Jurgen Klopp thinks Liverpool’s lack of “rhythm” in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Manchester United was caused by the hosts’ first-half injury crisis.
United had to use all three of their substitutions before the interval at Old Trafford, as Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard were all forced off due to injuries.
Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino also had his day ended early when he rolled his ankle in a contest that never really got going.
The draw was enough to return Liverpool to the Premier League summit, but Klopp felt the enforced United changes wreaked havoc with his team, adamant it was two points dropped.
“It’s difficult. It was a strange game,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “We started really, really well, exactly as we wanted to start.
“Then the injury crisis started as well. That obviously cost us our rhythm. It was like: ‘What’s going on now?’
4 – There have been four first half substitutions in the Manchester United v Liverpool match; the first time this has happened since February 2009 (Wigan Athletic v Fulham). Hamstrung. pic.twitter.com/XSCZrxKKRs
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 24, 2019
“United played with a completely new midfield, pretty much a new three up front. We lost the rhythm and couldn’t get it back.
“It was a game without a lot of highlights. It was intense, but for United it’s a point won. For us, we lost two.
“On days when United are beatable, we have to do it. And we didn’t do it. That’s the situation.”
Firmino was reported to have left the stadium on crutches after the match and Klopp conceded losing the Brazilian for any length of time would represent a huge blow.
“It was really strange with all these injuries,” he added. “Everyone was really careful.
“It happened for us with Bobby [Firmino], which was a catastrophe for us as well. I’m happy we had only one [injury].
“Hopefully it’s not too serious – I don’t know at the moment. Now let’s carry on.”
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