Jurgen Klopp was far from a happy man after Liverpool’s draw with Manchester United – and admitted his side couldn’t handle the visitors’ all-action approach.
Liverpool were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw after Jose Mourinho packed Manchester United’s midfield in a bid to stifle the Reds’ previously free-scoring attack.
But despite admitting he was happy with a first home clean sheet of the season, Reds boss Klopp was largely critical of Liverpool’s performance.
“I’ve got mixed emotions,” said Klopp
“I’m not happy with the game. It was a hectic game. There was pressure here, pressure there. I don’t think we played as well as we could have. That’s our fault, nobody else’s.
“We started OK, but with their kind of defending – man on man defending – we weren’t brave anymore. We didn’t wait for the right pass. We created one-on-one situations but they had physical strength. That’s where perhaps they are better than they are. But they didn’t create many chances.
“We had two or three great saves from David de Gea, but our performance was not how it should be.
“It was our first clean sheet, so yippee. That’s all I’m happy about.”
United had just 35 per cent possession in the game, their lowest total in a Premier League match for the Red Devils since Opta began recording this data in 2003-04. However, without the ball, Mourinho’s men were organised and strong in the tackle, winning 60 per cent of their duels.
Klopp admitted Liverpool struggled to deal with United’s physical approach.
“All the little fouls they did, it’s not a problem – that’s how football is,” added Klopp.
“They want to win, or maybe just take a point. But we have to use it. We have to turn their strengths into a weakness. That’s what we didn’t do. It’s still very early in the season. Obviously today we couldn’t bring it through, that’s one part of the truth.”
Klopp questions Liverpool’s bravery
Klopp admitted it was from a vintage Liverpool performance and added:
“We started OK and immediately with their defending we weren’t brave anymore.
“We weren’t calm enough, that is their style that is OK you need to have respect but be cool.
“That is not the way we want to play but I accept it we got a point, there are worse things in the world.”
Henderson’s thoughts on draw
Skipper Jordan Henderson admitted Liverpool didn’t hit their usual heights and commented: “We didn’t play to the level we are capable of.
“We didn’t create many clear cut chances and we could have been a little more decisive.
“I am not sure if it was nerves but maybe we tried to force it. At the end of the day we kept a clean sheet, they came and did a job.”
This is only the second time in Premier League history a meeting between these sides has finished 0-0 (also September 2005).
Manchester United had just 35% possession vs Liverpool, their lowest total in a Premier League match since Opta began recording this data in 2003-04.
This is Jose Mourinho’s lowest points total after his first eight league games with a new club since his stint with Uniao de Leiria (10 points).
Indeed, Manchester United had two more points at this stage last season under Louis van Gaal (16) than they do this season (14).
The Reds have only failed to score in two of their 18 home Premier League games under Jurgen Klopp, though both of those have been against Manchester United.
After scoring with four of his first 15 shots in the Premier League, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has failed to find the net with any of his last 26 in the competition.
Despite having 58 fewer touches in the opposition box (6 vs 64) than Man City this weekend, Man Utd claimed as many points (one).