Brendan Rodgers has admitted a lot of hard work lies ahead after watching his side slump to a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United…
Liverpool shipped three goals for both a second consecutive Premier League game and a second consecutive trip to Old Trafford on Saturday evening.
The nature of both the scoreline and the disjointed and uninspiring display puts further pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers and the Northern Irishman was quick to acknowledge the damage a defeat to the club’s most bitter rivals can cause.
“This is the biggest game in this country and maybe in the world in terms of a derby game,” remarked Rodgers at his post-match press conference. “I’ve been in here and sat down when we won 3-0 and felt great and when you lose 3-1 you don’t feel so good.
“It’s difficult for the supporters and everyone connected to the club; when you win it, it’s a different feeling. We’ve just got to go away and work even harder at being better, and that’ll be the case.
“The players are bitterly disappointed because they know we can play better than that and over the course of the season I’m sure they will but as you can see there’s still a lot of hard work ahead for us. The players are still learning and adapting to how we work.”
An uneventful first half gave way to a dramatic second 45 minutes as Daley Blind put the hosts in front shortly after the restart.
A penalty from Ander Herrera extended the lead before a stunning Christian Benteke overhead kick briefly gave hope to the Merseysiders in the closing stages.
However, debutant Anthony Martial wrapped up a deserved three points for United four minutes from time after an impressive solo run.
Analysing his side’s performance, Rodgers said: “We’re disappointed with the result and the performance. I thought in the first half we were fairly organised but technically could have been much better with the ball.
“We didn’t keep the ball for long enough to create opportunities, but we didn’t give away too much either in the first half – it was only really when we gave the ball cheaply and put ourselves under pressure. So it was 0-0 at half-time, we’re OK and looking to play better in the second half.
“We’re disappointed with the free-kick. I thought both players were tangling for the ball, both had their arms up and Ashley Young jumps on the player’s [Nathaniel Clyne] back and gets a free-kick. But they worked it well and get the goal and we then gave away the penalty.
“At 2-0 you’re up against it. We then got on the front foot, Christian scored an incredible goal with a high level of technique, so we were back in the game at 2-1 and looking at maybe getting something. But we then conceded within a minute and at 3-1 the game is dead.
“Overall, we had plenty of effort and commitment but we needed to be better with the ball.”
Defeat sees Liverpool, who picked up maximum points from their opening two fixtures but are without a win in the subsequent three, slip to ninth in the standings ahead of Sunday’s games.
The Reds are next in action on Thursday evening when they begin their Europa League campaign in France against Bordeaux.
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