Georginio Wijnaldum insisted Liverpool can learn from the way they reacted to losing Sadio Mane in their 5-0 defeat against Manchester City on Saturday.
The Reds were trailing to a Sergio Aguero goal when Mane was shown a red card at Etihad Stadium for a high challenge on home goalkeeper Ederson in the 36th minute.
Wijnaldum and co had been at least the equal of City until that point in the game, but ultimately suffered a heavy loss after the sending-off as Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane each struck twice.
While the challenge of containing one of the Premier League’s best attacks with a man less was always going to be difficult, the No.5 felt Liverpool could have readjusted better and must do so in future.
“It’s a really tough task. We have to learn from it because you never know when it could happen again,” Wijnaldum told Liverpoolfc.com.
“You hope it never happens again but things can happen in a game and we must make sure, if it happens again, we do better with 10 men than we did. City are a good team of course, with good players, but we could have done better with 10 men.
“You have to look forward but we still have to learn from this. There are plenty of things we can learn from this game; we have to learn from that and then move on.”
LFCTV GO: Wijnaldum on Mane red and City defeat
The dismissal of Mane was undoubtedly the decisive moment of the match.
Wijnaldum accepted the referee’s call but is certain his teammate’s intentions were not malicious as he tried to reach a ball over the top before the onrushing Ederson.
“If you look back at the game, it was crucial,” said the Dutchman.
“They scored the first goal with 11 men [in opposition] but we still created chances with the speed of Sadio and Mo [Salah]. It was really difficult for them to defend us. You have to change the way of playing if one man is sent off.
“[The decision] can go both ways. From what I saw on the replays, Sadio was looking at the ball. I think he didn’t even know that the ‘keeper was that close to him. It was just unlucky. The referee made the decision and you have to deal with it.”
Ederson had to be substituted as a result of the collision with Mane – and Wijnaldum offered best wishes to the Brazilian on behalf of the Liverpool dressing room.
“You are rivals but you never wish someone a bad injury. We wish him a speedy recovery,” he added.