Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool’s first-half performance at Southampton as “perfect” but admitted they were deservedly beaten in the end.
Liverpool went into the game on an eight-match unbeaten run and looked for all the world like extending that after a first-half in which they were by far the better side and established a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge.
However, Sadio Mane scored a brace either side of a Graziano Pelle strike as the Reds lost for the first time in Premier League history having led 2-0 at half-time.
“I saw lot of good things from my side,” Klopp said.
“It was a perfect first half and we could have scored more. We played really good.
“In the second half Southampton deserved it. We could have done better but that’s how it is in football. You have to take your chances and in the first moment of the second half I saw it was not too good.
“It was clear when they scored their first goal that something big would happen in this game. We could have played better. It is like it is. Second half Southampton deserved the three points.”
Despite the setback, Klopp has refused to give up on taking Liverpool into the top four before the end of the season.
“There are nine games left, still 27 points to get,” he added. “If we can get all of them there is a chance.”