Liverpool 1-2 Leeds United: Jürgen Klopp's reaction
Read Jürgen Klopp's reaction to Liverpool's 2-1 defeat by Leeds United at Anfield now.
The visitors took an early lead through Rodrigo Moreno but Mohamed Salah equalised quickly for the Reds.
However, Crysencio Summerville poked home an 89th-minute winner to end Klopp’s team’s unbeaten home run in the Premier League at 29 matches.
Read a transcript of the manager’s post-match press conference below.
On his reaction to the performance and result...
[It was a] good start in the game, I liked it, [we] played like we should have, high energetic, and then we concede an early, freakish goal - nearly an own-goal. Not helpful, for sure not, but we could equalise off the set-piece and then a normal first half, I would say, with moments, good moments, where we were a bit unlucky, put them under pressure, had a lot of set-pieces I think, corners. [At] half-time, telling the boys again where are the areas where we can cause them more problems, how we can adapt positioning-wise because obviously in the centre they were very compact and the wings were the 'weak part', let me say it like this. That's where we created in the first half and where we should have created in the second. We put them under pressure, we did that, not free-flowing football but the boys really tried. We had two big chances which we didn’t use so that means the game is still open and then we concede a second goal in the situation where it is obvious you cannot defend it like that. That’s clear. We have a two-v-one situation on the wing but no challenge, I think for a second it's even a three-v-one but nobody has a challenge, they pass the ball through and we are outnumbered then but in the end all of a sudden it's a two-v-one in the box and then the ball is in the goal and Leeds win the game. That’s it, pretty much.
On Liverpool finding it difficult to control games...
In moments it is absolutely difficult [to control the game], you can see that. The boys really want, so that means we speed up. An example is Robbo: Robbo is outside, bam, goes inside but [has] no option to play, really. Then you lose the ball twice in a challenge and then it is a counter-attack in the other direction. How often do we have these situations where Robbo is doing exactly that and has different options, can pass the ball wide or inside and all these kind of things? In the moments, I am not sure if there was anybody. So, in the moments, for example, we just showed we really want but we have to play then smarter in moments against a compact formation, which Leeds obviously had. You need to be calm in moments as well, I know that sounds really ridiculous when you want to score goals but it is like this in football, you have to change the rhythm. In these moments, where we should control it, we should let them run, we don't do that good enough in the moment. That leads to situations where we lose the ball again, or cannot finish it off, and that means space for a counter-attack or whatever. If it doesn’t feel good, doesn’t look good, and that’s why we cannot get the real momentum in the game. Even when you are dominant and have the ball a lot, it doesn’t feel right and that’s what I wanted to say with that.
On whether he is concerned about the Reds’ chances of finishing in the top four…
Yeah, that’s actually not my main worry in the moment because there are a lot of other worries but yeah, of course. I am at least not that dumb that I don’t know distances and I know who is up there, but you cannot qualify for the Champions League if you play as inconsistent as we do in the moment. So, how I said, we have to fix that and we will see where we end up. We all know that everything is possible, or a lot of things are possible, but for that you have to win football games and we didn’t do that often enough yet.
On the reasons for Liverpool struggling to control matches…
It’s a mix of everything, of course. It is no secret that pretty much everybody on the pitch can play better football, there is no doubt about that. But obviously you have to do the simple stuff right and then you gain confidence, momentum, all these kind of things. That’s how it is and we had that in different games but today we couldn’t gain it, that’s what I mean. I am pretty quick after a game in interview situations and then I say things and then you make… this is now the fifth or sixth or seventh question because I said it once that it’s difficult for us to control the game. No, no, no and now you said it’s ‘impossible’. It’s not always that difficult, it’s not always impossible, but it was tonight for us very difficult and we had other moments where we had the same difficulties.
So, the situation is like it is. There is no excuse for it or whatever but we have the problem from the first day with injuries or half-fit players who are not injured. So that’s what we carry with us in the moment and that’s why some players play too often and other players have to play too early. That’s the situation and the next game is already waiting, and now you might say Naples, it’s a home game, we are already through in the group. I would say it’s Liverpool against Napoli and we should put in a proper performance. At least we need again 11 starters and then a few days later we play away at Tottenham, so that’s our situation. It’s not now for a main overhaul and all these kind of things – no, you have to fight through and you have to fight for momentum, for confidence, for security. All these kind of things you have to fight for and that’s what we do. I would have taken a point tonight - nobody would have been happy about it apart from me - when you see the game, when you concede the first one. Take a point, it’s fine, let’s go from there. My main issue with this game is how we defended the second goal because that was something in between, ‘Oh we have the ball, oh, we don’t have it, we lose it’ but then in the end everybody, until you don’t have the ball, everybody has to defend and we were not all there. There might be an explanation for it which I don’t know yet, but that’s my problem in this moment. But it happened anyway and now we will go again.