Liverpool FC – Jurgen Klopp refereed Arsenal 3-2 Liverpool

On whether he was “disappointed” with his team’s performance…

yes. So frustrated. I think all three goals we made big mistakes. The first goal was definitely too early and in our case it wasn’t clear what you needed to advance in the match. I understand it a little bit because it’s a situation where we pass the ball forward, we lose it and we have a chance to get it back, Diogo almost blocks the ball and if he can block the ball then I think we’re going the other way. But he can’t stop the ball, the first ball plays through our lines and there we have to interrupt – whoever I don’t know exactly, I have to look at it again – because the moment Odegaard can [play] This pass, that pass isn’t for defense anymore, it’s just not possible.

1-0 late, very bad start but they started to dominate the game, they played a really good game against a very aggressive Arsenal team who have full confidence. But we’ve really shown that we’re here for a reason. We scored an equalizer, a great goal, great play and an open game, we could go both ways I think with advantages for us, more possession, more finishing, that kind of thing. Then we make a bad decision before the break from the first free kick and that’s the situation where you ignore the free kick – I’m totally guilty for that. That’s an excuse on my part, you can say I was surprised… “Yes, what do we do?” But then the boys were convinced, “Let’s score a goal.” But we didn’t, we waived one on the other end. After the worst possible start, we now have the worst possible end to the first half.

I told the boys we should try to cut the two goals and build on the good stuff. But that means you have to play football again and that’s what we didn’t do. Yes, Arsenal came out again strong, man against man against Hindu and Thiago, but we weren’t flexible enough anymore in the front line – so he didn’t fall at the right moments, we didn’t offer half the spaces, except for the goal. From where we did it clearly well. Then we scored the equalizer and now I think it’s a really open game, again, with a slight advantage for us but then the penalty kick happens.

What can I say now about this situation? So, he immediately thought it was a penalty, which is interesting but his decision. England took a look at it and also thought it was a penalty. How do we know in life, if two rulers think the same, that is the truth we have to live with. But if you see the situation again, if there is a connection – I’m not sure there was a connection, but maybe there was a soft connection, of course – but the player goes back on his feet and then down, it’s an indication that something is made up – but not for the referees . But they thought it wasn’t clear handball in the first half when Diogo put the ball on Gabriel’s arm – we can’t change that. Obviously our situation right now is really tough but it’s already tough enough with injuries now on top of all of that, but if those decisions in a game like this are against you, that’s typical but it doesn’t help. Now we lost the match with a lot of good moments – again, don’t forget. The team played at its normal level against the team not very much, we played some good things and we could have had a result. I think a draw would have been a deserved result but now we have to deal with that and that’s fine.

On whether he has “deeper concerns about where the team is now”…

No, not that about it [the system]. I think the goals we received have nothing to do with the regime. Should we have gotten used to it a little more? It is also normal. Can we play it again? I don’t know because today we lost an important part of it, so we have to see who will be available for the next match. Do I have deeper concerns? Yes of course I am not happy – how can I? Your colleague now tells me he only knows me happy all the time and makes jokes – I’m not sure exactly who Jurgen Klopp knows. But we are clearly neither in the mood for jokes nor happy. We’re in a tough moment and we want to get through this together and that’s what we’re working on.

On whether last season has had an impact on this current campaign and how he plans to move up the table…

Moving the table by winning football matches – this is a good idea. A lot of people ask me if we play the way we play because we lost the two major trophies last year. It seems years ago. I don’t think this is the reason but I understand that you are all thinking around all angles and trying to find a reason. But things like this can happen.

On “Where does Liverpool see in the title race” …

Yes, not in the title race. Imagine if I sat here and thought we were almost done, wait. Look, we’ve seen a lot of things. So we have problems at the moment but because the team is at the level, the leader of the table … even in a really bad position for us with the early changes of things, we caused real problems for them, so that’s the truth as well. Of course, in a situation like ours, playing with Arsenal, now obviously playing Rangers and then playing with Man City, is this the ideal opponent to restore confidence? Mostly not. But we’ll go out and fight and that’s what we have to do and that’s what we’re going to do. And we’re not here for being happy with the situation we’re in and stuff like that and thinking about it last year and almost there and almost there – not at all, none of us are like that.

But it’s always like this, in a situation like this: You can ask all the questions, but my answers, I can’t really change much. If you’re winning, there’s five million things we can talk about, “He’s cool, he’s cool and he’s great, and the goals were great.” Loss is always the same, and the conversations are a little rustier. I can’t change that, to be honest. But we are working on solutions – today you saw, how I said, some of them. But what you build with your hand you demolish with your ass, that’s not helpful and that’s what we did today. This obviously makes it more difficult but we will continue to work.

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