James Milner: Liverpool must be 'more boring' when leading
James Milner believes Liverpool need to become a bit "more boring" after they shared the spoils from a 3-3 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
The Reds were 2-0 up through goals from Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah before three quickfire strikes in the second half from Alexis Sanchez, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil put the home side ahead only for Roberto Firmino to earn the visitors a draw.
"I think when you're in a position like that, at this level, you've got to see game out and we've got to become boring," Milner, who replaced Jordan Henderson in the 11th minute, told Sky Sports after the final whistle.
"Obviously, we were very good going forward, but there are just times in the game when you've got to tighten up and not make mistakes for five minutes.
"All the goals were our fault really and that's something we have to learn from. We need to do it quick because it seems to be a theme 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 and sense the situations when it is time to take it easy, play a bit tighter and keep the ball a bit longer -- rather than trying to break every time. Against good teams at this level, you get punished and it happened today."
Simon Mignolet will draw the attention for his lacklustre effort that allowed Xhaka's shot from distance to find the net, but Liverpool defender Andy Robertson said his side should not have conceded any of Arsenal's three goals.
There were mistakes but the tempo it was played at, the boys are still trying to get breath back," he said. "You're most vulnerable when you score and that happened to us. They had an extra yard and we made mistakes. We got our composure back a little too late.
"First half we dominated. We have just had a lapse of concentration and it has cost us two points. All three goals were avoidable. We need to get these mistakes out of our game."
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told Sky that "three goals at Arsenal should be enough" but he refused to blow Mignolet's gaffe out of proportion.
"He misjudged it," the coach said of his goalkeeper. "A second hand would have helped but that is how it is. You don't need to make it bigger than it is. It felt like we shouldn't have conceded but we did.
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere said his side had been too cautious in the first half.
He said: "We didn't do ourselves justice in the first half. We were scared to play our game. We allowed them to take the game to us.
"[In the second half] we were much better, we were on the front foot. We will be disappointed not to win the game."
Arsene Wenger criticised his Arsenal players for their display in the first half but praised the character they showed to come back after the break.
The Gunners manager said: "In the first half we were paralysed and frozen. We played too deep. We gave too many balls away and looked second best everywhere. In the second half we have shown quality, character and played at our level."
He added to the BBC that his players should have been better prepared for Liverpool's attack from the start.
"It was a thrilling game. I am frustrated at not winning but that is the type of game you want in the Premier League," he said. "The good thing is that overall we did not give up. The spirit is fantastic. On that front I am proud of the players. It shows a strong mentality. We have the capacity to respond.
"What you want is for the team to realise that we have to start from the first minute. They knew that Liverpool had pace up front and maybe when you prepare for a game you want players to be ready but you make the opponent too big in the heads of your players.
"More for people who love football, let's give credit to the creative force. If you have no shots on goal the defences look good but that is not what people want to see."