Jurgen Klopp admitted Alisson Becker’s errors had cost Liverpool in their crunch clash with Manchester City, but backed his goalkeeper to come back stronger from a chastening afternoon at Anfield.
Alisson was at fault twice on Sunday as City recorded a 4-1 win which all-but-ends the Reds’ hopes of retaining their Premier League crown.
In a tight game, the Brazilian’s poor clearance allowed Phil Foden to set up Ilkay Gundogan to give the visitors a 2-1 lead, 17 minutes from time.
And just three minutes later he was culpable again, gifting the ball to Bernardo Silva, who fed Raheem Sterling for City’s third goal.
Foden himself rounded of the scoring, his powerful angled shot catching Alisson by surprise, to condemn Liverpool to their heaviest home league defeat since October 2005.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Klopp said he saw plenty of good things from his side, but could only agree that the decisive moments came from his goalkeeper’s mistakes.
“We made two massive mistakes and [it was] pretty much game over,” he told reporters. “In a game when you have such a good moment, these two goals killed off the game. Everybody knows that.”
On Alisson, he said: “I spoke to him a few seconds ago. He’s obviously very disappointed. He was like ‘not today, not today’. I said to him ‘that’s the problem with mistakes, you cannot decide when you make them, the only thing you can do is learn from them’
“That’s what he will do and he will make sure it never happens to him again. Tonight it was decisive, but that’s OK. He saved our lives I don’t know how often, and he’s absolutely a world-class goalie.
“Tonight some things went a little bit wrong and we have to take that.”
Asked specifically what he had said to Alisson, Klopp replied: “I said to him ‘we have stands, you can shoot the ball there!’
“Look, it’s a mistake, but different things came together. We didn’t offer exactly the right things. In the first half, Ali played exceptional football and was really calm on the ball, passed it in small spaces, exactly what we wanted him to do.
“Then in the beginning of the second half he didn’t do that. He didn’t see the offers because we didn’t make them in the right way, and then the problem is that he doesn’t shoot the ball somewhere far away from the danger spots.
“He knows that. I can’t help him through the night. We all have nights like this, and tomorrow he will be OK again.”
On the game itself, Klopp was somewhat upbeat, despite the fact his team now sit 10 points behind City, who have a game in hand for good measure.
“It’s not the last game of the season,” he added. “There are a lot of games to come. And if we would have played more often as we played tonight, we would not be 10 or 13 points behind City.
“It’s not dreamland or whatever, we have to accept reality and we do. We will fight for results. We did that tonight and didn’t get it, because of our own faults. That’s clear. But the good stuff we should keep.”
“They have a day off Tuesday. Tomorrow we have training and recovery. I prefer that we speak tomorrow again about it in the right manner. So we have a day off with the right mindset.
“There are worse things in the world than losing a football game. It’s very important for us, no doubt about that, but I want them to understand and to know that the football we played tonight, in long periods of the game, if we would have played this football more often then we would have more points. We will speak tomorrow about that then everyone can recover.”