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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has criticised his defence for the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United last weekend and insisted that his side must show an immediate response against Watford on Saturday. The defeat has left us fourth in the table with Tottenham Hotspur winning 4-1 at Bournemouth on Sunday.

United striker Romelu Lukaku bullied defender Dejan Lovren while Marcus Rashford scored twice in the first-half at Old Trafford to earn all three crucial points.

Klopp says his team should have dealt with the big Belgian well but failed to do so and paid the price for their fourth defeat of this Premier League campaign.

“We have to respond, 100 percent,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.

“But in the moment I cannot, and I don’t want to, think about anything else. I still have to work to swallow this one and it’s quite difficult.”

The Liverpool boss lamented the errors that led to Rashford’s brace in the first half at Old Trafford but insisted that our second half showing should have at least brought us a point.

Jurgen Klopp

“It’s really difficult to take. The mistakes were obvious – around the second balls we were not there and we cannot leave Dejan alone in the challenge there and nobody’s around for the second ball. It doesn’t work like this,” our gaffer told the club’s official website.

“Romelu Lukaku is strong in these challenges, so if you cannot avoid the long ball then you have to be there to help your mate for the second ball. We didn’t, so that was the problem around the two goals [and] they could use these situations.

“Before the two goals, after the two goals, I thought we were dominant. We don’t ignore the goals we conceded, but if you ignore them for a second you would say, ‘OK, that’s how you have to play’.

“Don’t take too much risk, you pass, you come around the touchline, you have the crosses, you have the set-pieces, you have the finishes from distance, 18 yards, all these things. We had these things in pretty much all moments, but we didn’t score.

“Because we put pressure on ourselves obviously, that is not helpful for your confidence if you are 2-0 down at Manchester. So we passed, crossed a few balls that were not too good but [then] we found our way back on track minute by minute and second half we chased the game really.

“I think we deserved the goal and then it was the situation with the best piece of football in the whole game, the one-two between Roberto and Sadio and a clear foul and no penalty. That’s hard, but not to change anymore.

“I think with all the minutes around the two goals we conceded then a draw would have been deserved for us, but because we made these two mistakes we have to take the result like it is.

“It feels massively rubbish and that’s not nice. We will carry on of course, but at the moment it’s a big disappointment.”

It was indeed frustrating to see our defence fall apart in the first half at Old Trafford. For all the work Lovren has done in the last few months, he was once again exposed aerially and Klopp seriously needs to address the problem.

Our gaffer has done an unbelievable job with the team’s attack but the main concern lies in our defence, despite spending heavily on Virgil van Dijk in January.

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Jurgen Klopp dispels injury concern after surprise substitution against Southampton

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Xherdan Shaqiri

Xherdan Shaqiri started for Liverpool in the clash against Southampton and was instrumental in our a 3-0 lead at half-time.

His shot was turned into the net by Wesley Hoedt for our first goal and his free-kick was slotted into an open net by Mohamed Salah for our third.

It was a little surprising that Jurgen Klopp decided to take the Swiss star off at half-time and replace him with James Milner.

Shaqiri was our most impressive attacker on Saturday as he played an advanced role behind our front three.

However, Milner came onto the pitch and we played with three central midfielders, something Klopp has used to great effect throughout his time at Liverpool.

The German spoke to the club’s official website as he explained he wanted more control in the game and that’s why he took Shaqiri off.

“I said to Shaq at half-time that I had never brought a player off after such an influential time without an injury. He is not injured. But I wanted to control the game and go back to our normal formation. And that helped, we really controlled it.”

The manager further added that it was not easy to make the change, given how influential Shaqiri was in the first half.

Klopp did explain the change to Shaq but playing the Swiss star had an impact on our defence and that was a problem for the manager.

“The only problem was defensively. Offensively, it was a good idea but, how I said, we have to work on that more often. But he was good and I liked it.”

Read more: Shaqiri shines: Player ratings as Liverpool defeat Southampton 3-0

The 26-year-old had a fantastic game and it will be great to see him play more games if he can have the same sort of impact in the coming months.

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Stats prove this Liverpool star is back to his best after win against Southampton

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Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah scored in the 3-0 win over Southampton but he could have gotten a few more too. The Egyptian was unlucky that a goal was called offside and also had a brilliant backheel just going wide of the post.

The former AS Roma forward hasn’t looked as sharp as he did last season but Sky Sports shared some stats that prove otherwise.

The forward is still some way off matching his 32 goals from last season in the Premier League but now, he has three to his name.

What will come as a major relief, however, is that the 25-year-old is getting into the right places to score. The forward was brilliant but that little bit of luck was missing when it came to his finishing.

He did score our third goal against the Saints as he reacted to Xherdan Shaqiri’s free-kick and that just proves he is hungry as ever to get on the scoresheet.

Fortunately for Liverpool, we have goals coming in from other positions too. Joel Matip got one yesterday, while we have also seen James Milner, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum score multiple times this season.

Liverpool and the Egyptian haven’t looked as sharp as they did last season but that is a good sign for the coming months.

Read more: “I’ll donate my ribs”, “He has 18 ribs” – Some Liverpool fans relieved star player doesn’t have major injury

The Reds are on top of the Premier League and once Salah starts banging the goals in, we should win games more comfortably.

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Stat proves Liverpool have made Anfield a fortress as Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0

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Liverpool made it seven wins a row in all competitions on Saturday after beating Southampton 3-0. The Reds were barely troubled by the Saints as an own goal from Wesley Hoedt opened the scoring for us.

Joel Matip got the second before Mohamed Salah finished the scoring in the first half to keep us at the top of the Premier League.

The win saw us register our fourth clean sheet of the season but also brought up another stat regarding our domination of teams at Anfield.

Liverpool didn’t lose a single Premier League game at home last season and have continued that form in this campaign too.

The only concern for us has to be the draws at Anfield. Last season, we dropped a number of points despite taking the lead in games.

Everton and Tottenham were a couple of teams that pulled off draws at our home but this season has a different feel for the Reds.

This is the first time we have won our opening seven games in the history of the club. And we should break a few more records along the way.

Our next clash is in the Carabao Cup against Chelsea at Anfield and it will be interesting to see how it goes against our title rivals.

Read more: “Imperious performance”, “Already a better career than Charlie Adam” – Some Liverpool fans go crazy after brilliant first-half by summer signing

We face the Blues next weekend in a huge Premier League clash as well and hopefully, the Reds will come up with all three points at Stamford Bridge and continue our march.

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