De­fence fails exam

Liver­pool held to frus­trat­ing draw af­ter another lapse from the back four

Sport360 - - Football Premier League - By Carl Markham @carl­markham ed­i­to­rial@sport360.com

Liver­pool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp ad­mit­ted he strug­gled to see the pos­i­tives in the draw against Burn­ley at An­field.

De­fen­sive hes­i­tancy al­lowed Scott Ar­field to smash home a halfvol­ley and, although Mo­hamed Salah equalised al­most im­me­di­ately, the hosts could not find a win­ner de­spite hav­ing 35 at­tempts and 71 per cent pos­ses­sion.

“It feels strange, it feels wrong, but it is a fact we drew,” Klopp said. “A lot of parts of the game I was re­ally happy with.

“We cre­ated mo­ments but could not cre­ate in each one a fin­ish­ing sit­u­a­tion of­ten enough.

“That is why I am still not in a per­fect mood, I would say. Un­for­tu­nately I still don’t feel any pos­i­tiv- ity in this mo­ment. I am still in a 1-1 mood.”

Liver­pool’s de­fence has been un­der the spot­light this week af­ter con­ced­ing a lead to Sevilla in the Cham­pi­ons League.

Although Klopp changed his cen­tre-back pair­ing again – bring­ing in Rag­nar Kla­van to part­ner Joel Matip – it did not pre­vent the all­too-fa­mil­iar sight of a high ball into the penalty area lead­ing to a goal.

“It was just a long ball,” the Ger­man said. “Trent (Alexan­derArnold) could have won the first header and the block on Joel (by Chris Wood) was dif­fi­cult be­cause the de­fender can­not do ex­actly the same be­cause it is a foul.

“Raggy (Kla­van) was there to pro­tect the sit­u­a­tion but the ball bounced in the wrong di­rec­tion and Robbo (An­drew Robert­son) knows he could see Ar­field quicker.

“It was a bounc­ing ball and they (Burn­ley) were quicker. They are bet­ter in these sit­u­a­tions, they are more used to it and (Ar­field) hit the ball per­fectly but we could have de­fended much bet­ter.”

Burn­ley boss Sean Dy­che ar­rived on Mersey­side with a game-plan to keep things tight and get plenty of men be­hind the ball.

“I think you have got to de­fend well at these places,” he said.

“Our game-plan wasn’t to come here and think, ‘We are go­ing to keep the ball all af­ter­noon’, but it is much harder to score from 30 yards than six and I thought we did that (limit chances) well to­day – other than their goal.”

“It was a bounc­ing ball and Burn­ley were there quicker” – Klopp

Do­ing his bit: Mo Salah’s fifth goal of the sea­son was not enough for Liver­pool.

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