Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says it is unfair to focus on defensive criticism after watching another fine attacking display by his side at Crystal Palace.
The German also refused to say his team could win the Premier League title if they eradicate the defensive errors seen in the Reds’ 4-2 victory at Selhurst Park.
After an unexpectedly strong start to the season continued with Saturday’s victory – courtesy of finishes from Emre Can, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino – and only goal difference is keeping Liverpool from first place.
Their total of 23 points is the same as Manchester City and Arsenal, but only one team in the division’s top 10 has conceded more than their 13 goals, the latest two of which were headers from Palace’s James McArthur after more unconvincing defending.
The concession of too many goals cost Liverpool the title under Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers in 2014, and also undermined their pursuit of silverware under Roy Evans in the 1990s.
Klopp’s team are similarly impressive in the attacking third, but told a stronger defence would make them title defenders, he responded: “We will sort the defence: what then happens, we will see.
“They can defend really well; it’s normal (to have lapses). I know that everybody will talk about this, but…
“I don’t go in the dressing room and say ‘You’re a really bad defender, and you are the goalkeeper, where are you?’
“They are all human beings, we work on it. I am completely convinced about the quality. If they make mistakes and stay in the game then, it’s a very good test for them, and they stood it again.
“I was happy with the reaction (to conceding). Not with the situation, not with the style of the game, that’s what we have to work on, but I’m happy with the reaction.
“We’ll work on it and we will see where it leads.”