquest will go into that."

Andrew Robertson described Liverpool's players as "devastated" by their Champions League final loss to Real Madrid, as Vinicius Junior's winner condemned the Reds to a heartbreaking reverse in Paris.

The Brazil winger's 59th-minute goal ensured Madrid repeated their 2018 final win over Liverpool to earn their 14th European crown, while only Juventus (five) have now lost more Champions League finals than the Reds (three).

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp has now lost more finals in the competition than any other coach (three), and despite winning the EFL Cup and FA Cup after penalty shoot-outs, Liverpool have failed to score a single goal in five and a half hours of football in major finals this term.

Having threatened a quadruple after embarking on a brilliant four-front trophy hunt this season, Liverpool only have the domestic cups to show for their efforts after also missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Robertson said the Liverpool dressing room was a sombre place following the narrow reverse, admitting his side had not reached their highest level at the Stade de France.

The Scotland international also hailed Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after he put in a remarkable performance to keep out the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

"Obviously it's quiet, devastated – that's what happens when you come to finals and don't win," Robertson said of the atmosphere among the Liverpool ranks.

"We had chances, we came up against an unbelievable goalie tonight, he pulled off some unbelievable saves. But if we're being honest as well, I think we could have played a bit better, especially in the second half. 

"I thought first half we played well, we were in control, we were the ones pushing. Second half, we didn't start great, they started getting a hold of the game a bit more. 

"When you come up against an experienced team, they know how to win finals. Once they got their noses in front, they showed that."

Liverpool dominated for long periods in the French capital, attempting 24 shots across the contest.

That tally is the most a team have mustered without scoring in a Champions League final since records began (in 2003-04), and Liverpool were punished for their failure to break the deadlock when Vinicius turned home from Federico Valverde's cross.

Robertson was left to rue Madrid's counter-attacking excellence after the loss, also praising the LaLiga champions for their ability to see out the lead.

"We're a pressing team, we try to press from the front, and it's worked so much for us this season," he added. 

"We were trying to win the ball high up, and obviously they've ended up breaking, and then we've been caught at the back post, and next minute it's in the back of your net. That's football for you, and you have to deal with that. 

"Obviously it's hard to get back into the game when you're playing against a very experienced team in these finals, they know exactly how to see out a game. 

"We had our chances, but it just wasn't meant to be."

Liverpool were denied the Premier League title and an unprecedented quadruple on the final day of the season, despite coming from behind to beat Wolves 3-1 at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's men trailed to an early Pedro Neto goal, before Sadio Mane equalised, with Mohamed Salah and Andrew Robertson belatedly scoring to seal three points.

With Manchester City trailing Aston Villa 2-0 while Wolves were holding Liverpool, there was hope among the home fans, but that was soon extinguished as Pep Guardiola's City came back to win 3-2 and clinch the title.

This was a disappointing blow for the Reds, although they can still win their third trophy of the season on Saturday when they face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris.

Andrew Robertson has described Liverpool team-mate Luis Diaz as "special" after the Colombian helped fire the Reds into the Champions League final.

Diaz arrived at Anfield in January after completing a move from Porto worth a reported initial fee of £37.5million (€45m), with a further £12.5m (€15m) in add-ons, and he has played a key role in Liverpool's pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple.

Despite holding a 2-0 advantage heading into the Champions League semi-final second leg against Villarreal, an out of sorts Liverpool found themselves 2-0 down and level for the tie at half-time in El Madrigal on Tuesday.

However, Diaz was introduced by Jurgen Klopp at the break and his presence immediately raised the levels of his team, who came back to win 3-2 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate, with the Colombian finding the net himself with a header.

Speaking to Liverpool's official website, Scotland captain Robertson was quick to praise the 25-year-old and the quick transition he has made to his new home.

"He has been special," the left-back said of Diaz.

"We have tried to help him as much as we can – all of the players. We know how difficult it is coming into the club in January. We've tried with the coaches and everyone else to get him up to speed.

"He is a special, special player. With the talent he has and the will to win, he just fits us perfectly."

Diaz has five goals and three assists from 21 appearances in all competitions for the Reds so far (13 starts), and he has averaged more dribbles attempted per 90 minutes (5.16) and has a higher successful dribble percentage (61.64) than any other Liverpool forward this season.

It was a game of two halves in Spain, with Liverpool managing just two shots in the first half prior to Diaz's introduction for Diogo Jota, before having 13 attempts in the second half as they turned things around.

"It was tough to take Jots off and I think he has been excellent this season, but Luis came on and made a big difference," Robertson added. "He played on the left, he started pushing them back, started taking the ball, dribbling and everything, it was a really good half from him.

"He has been special since the day he came in, it's a pleasure to play with him and hopefully he'll only get better as well with a full pre-season and things like that.

"I believe he will get better, which is scary, but what he is producing here and now is pretty special as well."

Liverpool's appearance in the final in Paris later this month will be their third in five years, and Robertson acknowledged how tough it is to reach the showpiece event of Europe's premier club competition, which the club has won on six occasions.

"Unbelievable," he said of the achievement. "An incredibly tough tie, it's never easy, but to be in a final is never, never easy no matter what competition you are in.

"To make it the third in the space of five years is incredible from this group of boys, for us as players and fans, and everyone alike, [we] should never ever take this for granted.

"We just enjoy getting to the final. It's so hard to get to Champions League finals, especially the amount of good teams in this competition. To get to the final is an incredible feeling. It's going to be a special occasion and we are looking forward to it.

"We've got a lot of games between now and the end of the season, but our season has been extended for the right reasons and we are so happy about it. We can't wait to try to go and compete and try to make it number seven."

The Premier League's longest-serving manager is to remain in his post until 2026 after agreeing a two-year contract extension to his deal at Anfield.

Having already led the Reds to their first ever Premier League title, ending a 30-year wait for top-flight glory, and a sixth European crown since arriving in England in 2015, Klopp is looking to become the first boss to win a historic quadruple in another fine campaign.

Liverpool finished eighth when Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers during the 2015-16 season but the German's canny recruiting has helped restore the club to one of the game's global powerhouses.

And Stats Perform has used Opta data to run through the club's best signings of the Klopp era.

Sadio Mane

Having led the Reds to EFL Cup and Europa League finals after inheriting a squad built by predecessor Brendan Rodgers, Klopp went about remodelling his team in 2016, with then-Southampton forward Mane representing the biggest arrival ahead of his first full campaign at the helm.

Mane registered 13 goals and seven assists in his debut season, with only Phillipe Coutinho managing more goal contributions for the Reds (14 goals and nine assists). The Senegal forward managed his best campaign to date when scoring 26 goals in all competitions two years later, also winning a vital penalty in the opening stages of their Champions League final win over Spurs.

Including this season, Mane has hit 20 goals in four of his last five campaigns at Anfield, more than paying back his £30million price tag.

Mohamed Salah

If Mane's arrival was a success, where do you start with the debut campaign of Salah, who joined Mane and Roberto Firmino to form a fearsome Reds front three in 2017?

In all competitions, Salah scored an unbelievable 43 goals and registered 14 assists during his first season with the club as Liverpool finished as Champions League runners-up. Salah has hit 117 goals in 176 Premier League appearances for the Reds, has scored in a Champions League final victory and won two Premier League golden boots to date, with another extremely likely to follow this term.

Not bad for a player Chelsea let go for a reported £13.5million back in 2016…

Virgil van Dijk

While Salah and Mane have arguably provided the most magical moments for Klopp's Liverpool, would any of their incredible successes have been possible without the acquisition of Van Dijk in January 2018?

With former club Southampton receiving a reported £75million for his services, Van Dijk certainly did not come cheap, but it could be argued no other player can rival his impact at Anfield. Having conceded 38 league goals in 2017-18, Liverpool shipped just 22 in Van Dijk's first full season with the club as they were crowned European champions and narrowly missed out on the Premier League title.

Indeed, after racking up 97 points that season, Liverpool earned 99 when winning their first Premier League title in 2019-20, 30 more than they earned in the 2020-21 campaign when Van Dijk was sidelined by an ACL injury.

Allison 

The 2018 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid was a turning point for Klopp's Liverpool. The heavy metal football that propelled Klopp to stardom had gotten the Reds so far, but Loris Karius' costly errors demonstrated their need for a safer pair of hands.

For all that Van Dijk's brilliance contributed to Liverpool's incredible defensive record in 2018-19, Allison's arrival must also be credited after he kept 21 clean sheets and recorded a save percentage of 77.08 per cent that term. The Brazilian could yet better those statistics this season, posting 19 Premier League clean sheets to date.

Liverpool's shot-stopper even popped up with a vital goal against West Brom last season to help secure Champions League qualification.

The Hull City left-back, the silky Spaniard and Liverpool's next great attackers: The best of the rest…

Klopp's Liverpool have generally recruited brilliantly since his arrival, and while the aforementioned quartet have arguably had the greatest impact on the team's development, there are numerous others who warrant a mention.

In terms of pure value-for-money, no signing can match the £7million purchase of Andrew Robertson, with only Trent Alexander-Arnold (17) beating the Scot's 15 assists in all competitions this season.

Thiago Alcantara, who arrived from Bayern Munich ahead of lasts season, took a while to convince some doubters, largely owing to the silky midfielder's bad fortune with injuries, but the Barcelona man has been inspirational in recent weeks and no regular Reds midfielder can match his passing accuracy of 89.56 per cent this term (all competitions).

If Liverpool could be said to have had one weakness in recent seasons, meanwhile, it was a lack of reliable back-ups for Salah and Mane.

However, the form of Diogo Jota and January arrival Luis Diaz has been crucial to Liverpool's quadruple bid. With Jota averaging a goal every 134.6 minutes in the Premier League this term, and Diaz recording five goal contributions (three goals, two assists) in just seven league starts, the duo could be crucial in Klopp's next cycle.

Liverpool left back Andrew Robertson said he and his team-mates are "enjoying" their hectic schedule as they earned a 2-0 first leg lead in their Champions League semi-final against Villarreal.

An own goal and a Sadio Mane strike, both early in the second half, was enough for Jurgen Klopp's men to secure a decent cushion ahead of next Tuesday's second leg in Spain.

Villarreal frustrated Liverpool at Anfield in the first half, but were unable to stop them from winning their ninth Champions League match of the season, the most games the Reds have ever won in a single campaign in European competition (excluding qualifiers).

Speaking to BT Sport after the win, captain Jordan Henderson praised the visitors, and said staying "positive" was key for Liverpool.

"Yeah, very organised team," Henderson said about Unai Emery's side. "We knew they'd make it difficult, but it was important that we just kept going, stay positive and we had the confidence that if we did that, kept moving the ball quickly, we'd eventually break them down, and we did that with two good goals."

It was Henderson's cross that deflected in off Pervis Estupinan to finally break the deadlock, and when told it had deflected, the England international jokingly replied: "Did it? I thought it went straight in!

"Yeah a little bit lucky, but it was good play, good build up... But, you need a little bit of luck against teams with a low block. We got that with the first and thankfully we got another one."

Liverpool had 19 shots to Villarreal's one on a dominant night for the Reds. The Yellow Submarine's one shot, which missed the target, is the joint-fewest by any side in a Champions League semi-final according to Opta since this data has been available (2003-04), along with Inter v Barcelona in 2009-10.

Robertson was also asked by BT Sport about the game, and he was keen to point out that the players are enjoying themselves, with an unprecedented quadruple of the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup still possible.

"We had quite a few chances in the first half, just trying to break them down and keep doing what we were doing," the Scotland captain said. "The first goal always kind of does that [gives you a boost], we then had a bit of momentum. The noise in here was incredible after the first goal and that kind of took us to the second one.

"We'd have liked to add maybe one more, it wasn't meant to be but a clean sheet and two goals? We can't argue with that.

"You have to [work hard], it's the semi-final of the Champions League. If you can't run about for 90 minutes in this kind of game then when will you?

"Our intensity's been really high the last couple of games, we've had a real hectic schedule and we're enjoying it. I think you seen that today.

"There's still a lot of work to do in this tie, but we're happy with our work tonight."

Also asked about not getting frustrated by a stubborn Villarreal defence, Robertson added: "That was the message from Hendo at half-time, just saying we were playing well first half, probably some of the best we've played and we didn't get a goal for it, but we kept going, kept trying to be patient and luckily with a big deflection (smiling at Henderson), we managed to get the breakthrough."

Andrew Robertson laughed off having lighters thrown at him during Liverpool's win over Benfica, quipping "maybe it will help them stop smoking".

Liverpool won 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Lisbon on Wednesday, thanks to goals from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz.

However, late in the match, Robertson had objects, including lighters, directed his way from the stands while he lined up to take a corner.

Robertson took the incident in his stride, though insisted such examples of abuse must not be tolerated.

"I had quite a few lighters thrown at me – maybe it will help them stop smoking," the Scotland international joked in an interview with BT Sport.

"You've got to take the positives. We've seen it a lot, people getting hit, luckily they were all quite close to me but they didn't hit me.

"It's tough when it's late in the game and the fans are frustrated but you should not throw stuff onto the pitch. It could hurt people.

"I was just trying to take the corner and get out of there as quick as possible."

Robertson certainly had the last laugh, with Liverpool able to take a comfortable lead back to Anfield for the second leg.

The left-back was typically crucial to the Reds' attacking play, creating a joint game-high three chances, along with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, including an assist for Konate's opener.

His nine crosses also led the way in the match, with six of those coming from open play.

Liverpool have now won each of their last eight away games in all competitions, their longest ever such winning run in the club's history.

Given Liverpool have also progressed from 12 of their previous 13 Champions League knockout ties when winning the first leg, Jurgen Klopp's team look good to go on and reach the final four.

Chelsea once again downed Tottenham at Stamford Bridge in the headline clash of the weekend's Premier League fixtures.

Fellow title hopefuls Liverpool, who still have a game in hand, closed the gap on leaders Manchester City to nine points with victory over Crystal Palace in south London.

Staying in the capital, Arsenal were held to a goalless draw by lowly Burnley as they lost ground in the race for the top four, while Leicester City shared the points with Brighton and Hove Albion.

With the action all over for a couple of weeks, Stats Perform unpacks the pick of the data from Sunday's fixtures.

Crystal Palace 1-3 Liverpool: Reds down Eagles again as Robertson delivers

Liverpool reduced Manchester City's advantage at the top to nine points after a 3-1 victory over Palace, who have lost each of their last 10 league meetings with the Reds.

Virgil van Dijk placed Jurgen Klopp's side in control after just eight minutes at Selhurst Park with his 10th headed goal in the competition – only Sami Hyypia (17) has scored more headers for the Reds in the Premier League.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added a second after the half-hour mark as he scored in back-to-back top-flight matches for the first time since February 2020.

Both of those goals were created by Andrew Robertson, who now sits joint-second with team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold (both 43) for the most assists in the league since the start of the 2017-18 season, with only Kevin De Bruyne boasting more (52).

Odsonne Edouard halved the deficit in the second half, but Fabinho secured three points with Liverpool's 169th Premier League spot-kick – the joint-most awarded to a team in the competition's history along with Manchester United.

Arsenal 0-0 Burnley: Gunners fail to fire against Clarets

Arsenal have failed to win any of their opening five games of a calendar year for the first time since 1995 after being held to a 0-0 draw by Burnley.

Nick Pope was in excellent form, while Alexandre Lacazette spurned a glorious open-goal opportunity, as the Clarets conceded 20 shots – the most they have faced in the Premier League without conceding since May 2021 (21 versus Fulham).

Lacazette's profligacy meant the Gunners have failed to score in four consecutive matches across all competitions for the first time since December 2005.

Arsenal will be desperate to improve upon their torrid run of form to challenge for the top four, with this stalemate being the first time the Gunners have failed to beat the team starting the day bottom of the table at home for the first time since October 2008.

Leicester City 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Foxes tamed by away specialists

Leicester remained unbeaten at home to Brighton in the Premier League, though Brendan Rodgers may feel they should have claimed victory after a 1-1 draw.

Patson Daka broke the deadlock as he became just the second Foxes player to score in each of his first three home starts in the competition, after Leonardo Ulloa in the 2014-15 season.

The Zambia striker found the net just 26 seconds after the interval, the quickest goal scored in the second half of a top-flight game since February 2020.

However, Danny Welbeck levelled things up as he scored his fourth goal against Leicester in the Premier League, only bettering that haul in games with Aston Villa (five).

Neither side could find a late winner, ensuring the Foxes remain unbeaten at home to the Seagulls in the top flight since December 1980, while Graham Potter's side have only lost one of their last 11 away leagues games – a joint-low with Manchester City.

Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham: Blues make London derby history  

Chelsea registered their fourth win in all competitions this season – and third in January alone – over London rivals Tottenham with a 2-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge.

Harry Kane thought he had struck first before the break but a slight push on Thiago Silva saw his finish ruled out before Hakim Ziyech expertly curled in his fifth league goal for Chelsea – all five of those having come at different venues.

Silva added a second soon after as he became the oldest player (37 years, 123 days) to score in the Premier League since February 2013 to condemn Antonio Conte to his first top-flight defeat as Spurs head coach.

The defender's header was set up by a free-kick from Mason Mount, who provided his 20th assist since the start of the 2019-20 campaign – the most by any Chelsea player across all competitions in that period.

Spurs were unable to breach the Blues' goal, meaning they have now gone six matches across all competitions since last scoring against Chelsea, who became the first side to collect 500 points in Premier League London derby matches (501 points from 272 derbies).

Harry Kane has no doubts his tackle on Andrew Robertson during Sunday's clash between Tottenham and Liverpool was not worthy of a red card.

Kane opened the scoring 13 minutes into an enthralling encounter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with the points ultimately shared in a 2-2 draw.

Diogo Jota and Robertson turned things around in Liverpool's favour, before Alisson's mistake gifted Son Heung-min an equaliser.

Robertson was then sent off for swiping out on Emerson Royal, as Liverpool held on for a draw that at least kept them within a win of leaders Manchester City heading into Christmas.

However, matters might have been different had Kane seen red for a lunge on Robertson midway through the first half.

The England captain missed the ball and caught Robertson's leg, but referee Paul Tierney deemed the challenge worthy of only a booking, while VAR did not intervene.

Asked if he felt he got lucky, Kane told Sky Sports: "No. Definitely not. It was a strong tackle but I thought I won the ball.

"Obviously I haven't seen it back. When you are playing against top sides and fighting for points sometimes there will be strong tackles. They checked it and we move on.

"It didn't feel like it and Andy [Robertson] on the pitch said, 'you just caught my foot'.

"When you slow things down it makes it look a little worse than it is. That's what VAR is there for."

Kane's strike was only his second in the league this season and his first at home since May. Indeed, his last three home top-flight goals have come under different managers: Jose Mourinho, Ryan Mason and Antonio Conte.

The match saw 28 attempts in total – 10 for Tottenham and 18 for Liverpool – with Spurs squandering several golden chances, while the Reds may feel aggrieved by some of the decisions.

"It was a great game to be involved in and am sure it was a great game to watch as well," Kane added.

"There were plenty of chances at both ends. We had some clear chances that we had to do better with to be honest. Overall it was a tough battle against a very good side. We move forward to the next one now.

"When we were 1-0 up we had two clear-cut chances. Sonny tried to take on the keeper and he made a great save from Dele's [Alli]. If we score both of those the game is clear.

"You're playing against a top side and you have to take your chances, and we had more than enough to win the game. Overall I thought it was a great performance.

"It was nice to score, it's been a few games since I scored especially here at home in the Premier League but on another day there's a couple more I could have taken."

Son Heung-min capitalised on Alisson's mistake to salvage a point for Tottenham in an enthralling 2-2 Premier League draw with Liverpool.

Spurs went ahead on Sunday through Harry Kane, who ended a run of 788 minutes without a league goal at home, but Diogo Jota levelled before half-time.

Andy Robertson nodded Liverpool ahead after Spurs had wasted good chances for a second, but when Alisson came off his line and failed to clear the ball, Son was gifted an easy equaliser.

Robertson saw red for a swipe on Emerson Royal, but Jurgen Klopp's men held out for a share of the spoils.

Spurs moved ahead 13 minutes in thanks to Kane's second league goal of the season, the England captain slotting first time past Alisson from Tanguy Ndombele's throughball.

Kane was arguably fortunate not to receive stronger punishment than a booking for a late lunge on Robertson shortly after setting up a chance for Son.

Hugo Lloris denied Trent Alexander-Arnold before Dele Alli missed a golden chance, Alisson getting a fingertip to his effort after Son teed him up in front of goal.

Liverpool levelled five minutes later – Robertson pouncing on a loose ball and clipping a cross to Jota, who headed powerfully past Lloris.

Spurs started the second half strongly and twice missed clear chances through Kane, while Alli wanted a penalty after going to ground under pressure from Alexander-Arnold.

It was the Liverpool right-back's volleyed cross that was headed in by Robertson moments later to give the Reds the lead, despite Spurs protests over a possible Mohamed Salah handball.

But the previously brilliant Alisson gifted Spurs their equaliser: he made a mess of intercepting Ben Davies' pass, presenting Son with an open goal.

Robertson's lunge on Emerson being deemed worthy of a straight red after a VAR check then proved the final twist in an exhilarating contest.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is fit and raring to go as Liverpool prepare for their Premier League opener against Norwich City on Saturday.

The right-back, who signed a new long-term contract at Anfield in July, suffered a thigh injury in June, forcing him to pull out of England's Euro 2020 squad.

Alexander-Arnold has been eased back into pre-season action and finally completed a full 90-minute outing in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.

"Yes, definitely," the 22-year-old responded when asked if he was 100 per cent ready. "I’ve started pre-season quite well, in training I've been putting the work in, got the all-clear from the medical staff early doors in pre-season and have been able to push on, get fit and get the full 90 under my belt today.

"I think we've timed it well and it gives us a good couple of days to recover and then go on to Norwich next week."

Jurgen Klopp provided Alexander-Arnold his opportunity down the right flank and the wing-back has appeared in over 40 games a season for the last three campaigns – in which time the Reds have won the Champions League and the Premier League.

Since the start of 2018-19, no Liverpool player has created more chances than Alexander Arnold's 212, while he also leads the assist charts with 32 in that period.

Despite failing to recreate his best form from the 2019-20 season which saw him net four times and provided 13 assists, Alexander-Arnold still managed 34 starts and two goals last campaign but was part of a defence hampered by the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez as Liverpool failed to retain their top-flight crown.

But Klopp has potential problems ahead of the Norwich opener on the other flank, with Andrew Robertson sustaining a suspected ankle injury in Sunday's outing against Bilbao.

"No, I haven't seen him, to be fair, but I think you know it’s going to be quite bad if Robbo has to come off," Alexander-Arnold said after being asked if he had spoken to his full-back partner.

"It's not something that he normally does so it’s disappointing to see, but I’m sure he will bounce back as soon as he can."

With or without Robertson, after a taste of the Anfield crowd returning for the Bilbao friendly, Alexander-Arnold is excited to perform in front of them during the 2021-22 term.

"This is the moment we’ve been waiting for," he added on seeing a near-full Anfield. "Obviously last season it was very quiet in here but to have the fans back today was special for us all. We've all been waiting for this moment."

Andy Robertson believes Liverpool need to cope better with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric if they are to stand any chance of overturning their 3-1 Champions League quarter-final deficit to Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Liverpool were considered fortunate to avoid suffering a worse defeat at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano last week, as Madrid appeared the far more accomplished of the two teams.

Kroos completed more passes (68) than anyone else on the pitch, though Liverpool enjoyed a slightly larger share of the ball (54.4 per cent). Despite this, Jurgen Klopp's men managed just one shot on target to Madrid's seven.

The issue, seemingly, was that Madrid used the ball better and focused much of their play down the left, with Vinicius Junior operating in the spaces vacated by Trent Alexander-Arnold. In fact, 44.3 per cent of their forays forward came down that side of the pitch.

Kroos was deployed on the left of Madrid's midfield three, allowing him to work closer to the area Los Blancos appeared to target – as such, the fact his four key passes was double the amount of anyone else on the field proves Zinedine Zidane's set-up worked like a charm.

Robertson, though, is convinced Liverpool could have done more without the ball, a suggestion supported by Fabinho being the only one of the Reds' four central midfielders involved (Naby Keita, Thiago Alcantara and Georginio Wijnaldum the others) to make more than one tackle (three).

"Real Madrid are one of the best at controlling games. When they're in winning positions, they've got the likes of [Luka] Modric and Kroos that can just stand on the ball for what feels like 10 minutes and you can't get it off them," Robertson told Liverpool's official website.

"But we need to put these players under pressure, we need to put them all under pressure, we need to make their life a bit more uncomfortable than we did last week. It felt as if we gave all of them too much time on the ball, really, so we need to make it uncomfortable for them.

"If we lose the ball, we need to get it back quickly and our pressing game needs to be top level, and that's the basis for all our good games. When you look at all the big games we've played and all the good games we've played, it's been down to the pressing being so good. So, we need to try to create that.

"It doesn't just happen, we need to make it happen. We need the hard work and we need everyone willing to do it. The lads are always willing to do it, so I've got no doubt about that, but it's just about us trying to get close to the ball.

"We know that when we've got it we can hurt teams, but when we don't have it we need to get it back quickly and we need to close the spaces, which we probably weren't good enough at last week. We can learn our lesson from that and hopefully we can put in a better performance."

Despite their injuries and subsequent frequent personnel changes, Liverpool have continued to be effective with their pressing this season, with their PPDA (opposition passes allowed per defensive action) of 10.6 slightly higher than the 10.3 they managed last term in the Premier League.

Only Chelsea (10) and Leeds United (9.2) have better such numbers than the Reds domestically, yet against Madrid their PPDA dropped significantly to 14.8, suggesting they were guilty of perhaps showing Zidane's men too much respect.

Manchester United's opening-day 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace was a chastening reminder of the team's frailties, but there was a somewhat surprising voice behind the subsequent call-to-action for the club's hierarchy.

Luke Shaw provided undoubtedly the most honest assessment of the situation among United players, this from a player who had rarely come across as a natural leader during his time at the club.

"We have a very good group, but personally I think we need more players to strengthen the squad," he told Norway's TV2. "It can give us a boost. When you look around at how other teams are strengthening their teams, then we must also do it to keep up with the others."

Perhaps the fact he wasn't speaking to a British outlet resulted in a more relaxed, open response from Shaw, who then also went on to criticise their pre-season.

But it was a new, authoritative look for a player who has always seemingly preferred to keep away from the media spotlight, and few United fans would have disagreed with him.

What happened next, however, he probably didn't expect – among the four players signed on deadline day in October was a new left-back, a Brazil international with the kind of attack-minded profile many had hoped Shaw would develop at United.

While Shaw definitely showed signs of progress in 2019-20, Alex Telles' arrival was the clearest sign that his position was no longer assured – he needed to respond.

 

A SHAW THING

The fact Telles has made just six Premier League starts in his debut season at Old Trafford is as good a starting point as any when highlighting Shaw's improved standing, and in fairness to the new signing, he's hardly put a foot wrong.

Telles has looked a solid acquisition and certainly fits the bill as a forward-thinking full-back who is also capable defensively, but Shaw has reached a level he has arguably never shown before in his career.

As an attacking outlet, Shaw's output has improved almost across the board, as such he has made himself almost undroppable.

 

His five assists is already a personal high for a Premier League season, having only managed seven in total before 2020-21, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. He is creating 2.3 chances per 90 minutes, which is up from one last term and well clear of his previous best of 1.2 each game for an entire campaign.

Undoubtedly one reason for that is the fact he is taking more set-pieces, yet his average of 1.4 open play chances created per 90 minutes remains a frequency he has never matched before over the course of a season, proving his increased familiarity with dead-ball duties isn't skewing the data.

A quick glance at his average position activity maps shows his involvement in the left-hand channel of the attacking third is up on each of the past two seasons, as well as his final year with Southampton.

 

This shows Shaw is embracing greater attacking responsibility, and where that is reflected most is the number of passes (including crosses) he is playing into the box each game (7.4). His last season with Saints had been his best in this regard (4.4), yet he's way up on that, and his productivity here is more than two-and-a-half times what it was in 2019-20 (2.9).

Shaw's early days with Southampton appeared to promise much. Finally, he appears to be back on track, not that it's been smooth sailing.

 

COPING, OUTLASTING, PROGRESSING

Shaw's relationship with Jose Mourinho became something of a distraction at times during the Portuguese's ill-fated reign.

Granted, Shaw wasn't the only player Mourinho seemed to have a problem with, but his treatment of Shaw in particular did leave a sour taste.

In two-and-a-half years playing for Mourinho, Shaw only made 33 Premier League appearances. While he did have injury and fitness problems, the manager's attitude seemingly did little to endear himself to the player.

Mourinho publicly criticised him after a 2016 defeat to Watford, saying: "For the second goal, [Nordin] Amrabat on the right side, our left-back is 25 metres distance from him, instead of five metres. But even at 25 metres, then you have to jump and go press. But no, we wait."

Mourinho then used Shaw's positive performance against Everton in 2017 against him. He said: "He had a good performance, but it was his body with my brain. He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him."

This isn't to say Shaw has been faultless this season. In fact, his defensive focus has been questionable at times in 2020-21, such as against Tottenham and Manchester City, for example.

But it's fair to say the greater attacking impetus he is showing this term compared to under Mourinho means he is more than making up for the occasional defensive lapse, and it's not like he's being beaten time after time – on average Shaw is dribbled past once every two games, the second lowest frequency for a single season in his entire career.

The difference? Well, according to the man himself, belief and competition.

"I feel really good, obviously big credit to Ole for that for believing in me and pushing me," Shaw said last month. "Alex [Telles] as well, we have a great relationship and he pushes me each day in training. We get on really well. It's nice to have that type of competition, but we push each other to get the best from ourselves. When he plays, I want the best for him, and it's the same the other way round. It's a positive way for both of us to look at it and push each other."

 

THE BEST?

There was a time – not even that long ago – when the very suggestion of Shaw being among the Premier League's best full-backs would have drawn a chuckle of derision in response.

Granted, across the four seasons prior to 2020-21, Shaw's best record of open play chances created per 90 minutes was 0.2, but there can be no doubt he is now at least in the conversation.

 

Liverpool's Andy Robertson is generally seen as the standard-bearer for left-backs in England's top flight, and Shaw compares well from an attacking sense with the Scotland international.

Shaw's 40 chances created this term is one more than Robertson, while the latter is just ahead in terms of key passes in open play (29 to 24) – though the United man has made 20 appearances to his rival's 24.

Robertson is proving a more regular source of service, with his 213 passes into the box and 201 total crosses/corners far more than Shaw's respective numbers (129 and 105), but the United left-back's deliveries are far more reliable.

Shaw's 37 successful crosses/corners is just five fewer than Robertson despite playing almost half the amount of overall deliveries.

But what really highlights Shaw's growth is his xA (expected assists) figures. His xA per 90, so the amount of assists he would ordinarily be expected to get per game, is 0.21 in 2020-21. Not only is that better than his previous best by some distance (0.12), Joao Cancelo (0.24) is the only full-back doing better here this term.

 

Shaw has made himself almost indispensable to United, his influence all the more important given Aaron Wan-Bissaka isn't particularly refined as an attacking outlet and they very rarely play with conventional wingers on either flank.

Therefore, Shaw offers the kind of threat from the wings that arguably no one else in the United squad does – and as his xA record shows, he is proving a consistent danger that marks him out as one of the league's best.

After being plagued by questions relating to his mentality for years, it's fair to say he is responding in the ideal fashion, with Telles' signing seemingly an important catalyst.

While it might be a little early to declare him outright the Premier League's best, his current trajectory at least shows that to be a realistic aim.

Andy Robertson said Liverpool are not in the Premier League title race "at this moment" after they suffered a surprise 1-0 home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Steven Alzate's first Premier League goal in the second half further eased the in-form Seagulls' relegation fears on Wednesday.

Brighton's first win over Liverpool since January 1984 left the champions seven points behind leaders Manchester City, who also have a game in hand ahead of their trip to Anfield on Sunday.

The lacklustre Reds had only one shot on target and have failed to score in three consecutive home league games for the first time since October 1984, when Joe Fagan was in charge.

Jurgen Klopp's side have also suffered back-to-back home defeats, having also been beaten 1-0 by Burnley, after going 68 unbeaten at Anfield in the Premier League.

Left-back Robertson admitted well-drilled Brighton deserved all three points and knows Liverpool must respond when they face City this weekend.

He told BT Sport: "The better team won. Brighton were better at pretty much everything. They pressed us, won the ball back and created chances.

"First half was okay, it was a nothing game and you got the sense that one goal was going to be enough to win it. In the last three games at home we have been really disappointing and we have to get back to it, we are a long way off it.

"Brighton played four centre-backs and they were all outstanding but we have been disappointing. We are not finding the way to win."

Robertson added: "We were hugely disappointing all over the park. You have to give the team credit for playing well. They created chances, pressed us – did everything we wanted to do.

“We didn't really do anything of note. With a long record of going unbeaten we've lost two. When you don't show up you don't get results.

"We prepare for every game different. It's just not clicking. We need to find a way to get results, especially at home. You can do everything in training.

"Any game against Man City is a big one. At this moment, we're not in the title race. We are seven points behind them and they have a game in hand.

"I'm sure they'd say the same if they were potentially 10 points behind. We need to get back to the Liverpool everyone knows. We're still a good team. We don't turn into a bad team overnight."

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