Jurgen Klopp says his Liverpool side were too “hectic” in the first half of their 2-1 win over Sheffield United on Saturday evening.
However, it could have been a very different story had the Blades taken some of the chances they created during an open first half.
The champions changed their set-up for the game, including an extra attacker in Jota to their line-up instead of a third midfielder, and Klopp says that alteration led to the uncharacteristically manic display.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “Tonight we started brilliant. We changed the system and changed the formation and I liked the start, but then we conceded a goal from a penalty that wasn’t even a foul. That doesn’t help.
“Then we’re 1-0 down and we have to [change]. I wish football and life would always be like this, [when] you know how it works so you just do it and do it and do it and do it, but we were a bit too hectic.
“You have these four offensive players on the pitch, but all four offer an option for behind the line and we didn’t have anybody in between.
“The goal we scored was perfect, but we didn’t do that often enough.
Klopp was heard telling his players to “play football” when they were chasing the game in the first half.
Asked why he felt the need to make that request, the German said: “We lost patience. We have all four players wanting the ball in behind the last line and the midfielders, we didn’t have that many [on the pitch], are looking and are like ‘okay’, and try to chip it there, but there’s nobody there for the second balls. That makes not too much sense.
“These balls are brilliant and important but you need to have a formation for picking up what doesn’t lead to a proper chance.”
Klopp “respects” relentless Blades
The Liverpool boss also made a point of praising his team’s opponents on the night, who were in the game until the very last kick.
The Blades had 13 shots and, despite their poor record this term, did not give in once they fell behind in the contest.
On their performance, Klopp added: “We played against a team who have collected so far one point in the Premier League with a lot of good performances but not with any luck in the results.
“Sheffield never give up, they are a fighting unit and I respect that a lot. Chris [Wilder] is doing an incredible job, it’s really tricky to play against them.”