Liverpool’s impressive recent run of form comes to an abrupt, if somewhat unfortunate, halt against Newcastle United…
After winning five matches in a row, including scoring ten goals in two emphatic away wins over Manchester City and Southampton, Liverpool slipped to a surprise 2-0 defeat at struggling Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.
The Merseysiders created the better chances – both Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge missing presentable openings – before Newcastle struck late to snatch victory.
A 69th minute Martin Skrtel own goal set the hosts on their way to a much-needed three points before Dutchman Georginio Wijnaldum made the game safe during an injury time counter-attack.
Liverpool were far below their best but defeat was harsh, especially given Alberto Moreno had a fabulous strike wrongly disallowed for offside with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Discussing proceedings at his post-match press conference, Reds boss Jürgen Klopp was brutally honest in his assessment, remarking: “Nearly everything [went wrong], I would say – the start, the middle and the end.
“This was obviously not a really good football game. It was 50 per cent because of Newcastle, 50 per cent because of Liverpool…
“It was an open game but no rhythm from our side; our defending in the last line was good, the middle didn’t defend well together, our midfield pressing was not good, I couldn’t see offensive pressing.
“We always had to run the long way in defence. Dejan [Lovren], Martin and the two full-backs did a really good job.
“But we were not creative enough so we had no chances and they got the goal and it was something like a Christmas present.
“The second goal I’m not interested in, it’s normal, a counter-attack. We have to take this game and think about why it happened – that’s not the biggest issue in the world.
“I have seen worse games in my life. It was not easy, the situation was not easy.”
Such had been Liverpool’s impressive form going into the game there had been talk in some quarters of a title tilt.
Klopp refused to get carried away by such utterings though and he was quick to apply the same level-headedness in defeat, despite admitting to being upset by the result.
“If in professional football you don’t feel defeats,” analysed the German. “Something is really wrong.
“We feel this defeat. We know for today it’s deserved but it hurts, like it should do.
“We played the first three games, which were draws. Then we lost against Crystal Palace.
“For us on this side of the table, it’s always important to be in the middle and not going nuts when you win and then getting crazy when you lose. It’s not a reality check, it’s only a bad game.”
Liverpool will be eager to bounce back and secure top spot in their Europa League group when they face FC Sion on Thursday night.
Listen to more from Klopp on the defeat below:
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