Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told his players to tighten up in defence immediately – or risk seeing a big Leicester tactic ruthlessly expose them by Brendan Rodgers’ side on Saturday.
The Reds raced into a commanding lead with goals from Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Mohamed Salah inside 36 minutes but started to go backwards when Hee-Chan Hwang pulled one back just before half-time.
Takumi Minamino set nerves jangling 10 minutes after the break and when substitute Erling Braut Haaland scored his 18th of the season four minutes after coming on, it appeared the European champions’ homecoming would fall flat.
However, Salah took his tally to 12 in 13 Anfield Champions League appearances to secure a first victory in Group E.
After the match, Klopp insisted he always knew his men would overcome their wobble to collect the win, but their uncharacteristic defensive issues have given the German serious cause for alarm.
Liverpool conceded three goals for the first time since their Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona in the Nou Camp last season and only the second time in all competitions since losing to Real Madrid in the 2018 final.
With third-placed Leicester arriving at Anfield on Saturday – Rodgers returning to Anfield as a visiting manager for the first time since his sacking in October 2015 -, Klopp knows his players have to fix the problem and tighten up.
“I am sure Brendan Rodgers thinks if we defend like we did tonight then probably Jamie Vardy will run five times alone with the goalkeeper,” a concerned Klopp admitted.
“It was a very important lesson for us tonight. We will learn but we have to learn quick. I knew before that we have to improve a lot but now everybody knows it probably.”
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