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.
“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.
(Video) Watch Alisson and Roberto Firmino provide hilarious responses in latest “Bezzies”
We had seen a similar video of Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk a few weeks ago, and this one was just as brilliant between the Brazilians.
It started with Alisson answering about what Firmino would take along with him to an island, and the answer wasn’t really that surprising.
The forward answered his wife, which our keeper also guessed correctly. For Alisson’s options, the correct answer was barbecue, which Firmino got right too.
The pair were also asked what is their best body feature and which club they made their debuts for.
There were some great questions in between and Firmino confirmed that his favourite Brazilian player was Ronaldinho and not Ronaldo, while for Alisson it was goalkeeper Taffarel.
Our goalkeeper even predicted that Firmino would be a better keeper than his attacking partners Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
The pair seem to be in great form and in spirits ahead of our crucial tie against Manchester United on Sunday.
Hopefully, we pull off a win and stay atop the Premier League table as the games keep coming thick and fast.
Liverpool interested in signing £70m-rated Bundesliga powerhouse
The 19-year-old has been on fire for the Bundesliga giants this season and has seven goals and five assists in all competitions.
The German also has a couple of international caps to his name and plays mostly as an attacking midfielder.
The report claims that Manchester City, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are all “actively” tracking the rising star.
Havertz is rated at £70m (h/t Mirror), and he is the next big thing coming out from the Bundesliga. The 19-year-old was phenomenal last season with three goals and eight assists in the Bundesliga and seems set to break that his record in this campaign.
Liverpool have dipped into the German market several times under Jurgen Klopp, and if anyone would have the inside scoop on the 19-year-old, it has to be our manager due to his spell in the Bundesliga.
The Reds could do with an attacking midfielder in the team as we don’t have someone who can do this role. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would be the ideal player for the position but it is unlikely we will see him play any minutes this season due to his injury.
We lead the Premier League and made it into the knockout rounds of the Champions League, and with the right signings, there could be some silverware at Anfield this season.
“It is going to be difficult” – Liverpool star believes Manchester United will be tough opposition
Liverpool play Manchester United in the biggest fixture of the weekend, and the Reds have a sizeable lead over their rivals in the Premier League.
We are 16 points ahead of the Red Devils after just 16 games, and another win will keep us at the top of the table ahead of Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp has never defeated the Red Devils during his Premier League career, and Georginio Wijnaldum spoke about the tie.
The Dutch midfielder believed we would put up a quality performance, claiming United are a good team while having a bit of a dig claiming they go out not to lose games (h/t Mirror):
“It’s a nice game. We’ll try to put in the same performance that we did against Napoli.
“Things can happen, everyone can have a bad season, it does not mean they [United] are not a good team with good players. Last season, with the same players, they finished second.
“They have good players, a good manager, and they know how to manage games and win games – or not to lose games! It is going to be difficult.”
Jose Mourinho always seems to have a plan when playing against Liverpool, whether it was his Chelsea days or his United days.
We long for a win over the Red Devils, and with our team in great spirits, a win at Anfield could be on the books.
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