Liverpool’s failure to capitalize on an outstanding first-half performance and loss of shape in the second period were to blame for its 3-2 defeat against Southampton, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds looked to be cruising to three points at halftime at St Mary’s after goals from Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge put them firmly in control of a game they had dominated up until that point.
A wobble looked to have been avoided early in the second period when Simon Mignolet saved a penalty kick from Sadio Mane to keep Ronald Koeman’s team at bay.
But the Saints kept coming and leveled things up through strikes from Mane and Graziano Pelle before the former netted a late winner that had looked unlikely at the break.
After the game, Klopp expressed disappointment that his team hadn’t put the game to bed by the end of the first 45 minutes and revealed his belief that the hosts were worthy winners for having made the most of the Reds’ lack of cohesion late on.
“I saw a lot of good things from my side,” he said. “I saw a very good first half.”
“We could have scored more. Southampton were not bad in the first half, but our goals changed the game. We played really well and could have scored more.
“In the second half, Southampton for sure deserved it. But of course we were responsible for the first half and the second half, so we could have done better, but that’s how it is in football. You have to use your chances.
“In the second half, the first moment which was not too good — we were 2-0 in the lead and they had a counter-attack, that doesn’t make much sense.
“We lost formation in the second half and we couldn’t avoid these long balls to Pelle anymore, who is always fighting for second balls. If you are then not compact you have the problem that they are better in the game.
“In the moment when they scored their first goal, it was clear that something would happen in the game. If we could have played better then 3-1 was possible, I don’t think we had the chances for this, so it is like it is. In the second half, Southampton deserved the three points.”
Thumbnail photo via Adam Davy /Press Association/Associated Press