Klopp at a loss after Liverpool ‘stop playing’

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.

A brace from Roberto Firmino and a Sadio Mané header had seen Liverpool cruising at half-time before a second-half fightback saw Guido Pizarro grab an equaliser in the third minute of injury time.

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.

“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.

While others had had enough.