Press conferenceJürgen Klopp's verdict on Leicester 1-0 Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp rued a night when Liverpool were ‘just not really ourselves’ in losing 1-0 against Leicester City on Tuesday.
The Reds suffered only their second defeat of the season in all competitions as Ademola Lookman’s 59th-minute strike separated the sides after a first-half Mohamed Salah penalty was saved by Kasper Schmeichel and the Egyptian’s rebound hit the crossbar.
Klopp’s men remain in second place in the table but now trail Premier League leaders Manchester City by six points at the halfway point of the campaign.
The manager provided his verdict on the game at King Power Stadium during a post-match press conference. Read a transcript below.
Extended highlights: Leicester 1-0 Liverpool
On how he reflects on the game…
We were just not really ourselves tonight. So, we started OK, I can’t say differently, like what I said to all your colleagues outside. I think we started OK. I didn’t like 100 per cent the intensity even in the beginning, but sometimes you have starts like this. But then we lost rhythm and never found it really back. At least we had moments where we could have played much better. They played a diamond tonight, at least for a while first half and there is no system in the world which is perfect, that means you can use these kinds of things. And especially in the diamond, if you fix the last line you can play left and right and shoot left and right of the six, that makes it really tricky. That’s quite a challenge for protection because they had Maddison on 10 and Iheanacho and Vardy up front, so it doesn’t feel comfortable but you can play that.
For these situations, you cannot and should not take always the obvious thing – when you have the ball free and you can cross and players are in the box, these kinds of things. We forced it a little bit too early, we crossed too early the balls in the first half instead of passing the extra pass. If you do that, all of a sudden the situation looks completely different. We tried to change that at half-time but for some reason it didn’t click tonight really. They scored the goal, it was clear we were under pressure, a great atmosphere. We were pushing then but didn’t use the chances, missed three headers, all these kinds of things. In the end, what I told everybody who was responsible for the Leicester performance tonight: well deserved. The story is actually nice – one of the guys who was constantly talking about we should not play the 26th and 28th plays only on the 28th and is losing against the team who plays on the 26th and 28th. Funny story, I know. So I really think in a really strange game from our side, they deserved the three points.
On the fact Manchester City could be 12 points ahead before Liverpool play again…
Yeah, Chelsea and us play against each other so we cannot both have the points obviously. I know, sorry for that. But it was not our plan tonight to give City the chance to run away or whatever. But if we play like tonight we don’t have to think about catching up with City. But if we play our football in games we have to see how often, how many points we can get and we will see what that means. How I said, I don’t have a proper explanation for tonight but finding this explanation is my main concern and not in this moment the gap with Manchester City.
On Salah’s penalty miss…
There’s not a little bit of blame or whatever. He scores usually from these situations but tonight he didn’t. It was a little bit like the whole game was. Mo is part of the team and usually he is better in this situation like the team is usually better in a football game. Tonight we weren’t and that’s why we lost.
On seeing the run of scoring in 34 consecutive games come to an end…
We needed obviously some effort not to score tonight; we had quite a few chances and we were close. It would have made the game better actually, but if I would sit here – and I know it’s easy to say – and we had won it 2-1, which was obviously possible, I wouldn’t have liked the game anyway. You can say these things like the dirty games are very important and that’s all true, but tonight I didn’t like a lot in our football game, to be honest. That’s not cool, that’s not why we do it, so we have to do better and we have a few days to talk it through, think it through, improve and go again.