Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said his side would have beaten Manchester United if they played “a little bit better” on Monday Night Football – but admitted he was concerned about his team’s injury problems.
Klopp defended his side’s performance despite their first league defeat at Old Trafford since March 2018, insisting Liverpool had “played the game we wanted to play” after Jadon Sancho’s 16th-minute opener.
“I saw a good performance,” said Klopp. “If we score the equaliser at any time it is not the biggest surprise. We could have won the game tonight if we had played slightly better.”
That assessment came despite a defensive performance labelled “embarrassing” by Jamie Carragher and a result which left Liverpool without a win in their opening three league games for the first time in a decade, with the Reds blown away at times by United’s intensity and running.
Klopp told Sky Sports: “They were really aggressive in the beginning, it was absolutely clear what would happen. Reality shows if we are really ready, and in the beginning they were more aggressive than us, they hit the post and it was a hectic game.
“Then they scored the goal, and we took over, and played the game we wanted to play, more or less.
“We were unlucky with situations, especially around set-pieces. I don’t know how one ball didn’t go in, in a game like this against an opponent like United it would be very helpful if we could score in that moment and go in 1-1 at half-time.
“Conceding the second one doesn’t help, and then we score ours and then it’s a hectic game with a lot of interruptions – and not the result we wanted.
“Maybe they were [sharper], that’s not right of course but when we calmed down we were there. We had an extreme number of shots for an away game at United, we should use more of these moments if we do that.
“Even with our situation, but playing a little bit better, if we were a little more convinced about what we do we should’ve won this game. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that’s how I see it.”
Liverpool were again left without a number of their first-team players with Thiago, Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate all missing and Fabinho only on the bench for the Reds’ biggest test of the season so far.
Klopp has previously said he does not plan to enter the transfer market for reinforcements but after defeat at Old Trafford left Liverpool with two points from their first three games, he admitted his concern over their injury list and results.
“It’s obvious we are in a tricky situation injury-wise, we get through the week with 14-15 senior players available, we have to make sure none of them get injured because there’s no real options left any more,” he added.
“I’m concerned about our situation, it’s not easy at the moment but that’s how it is. We prepare now for Bournemouth, Newcastle and Everton – that’s how it is. We can play better, we know that, but we had a lot of good moments and performances today.
“From tomorrow, we will fight against it.”
Carra: Teams are breaking through Liverpool too often
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher told Monday Night Football his old side deserved nothing from the game at Old Trafford, and pointed to a wider issue which has now seen the Reds concede first in each of their last seven Premier League games.
“Liverpool didn’t deserve to win this game,” he said. “If they’d got the 2-2 back towards the end it would’ve been a great point, but it wouldn’t have felt like justice within the stadium.
“Sometimes we look at stats and look at them and use them a lot, if you looked at them tonight without watching the game you’d think Liverpool dominated Manchester United. It didn’t feel like that watching it.
“When a team goes 1-0 or 2-0 up they’ll drop off and say come and break us down, especially against Liverpool because you know at this moment they’re having problems breaking teams down, and you can always get at them on the counter-attack.
“That is a big problem for Liverpool at the moment, too often teams are getting through. Even when Liverpool were in possession tonight, I still felt Man Utd were more dangerous.
“Liverpool didn’t deserve anything from the game.”