By Coral Barry
Jurgen Klopp has slammed his players after their 3-2 league defeat to Southampton, suggesting Emre Can was the only one to look ‘okay’ during the game on Sunday afternoon.
Saido Mane completed a remarkable comeback in the 86th minute to give Southampton an unlikely victory after Liverpool had opened a 2-0 lead just 22 minutes into the match.
Liverpool were completely overrun in midfield in the second period and Klopp was furious with his players afterwards.
“We have to accept today, it was Southampton’s day,” said Klopp speaking to Sky Sports after the full-time whistle. “They did well second half, we did not get enough goals in the first half, so it is our fault.
“We needed targets in the midfield. Emre [Can] looked okay, the rest did not.
“The rest were struggling so we had no players for possession. We couldn’t keep calm. We needed targets in behind the line, but it [the substitutions] didn’t work too good.”
A wonderful solo effort from Philippe Coutinho had opened the scoring for Liverpool, before Daniel Sturridge finished off a fantastic counter-attack minutes later.
Klopp’s side seemed to be cruising and had several chances to kill off the contest before the half-time whistle.
But the introduction of matchwinner Mane and midfield battler Victor Wanyama turned the game on its head as Southampton gripped control of the centre of the park and killed the supply to Liverpool’s forwards.
One substitution that Klopp made at half-time that he now admits was a mistake, was to bring on Martin Skrtel, who almost immediately gave away a penalty.
Simon Mignolet did well to save Mane’s spotkick, but from there the Saints dominated.
The defeat leaves Liverpool ninth in the table and seven points off the final Champions League spot.
The Merseysiders will have a chance to reflect on the loss with a two week international break, but welcome title chasers Tottenham to Anfield on April 2nd.