Jurgen Klopp admits frustration, anger, and worry about his Liverpool side, saying the Reds were “playing with fire” while dropping points for the third-straight Premier League game In a 1-0 loss to Southampton at St. Mary’s on Monday.
A streak like this hasn’t happened to Klopp’s men since May 2018.
Southampton made ex-Liverpool man Danny Ings’ outstanding second-minute goal stand up for 88 more minutes, adding a loss to Liverpool’s draws with Newcastle and West Brom.
[ MORE: Hasenhuttl explains post-win tears ]
“We don’t want to make it bigger than it is, but it’s big,” Klopp said with the media in the post-match video call. “That’s all our fault. It may be my fault but the boys have a hand in it as well and we have to change that.”
Klopp credited Southampton “100 percent,” saying Saints “ran their socks off” and praising Ralph Hasenhuttl for the job he’s doing at St. Mary’s.
But he demands that the onus be held to him and his players.
“Very frustrating just because it’s so unnecessary but we had a bad start in the game, played completely into Southampton’s hands,” Klopp said. “Gave the game away in the first few minutes. … Dominant in the right areas, had the moments, but the decision making wasn’t good, the last pass. We missed the last pass. Our fault. My responsibility. And that’s it.”
It was an epic presser in which Klopp did not try to shirk responsibility nor did he claim the loss was insignificant.
There were not excuses but there will be a lot made of his quotes when asked about a non-penalty call on Saints’ Kyle Walker-Peters for a coming together with Sadio Mane near the end line.
Mane embellished the foul in hilarious fashion, but a penalty call from VAR or at least the sending of referee Andre Marriner to the pitchside monitor would not have been a surprise (See “Thing No. 3” here).
That didn’t happen, and Klopp was stunned by how quickly the decision was made by the referee crew. He also said he thought Jan Bednarek’s constant physical play with Mane crossed a line.
“It looked like a pretty clear penalty,” Klopp said. “I turned around to the fourth official and he said, ‘We already checked. No penalty.’ If someone could tell me how they checked it so fast…. I heard that Man United has more penalties in the last two years than I have had in five years. I don’t know if that’s my fault but that’s no excuse for the performance.”
Klopp could’ve shaken off this poor stretch with numbers. Liverpool dominated shots and possession in all three matches.
It could’ve easily been a multi-goal win with better finishing or an elite final pass or three, much like Man City’s early struggles this season.
But Klopp did not dismiss the woes.
“Of course we worry,” he said. “These are problems you solve with football. We know about the situation. We are not silly. We have to show reaction 100 percent.”