Liverpool crashed out of the Caribou Cup with a 2-0 defeat at Leicester City on Tuesday night.
Both sides fielded slightly weakened sides but there was still enough on the pitch to ensure it was a competitive game.
The first half was all Liverpool. The Reds kept the Foxes camped in their own penalty area for most of the first 45 with prodigal son Philippe Coutinho orchestrating attack after attack. The Brazilian was withdrawn at half time. Liverpool’s impetus left the field with him.
Really, Really Sick
Despite his attackers drawing a blank it was Liverpool’s defending that most irked manager Jurgen Klopp.
He said after the game, via The Times:
“The story of this game is really easy to tell. We were the much better team in the first half, we played good football and we didn’t score. That’s sometimes part of football, it was unlucky in one or two moments, maybe not clinical enough in other moments.”
“But as long as we concede goals like we conceded today again, then it is quite difficult. We should have scored three. As long as you leave games open, you have to defend. That we concede like this, that makes me really, really sick. That’s hard.”
You can’t help but get the impression that had Liverpool scored three conceding two wouldn’t have been much of a concern.
All At Sea
“Everyone can imagine we know how to defend a set piece and a throw in. You change two or three players… I’m in the same boat, I am not saying ‘I told you and you don’t know?”
“No, I feel really bad in the moment about this.”
“It is not about knowing, it is about doing it in this moment. That’s hard.”
Liverpool fans will be concerned to hear Klopp talking like this about his porous back line. Time after time – no matter the personnel – Liverpool have looked far too easily gotten at.
Klopp tried to bring in Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton in the summer to address these issues but if he can’t mould the defenders he’s had for the guts of 18 months into a cohesive defensive unit, one player – no matter who he is – is going to make a difference.
Stephen Vaughan, Pundit Arena