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Jürgen Klopp’s verdict on Brighton

Jürgen Klopp offered a frank assessment of his team’s performance as Liverpool were defeated 3-0 by Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Reds were well beaten at the Amex Stadium, with the home team scoring three times in the second half via a brace from Solly March and a late strike from Danny Welbeck.

Read on for a summary of what the manager had to say in his post-match press conference.

On the result and Liverpool’s performance…

Congratulations to Brighton, they played an outstanding game. I really thought in moments we made it a little bit too easy for them, but in general they played outstanding and we didn’t. We tried to help the boys with slightly different organisation. I actually thought it could have worked pretty well; we had moments where it worked well, where put them under pressure, but in all situations when we won the ball we lost the balls in the moment much too easy. That’s the main problem, so it means we never get this something going. Brighton was better for the whole 90 minutes, but it is 0-0 at half-time, so it is allowed for us as well to play not a good half. We have a kind of result and let’s go from there, but then obviously the second half started with the worst possible start. Being 1-0 down and the game it was already clear already that one team is ready play a really good game and one team fights with themselves pretty much to get something going. That’s then the worst possible start and that’s what everybody saw then. The problems are the same like last week when we spoke about it: we don’t win the key battles on the pitch, the key challenges, and we give the ball away too easily. That’s difficult to organise protection for losing balls you should not lose, it is not easy. Fully my responsibility because I had an idea with a different formation and it didn’t work out. So, [I am] sorry.

On whether he felt the team understood the messages given to them ahead of the game…

The week looked like everybody got what I said, to be honest. Bringing it on the pitch is then probably… you face a team full of confidence and joy and stuff like this and we need to have key moments as well where we put the ball over the line. We had chances I think for 2-1 if I am right. We had these moments, but there was no moment in the game where we could get a little lift and go from there. Then doubt comes and it is horrible to watch, to be honest. I think everybody with a Brighton shirt on or a Brighton heart enjoyed the game a lot and I don’t think anybody with a Liverpool heart enjoyed it for a second. I think the players listened, I am pretty sure, but I know where you are coming from and I see as well that it didn’t look like, but that’s it.

On going over to the Liverpool fans at the end of the game…

I think they were exceptional, to be honest. They realised it was not our day and they still showed they are real supporters. How can you really show or say thank you, but that was my way to do it.

I think they were exceptional, to be honest. They realised it was not our day and they still showed they are real supporters. How can you really show or say thank you, but that was my way to do it.

Jürgen Klopp’s post-match press conference

On making four substitutions at once and whether he has made that many in one go before…

We cannot change four so long – so probably not. We can only do it since a few months [ago]. But three at once, for sure I did. Just fresh legs, not getting injured. We had these situations today, you saw it, we are a team who don’t foul usually like harsh or whatever… we got yellow cards and you could see [the] frustration was involved in that and the two yellow cards, [so] don’t make it worse with getting a red and stuff like this. It was clear, it makes absolutely no sense to talk about it, but it would have been really necessary to play real football. Play a man-marking system, we have to move, we have to play, we have to pass the ball and stuff like this. So, we have footballers out there so we said, ‘Come on, bring on fresh legs and let’s play a little bit.’ In the end, nothing worked out today. But I think always in the little football-playing moments, I think everybody could see how close we were to causing more problems than we did. There was a situation in the first half, two or three passes – the centre-half defends it with a big toe, if you want, [and] if he doesn’t reach the ball then Cody is alone in front of the goal. So, we didn’t have that. I don’t expect anybody to remember good situations from our game. What I remember is one-v-one situations, Brighton, going on the goalie, or going on the centre-half, so that was the story of the game. That’s why when you lose the balls in moments where you cannot really be protected, that’s why it looks [like] we stand on two feet and they just pass us [at] full-throttle speed. I have nothing good to say about this game.

On his players ‘not competing’ like he wants them too…

Of course it is something I don’t like but it’s not that I think, ‘Oh, you don’t win challenges.’ It’s my job to organise the situation like that, that the boys arrive in the situation where they can have challenges. Yes, of course, then last week I said I cannot win a challenge for them, that’s true, but it’s my job to organise that they arrive there in the right moments. It’s my job to make the right line-up, all these things; set up the right tactics. I am not sure if it’s still because the game is only a few minutes ago, but I can’t remember a worse game. I honestly can’t and I mean all, not only Liverpool, I can’t remember, and that is my responsibility. That makes it a really low point for the moment. [That’s] clear.

On whether he has to tell his team to forget about the performance…

No, there might be games [where I do that], but this is not. No, this is not, how we say, a one-off, or something like that. Unfortunately not. The moment is not great. Yes, we have injury problems and all these kind of things but come on. The team we could line-up today was absolutely not a bad one – really not. But what we made of it was not good, that’s true. No, it’s not a moment where you say, ‘Come on, forget it.’ Actually, I didn’t say a lot after the game now to the boys because I don’t think anything I would have said would’ve helped. It’s not the right moment to start. If I have to say something, which helps either way, like wakes somebody up, or lift somebody, then I have time for doing that tomorrow. I was not in the right mindset to do that this afternoon.

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