Jürgen Klopp felt Liverpool were guilty of 'losing patience' too early when in possession and trying to break down Manchester United at Anfield as the teams played out a goalless draw on Monday night.
The Reds saw much more of the ball than their opponents, but were not able to recreate the kind of forward play that has seen them plunder 26 goals already so far this season.
Nevertheless, only two excellent David de Gea saves in the second half from firstly Emre Can and then Philippe Coutinho prevented the hosts from taking all three points in a hard-fought contest.
Afterwards, Klopp addressed journalists in his post-match press conference and conceded he felt his team needed to use their ball possession much more clinically when on the front foot.
Here’s what he had to say…
On his overall reflections of the game…
The game was, from the first second, very hectic and that was maybe a little bit what United wanted and what we didn’t want, so it was more to their advantage than ours. But that can happen at the start because you don’t always have an influence on the start, but then you have to find a way back to the way you usually want to play.
We lost patience much too early, that was the first problem, and then our passing game was not good anymore. We had 65 per cent possession, but you have to do better things with it when you have the ball. I didn’t expect we would have 10 or 15 chances before the game, but in the first half we could have had - with two better passes - two 100 per cent chances, which we didn’t. Second half, we had them but De Gea was finally warm and made brilliant saves. They had their chance with Ibrahimovic, which he would usually [finish] I would say.
The second half, maybe we would have deserved the win but in the end, the best news tonight is we have one point more and a clean sheet - nothing else. We can do much better, we have to do much better and you have to learn in a game like this - when an opponent creates an atmosphere on the pitch like this, you need to stay cool.
They wanted to chase us in one-on-one situations and then you need calmer movements, going there and then going here and then taking the ball there, and then we only need 50 centimetres or whatever to make an advantage. We had these situations but then even when we had the first and second thirds of the pitch, in the last third we immediately lost patience. It was like ‘now give it to Daniel’ and of course, it was a really difficult game for a striker - the way we played today, it was not easy to enjoy for a striker.
There was one situation in the first half when Phil made a brilliant [run] and then he wanted to pass to Daniel in the box, but Millie was completely free and he could have made a cross from the touchline with three or four players in the box. Situations like this are why I talk about why we could have done better, but in the end there was a really, really good attitude from my side. We worked really hard and tried everything, but with the wrong tools tonight.
On Lallana’s positive impact as a substitute…
He’s a good player, so it was no surprise. But he trained for two days - maybe he could’ve started, I don’t know, he was really close. Thank you to the medical department, the fitness coaches, because they did a great job. After two days training, he could’ve played, but no-one knows for how long. When he came in he was really sharp, greedy, after 12 or 13 days, to feel the ball again.
LFCTV GO: Watch Jürgen Klopp's post-match press conference
On whether the pre-match ‘favourites’ tag affected Liverpool…
No. Maybe it’s very important for the rest of the world what you [the media] write and what everybody is saying, but for us it’s not that important. We are quite often the favourites, we are used to being the favourites, but tonight nobody thought about this. You could see in this game that Man United are physical-wise a little bit stronger than we are.
Everyone who has seen us this season knows we have played better but we couldn’t get rid of the hectic [pattern of play]. That was the problem. You want to use this in your defending and create some situations like this, but when you have the ball you’ve got to calm down immediately. That’s what we didn’t do, so we wasted a lot of energy in the first half - we made so many runs that were not necessary because we played the wrong pass. We had to run a lot because of our bad passes.
In the second half, with fresher legs, we could’ve caused them more problems. That’s how we see it in this moment, but it’s no reason for being frustrated or something, that’s the information from this game. Only one point, but last year we lost against Man United so that’s better. That’s good, but we can do much better.
On whether United paid Liverpool a compliment with their approach…
I’m pretty sure the last thing Jose Mourinho wanted to do was pay a compliment to my team. He thought about his line-up, you saw the line-up. It was clear there would be a lot of high balls in the game, so we needed to make pressure high because of Smalling, Blind, whoever, Bailly. When they play the long balls, it’s difficult, and Fellaini is immediately in our last row and Ibrahimovic is there and Pogba is there. It’s really difficult to defend, but we did it really well.
I don’t watch the opponent too much honestly when I’m in the game, but I cannot remember a lot of chances. We already had more problems a few times since we have been together in games like this, when the other team is quite quick with long balls. It’s not that Manchester United only played long balls; it was one thing they wanted to do today, for sure.
They are a very physically strong team. We had a few players who tried to make the advantage on the ground - sometimes we were better, sometimes they were better. That’s all OK. I’m not interested in why Manchester United were here tonight. We had a few good moments but not enough to deserve the win.