Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool need to “accept the reality” of their situation after a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City all but ended their Premier League title aspirations. But the Reds boss believes there was enough in the performance for him and his staff to work with over the coming weeks as the champions aim to arrest an alarming post-Christmas slump that has seen them win just two of their last nine games. A late collapse at Anfield saw City score three times in 10 minutes to condemn the Reds to their biggest home defeat of the Klopp era, one that leaves them 10 points behind the leaders who also have a game in hand. Klopp insists anger about the result is understandable as he faces up to a battle for a place in the top four this term. The German, though, feels his side would still have title hopes to fight for had they performed in the manner they did on Sunday more regularly over the last two months.
Jurgen Klopp said: “Look, big parts of the game were really, really good. I think tonight two teams played, one with a crazy good run, won now 14 in a row and another team with obviously a different set of results. Nobody saw that in the first half, you only saw two really good football teams who tried to cause each other problems and I think some people were surprised we were quite dominant in the first half. We played some really good stuff. It was 0-0 at half time, we kept on going, expected some little changes, adapted to that, found the right spaces to play again because that was the main thing. We played really confident football at times tonight. We changed our high press and we had a few minutes where we tried to find a solution in the final third. They scored the first goal, we got the equaliser and then we made two massive mistakes, that is how it is. Then it was pretty much game over. In a game when you have such a good moment, these two goals were obviously the killer in the game and everyone knows that. We don’t have to speak about that, that is the truth. The two things is the result is absolutely not what we wanted, the performance is what we wanted for the majority of the game. In the end, we lost anyway. For all different reasons, we have to speak about this and take it in the right way. Being completely angry about the result is fine but don’t forget the good stuff, because, how I said, playing against City today, that calm football in small spaces, it was really good, so we will take that as well. But I know people are only mostly interested in results and this isn’t right again. So we will take that again. Criticism is always like this, someone can tell me what went wrong and I know the things before already, so that is not a problem. But again, it is not the last game of the season. There are a lot of games to come and if we would have played more often as we did tonight, then we would not be 10 or 13 off City. But it’s not a dreamland, we have to accept the reality and we will do that. We will fight for results and tonight we did that. We didn’t get it tonight and that is our own fault but some good stuff we should keep.”
Liverpool return to action when they travel to Leicester City next Saturday.
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