Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his Liverpool players “did not enjoy the challenge” of facing AFC Bournemouth and that led to his team losing 1-0.
Liverpool are enduring a poor season but their 7-0 win at Anfield last weekend over Manchester United should have given them a major boost heading into the remainder of the campaign.
Most of Liverpool’s struggles have come on the road this season and they slipped to another away defeat on Saturday afternoon.
Their loss to Bournemouth was their seventh in 13 away league games this term. Phillip Billing scored the only goal as Gary O’Neil’s side lifted themselves off the bottom of the Premier League table.
Mo Salah had a chance to equalise for Liverpool in the second half but he shot wide with his penalty. They could now lose ground on fourth-placed Tottenham, who face Nottm Forest at home on Saturday.
Klopp suggested post-match that it was “never really Liverpool’s game” at the Vitality Stadium.
“What can I say? It was never really our game. We were dominant in the first half but mostly we put the ball in at the wrong moment against a compact side,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“They had their counter-attacks they wanted to have. I really think the spaces we had to play were super clear, super open.
“The rest was more or less busy with covering other spaces, we didn’t use that often enough, and didn’t enjoy the challenge to face a deep, compact side. It’s clear we cannot get through with all the balls but it was like we didn’t get through and things didn’t work out. Little things which make a massive difference and then we go 1-0 down, not helpful obviously in the counter-attack.
“They did the same stuff but it was successful enough because we didn’t defend it well and then I thought we started pretty well in the second half and then got the penalty and we missed it and after that, we were in a real rush and didn’t create enough really and that’s it.”
Klopp also thinks Liverpool could have defended better for Bournemouth’s goal, but their opponents “deserved the three points”.
“We cannot go through it completely, pass the ball, don’t cover the space. I don’t know 100% anymore how the positioning was, I need to watch it back. In the end, a ball comes from the outside into the inside and probably it should be defendable as well but I have to watch it back.”
On Salah’s penalty miss: “The last penalty we got in the league was long ago and it’s completely hypothetical but if we score there, the game could turn. It doesn’t make the performance better but could change the result at least. He scores goals, he scores a lot of goals but he missed the penalty, that’s life.
“It was clear from the first second that we come here, Bournemouth are fighting to stay in the league, wonderful club, wonderful city, they want to stay in and they do really well. Results were not going in the right direction in the last few months but the performances look different and so they deserve the three points today, that’s it.”
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