Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left to explain away his team’s latest defensive collapse after the Reds gave away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 in their Champions League Group E game against Sevilla on Tuesday.
Despite the draw, Liverpool remain top of the group and need just a point from their final game at home to Spartak Moscow next month to make the knockout stages.
“It feels like we lost the game,” Klopp said after the game.
“The description of the game is easy,” Klopp said. “Fantastic first half for us, the second half we made a mistake – we didn’t carry on playing football. It’s normal to try to control the game but a team like us has to control the game with the ball.
Klopp: “We stopped playing football in the second half.”
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) November 21, 2017
“We didn’t play football any more. We became passive, they scored the first, then it was obvious the atmosphere changed immediately.
“That gave them a big boost. Until the second goal we were reactive. After the second goal it was an open game again but we couldn’t score off the counterattacks.
“We opened the door for them, didn’t close it, so they could score in the last minute. That’s the story of the game.”
Klopp refused to accept the collapse suggests that his players could not cope mentally.
“No, it does not. We showed already a fantastic mentality, Dortmund [4-3 in April 2016] being the obvious one, and we showed it in a lot of games.
“Yes it was not perfect tonight but it’s not a general problem. It just happened. In this atmosphere, we need to get more and more experience.
“Could we have done better? 100%. Do I think it’s a mentality problem? 100% not.
“It was misjudgment, we wanted to play like we played the first half and control the game but then we became a little bit passive. It’s football and until the final whistle everything is possible. I knew that before.”
Fans were also in shock, with many comparing the Reds’ second-half capitulation to a more famous European game involving the Anfield club.
Gotta love Liverpool, only Liverpool could give up a 3 nil lead, not mention absolutely outplay sevilla in the first half to then draw
— Juwan (@Juan_silva02) November 21, 2017
— Joe Horan (@joehoran1993) November 21, 2017
— TLO (not at MWFF) (@TheLupineOne) November 21, 2017
If ever 90 minutes could neatly encapsulate the very best and worst of this Liverpool side, that was it. The capitulation felt inevitable at 3-1, which is the worst thing about it. All felt so inevitable.
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) November 21, 2017
The only thing I am going to say is what we know since Gerrard retired. Liverpool have no leaders and we definitely don’t have a captain. Lovely forward play is great and all that but you need steel in midfield and leadership. Henderson ain’t got either.
— roy (@RoyB1968) November 21, 2017
While others had had enough.
#kloppout Terrible manager not to sort defence out. How many more times. Klopp go home your drunk!!!!
— Challenger (@Tone187) November 21, 2017
Klopp is honestly clueless ? why is Gomez not playing, decides to go with Lovren instead #kloppout
— Al (@VujatovicAlex) November 18, 2017
How can you bottle a 3-0 lead?? Embarassing from our manager. Get him out TONIGHT #KloppOUT
— #KloppOUT (@KloppMustGo) November 21, 2017