Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp says his team deserved their 2-1 defeat to Schalke in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Goals from Ibrahim Afellay and Marco Hoeger were enough for Schalke to claim bragging rights over their rivals, holding on to win despite Robert Lewandowski’s second-half strike.
The loss saw Dortmund slip 12 points behind league leaders Bayern Munich, who thrashed Fortuna Duesseldorf 5-0.
Klopp said he started the match with the wrong tactics and, despite an improvement after coming back from two goals down, admitted Schalke were the better side.
“We did not play well until we made a change to our system after half an hour,” he said.
“We were a little more stable from there onwards. We played enough football, but overall it was a deserved win for Schalke.”
Schalke coach Huub Stevens spoke of his surprise after his team’s win, but insisted they were good value for the three points.
The former Hamburg and Red Bull Salzburg coach said he was expecting a better performance from Dortmund, but was delighted with the victory.
“We were a little surprised that Dortmund played differently from their usual style, but we adjusted well to keep it at 2-1,” Stevens said.
“After all, we fought a great battle and brought home a well-earned victory.”