Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted that his side’s full-backs were at fault for Leeds’ first goal at Anfield in Saturday’s 4-3 thriller.
Liverpool took the lead three times before half-time, only for Leeds to peg them back on each occasion.
Late on in the second half, though, the Reds did eventually killed off their impressive opponents. Mohamed Salah’s second penalty of the evening handed him a hat-trick on the opening weekend of the season.
While Liverpool looked strong in attack throughout, their defence looked shaky. Virgil van Dijk had several poor moments and Klopp highlighted Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson’s roles in Jack Harrison’s first equaliser.
“I didn’t see us struggling defensively but the way they play you cannot defend 100 per cent of the time,” Klopp said.
“But for the first goal both full-backs were deeper than the centre-halves and that should never happen in football.
“The second goal was a misunderstanding between Virgil and Ali [Alisson Becker] and I don’t think we will see these situations very often.
“The third one we changed Hendo [Jordan Henderson] not long before and our formation was moving and we didn’t close one gap and again to use a situation like that you need the game plan and bravery of Leeds.”
The German coach added: “I don’t think the goalscorer was a striker, he just showed up there and finished it off brilliantly. We let him run and the midfielders could have done differently. It is not an excuse, it is just an explanation.
“The backline played for England, Holland and Scotland four days ago – all top teams but different ways of defending – and if things are not settled early in pre-season defending is not riding a bike – so there is space for improvement.”
KLOPP ENJOYS ANFIELD ‘SPECTACLE’
Klopp added when speaking to Sky Sports: “What a game, what an opponent, what a performance from both teams. A proper spectacle, I loved that.
“It is pretty rare you see that many goals in a game. We have left space for improvement in our defending but that is not unusual for a first game. Our players have played a few days ago for their countries so it is possible.
“The opponent forced us to make mistakes, we can do better, we will do better. But I loved a lot about the game against a well-organised, passionate side like Leeds.
“We used our skills to cause them problems, we could have scored more and in the end we used set-pieces which is fine by me.”