Defence fails exam
Liverpool held to frustrating draw after another lapse from the back four
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.