Jurgen Klopp has explained his substitution of Dejan Lovren and revealed how he was left feeling after Liverpool blew a two-goal lead to lose at Southampton.
Liverpool went into Sunday’s game at St Mary’s on an eight-match unbeaten run and looked certain to extend that at half-time when they led 2-0 courtesy of goals from Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge.
However, Sadio Mane scored either side of a Graziano Pelle equaliser, after earlier missing a penalty, as Southampton staged a sensational fightback to win 3-2.
“I’m not that good a loser so I don’t feel brilliant, as you can imagine,” Klopp said afterwards. “But I’ve been around long enough to know this can happen in football.
“There are still 27 points to be won and if we can get all of them, there is still a chance of finishing in the top four. If not, it will be difficult.
“If we play like we did in the first half, we can win – if we play the way we did in the second, it is more difficult. That is all.
“I’m not angry, but I am frustrated that we got nothing for a very good first half – we showed again that we can be a real brilliant side but we didn’t take the points, which is what matters.
“It’s easy to count the games and say we’ve played 10 more games than Southampton this season, but today we made football mistakes and we will learn from them.”
Klopp replaced Lovren, who was on a booking and could have conceded a penalty early in the game, with Martin Skrtel at half-time, but the change backfired.
Explaining his decision, Klopp said: “I thought at the end of the first half it looked like the ref was not completely any more free of the emotion in the stadium. Maybe this situation was not okay.
“Okay, maybe it was a penalty – I don’t know.
“I thought we had to change this because it was clear that they will play a lot of long balls to Pelle and it’s not easy for a centre-half to challenge for these without a yellow card, especially when the ref changed a bit the mood.
“It was not too good for us today, obviously.”