Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp watched his side fall to a fifth successive Premier League defeat at Anfield. It is the first time that has happened in the club’s 129-year history.
Chelsea were the better side on the night as they ran out 1-0 winners thanks to Mason Mount’s excellent individual effort late in the first half.
Klopp gave his take on the game at the post-match press conference:
“Intense game, tight game, one very decisive moment decided the game – the individual quality of Mason, if you want, in that situation decided the game. It was a ball in behind our last line, cut inside and in the end we don’t defend in the right space because these quality players, they go inside and they want to shoot from there so we don’t have to be on the six-yard box, we have to be there where he wants to finish it off. I think we were not there and that’s the goal we conceded, and our situations we didn’t use. That’s pretty much the explanation for the result.”
When asked for details on what he said to The Reds after the game, Klopp commented:
“OK, it’s not that we go for any kind of excuses in these moments. So, I think that these games are decided in moments and were always like this and to get these moments back you have to fight, and in some moments you have to fight in a different level as well. That’s what I told the boys. In these moments it’s not about tactics or something like that, it’s then really about being resilient, it’s about heart, all these kind of things. I don’t say the boys didn’t show heart, I know what they invest and all these kind of things but we talk about the last [and] decisive two, three, four per cent and it will never happen that we will start blaming or whatever the circumstances. That’s just not the case, we had a good team, a really good team, tonight on the pitch and played in a lot of moments good football but not in decisive moments good enough. There is only one person or group to criticise for that [and] that’s me and us. That’s what I told the boys.”
On the substitution of Mohamed Salah, Klopp said it was done to reduce any risk of injury as he felt Liverpool’s number 11 did not look fresh:
“I am happy when the boys are disappointed [to come off], that’s not a problem. I could have changed other players as well, that’s true, but the reason for the substitution was he looked in that moment like he felt the intensity really and I didn’t want to risk him, that’s all. That’s the situation. It’s really rare, I have known him now long and, usually, Mo looks really surprisingly fresh until the end. He didn’t look fresh anymore and I thought that’s a sign in our situation, I didn’t want to risk him. That’s it.”
Last night’s defeat leaves Liverpool seventh in the league, four points behind Chelsea and the top four. They must dust themselves down now and prepare to face Fulham at Anfield on Sunday afternoon before then taking to Budapest for the ‘home’ leg of their last-sixteen Champions League tie with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.
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