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Robertson: Watford's Hughes should have been booked for diving

17:00 WAT 25/11/2018
Andy Robertson, Liverpool
The Liverpool defender believes Jon Moss got penalty decision spot on as Reds beat Watford at Vicarage Road

Andy Robertson believes Will Hughes should have been booked for diving during Watford’s defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.

The Reds eventually ran out comfortable 3-0 winners at Vicarage Road but only after a testing first hour in which the Hornets provided a stiff test for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

There was a contentious incident early in the second half when, with the game goalless, Hughes went down in the penalty area under a challenge from Robertson. Referee Jon Moss, to the disgust of Hughes and the home supporters, waved away the appeals.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Robertson insisted he never made contact with the Watford man, and believes the only mistake the referee made was in not issuing Hughes with a yellow card.

Asked if it was a penalty, the Reds defender said: “No, I've watched it back and I still don't think I made contact with him. I think he was looking for it.

“He went down quite easily and I don't know why the referee didn't book him having not given the penalty.

“I've seen them given but I've not touched him. It would have been very harsh and I think the referee made the right call.

“A lot of players try to buy penalties and sometimes defenders can't do a lot about it. But I played on and tried to get the ball straightaway because in my eyes it wasn't a penalty.

“My conscience was clear. The only thing I would say is that he probably should have booked him.”

That scare was pretty much the last Liverpool suffered as goals from Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino gave them their 10th win from 13 league games this season. Klopp’s side remain two points behind leaders Manchester City, and in keeping a clean sheet have now made their best ever start to a league campaign defensively, with just five goals conceded so far.

“We defend as a team, but yeah that stat is special for the defence,” Robertson said. “But we need to use it and keep building on it. There's not much point breaking records if in the end it doesn't mean anything.

“We haven't achieved anything yet this season but we're doing well. We're keeping more clean sheets and looking solid at the back and we're still scoring goals.

“It's a long season and we need to keep it going. We need to keep that defensive form up because keeping clean sheets is half the battle.”

The battle, of course, is made all the more challenging by the form of Manchester City, who were thrashing West Ham 4-0 at the London Stadium while Liverpool were seeing off Watford.

Pep Guardiola’s side, the reigning champions, look in ominous form, but Robertson says Liverpool are paying little attention right now.

“It doesn't take the edge off anything,” he said. “The only Man City result we can control is when we play them, we can't control anything else.

“As long as we keep winning, you could ask the same thing to them. Of course they are two points clear but they want us off their tails.

“We can only focus on what we're doing. If you take one eye off it and think about who Man City are playing then we might slip up. As long as we keep winning games, we'll be in the hunt for it. Let's just see where it takes us.”

The big games just keep on coming for Klopp’s side, with a Merseyside derby against Everton next weekend.

Before that, of course, there is the small matter of a trip to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.

“If we go there and win then we know that's likely to be us qualified,” Robertson said. “That's been the aim since the start of the campaign and we need to achieve that against either PSG or Napoli.

“It's another big game and I'm sure we'll all be ready to go. It's all about recovering properly and being ready for the challenge ahead because there's no doubt that they're a world class team.”

“It's about dealing with their threats but also posing our own in the game.”

As for Robertson, he has managed to continue his form from last season. The Scotland captain has started all-but-one of his side’s 13 league games and is establishing himself as one of Europe’s most consistent left-backs.

“Last season when I first came in, rightly or wrongly, nobody expected anything, apart from the manager and the players around me,” he said.

“But I knew this season there would be more expectation on me after a good second half to last season. Over the summer those were the questions I was asking myself: 'Can I do it? Can I keep it going?'

“I am really happy with how I've started the season but I need to keep it going. Playing in this team makes it easy. I set myself high standards and when I drop below them I'm not happy about it. I've done that a few times this season but I am playing with real confidence just now and long may that continue.”