Jurgen Klopp was critical of Liverpool’s defending after they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at West Ham on Saturday, demanding his players take “responsibility” at the back.
Klopp had seen his side claim 1-0 wins over Leicester City and Sunderland in their previous two games but the Merseyside club’s upturn in form was brought to an end with a poor showing in east London.
Michail Antonio opened the scoring by heading past Simon Mignolet from Enner Valencia’s cross in the 10th minute.
Liverpool felt Antonio had fouled Alberto Moreno at the other end prior to the goal, and their misery was doubled in the 55th minute when Andy Carroll rose to power home West Ham’s second.
From there the visitors could not find a way back, and Klopp said: “All of the TV stations have told me the situation with Alberto [Moreno] was a foul and it could have changed the situation around the first goal a little bit.
“But we didn’t react right to it because there was no whistle. We have to avoid the cross.
“We came back a little bit in the game in the first half and everybody saw when we start playing with a clear direction then we had our moments and made chances, but we didn’t score
“In the second half, we started OK but out of nothing it was 2-0. Of course, West Ham had chances in the first half after set-plays, throw-ins, bad defending – we showed it [to the players] at half-time
“In each situation when we started playing fighting football, we had better moments but we scored no goals in this game.”
Klopp implored his players to work harder when out of possession and earn the right to do better going forward, with deliveries into the area of particular concern.
“We have to defend this and we can play football,” he said of the balls that led to West Ham’s goals.
“0-0, you play football and then you will have your chances. We didn’t and that’s our fault.”
“I know how football works, we have to avoid the cross,” he said.
“There are crosses in the game, that’s normal. It’s football, defending is a part of football.
“I was a defender, I enjoyed it. It’s a nice part of the game, you get dirty after, it’s not a problem, you don’t have to wash your clothes yourself. It’s our responsibility [to defend].”
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