Jurgen Klopp said he “can’t remember a worse game” in his career as he apologised and took full responsibility for Liverpool’s thumping 3-0 Premier League defeat to Brighton.
The Reds were outclassed at the Amex Stadium and suffered an emphatic loss following Solly March’s double and a late volley from substitute Danny Welbeck.
Klopp’s stunned visitors had no response on another disappointing day in their stuttering season, leaving the rampant Seagulls to leapfrog them into seventh position.
“There was no moment in the game where we could get a little lift and go from there and the outcome is horrible to watch,” said the Liverpool manager.
“Everybody with a Brighton shirt on or a Brighton heart enjoyed the game a lot and I don’t think anybody with a Liverpool heart enjoyed it for a second. I have nothing good to say about this game.
“It’s my job to make the right line-up, to set up the right tactics, a lot of things.
“I’m not sure if it’s because the game is still only a few minutes ago but I can’t remember a worse game – and I mean all, not only Liverpool. And that’s my responsibility. That makes it a really low point.
“It’s fully my responsibility because I had an idea with a different formation and that didn’t work out – sorry.”
Liverpool were extremely fortunate to be level at the end of an opening period in which they were pinned back and failed to register a shot on target.
March broke their resistance immediately after the restart and then swiftly doubled the lead before former Manchester United player Welbeck rubbed salt into the wounds.
Following a 3-1 defeat at Brentford on January 2, the 2020 champions have now lost their opening two league fixtures of a calendar year for the first time since 1993 and already dropped a staggering 26 points this term.
“Congratulations to Brighton, they played an outstanding game,” said Klopp.
“I really thought in moments we maybe made it a little bit too easy for them but in general they played outstanding and we did not.
“The problems are the same as last week (a 2-2 FA Cup draw with Wolves). We don’t win the key battles on the pitch, the key challenges and we give the ball away too easy.
“It’s difficult to organise protection for losing balls you should not lose. This is not easy.”
Brighton set aside the absence of wantaway star Leandro Trossard by producing a thrilling display to record a first home league victory over Liverpool since 1961.
Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi dropped Trossard from his squad due to attitude issues before a statement from the player’s agent outlined his desire to leave Sussex.
Yet De Zerbi still hopes to keep hold of the Belgium international, who has been linked with a move to top-flight rivals Tottenham, and believes he can make the Seagulls even strong following a stellar team display.
“I’m sorry for the situation,” said the Italian, who gave Trossard permission to leave the UK ahead of the game.
“I don’t think I’ve made a mistake with him. The people inside Brighton know very well the situation. I’m ready to open the doors for him because he’s a good guy and a very important player for us.
“He changes the team but he has to understand and to work with my attitude, in my way, because I am the coach, I decide the rules inside the dressing room, only this.
“I don’t want to speak about the communication of his agent because I don’t know him, I know only Leo.
“It’s not a bad situation, it’s a great situation, because if he learns, if we improve our way, we can only improve and to achieve our dreams there is only one way.”
Speaking of the performance, De Zerbi, who began his tenure with a thrilling 3-3 draw at Anfield in which Trossard scored a hat-trick, added: “When you win, always it is a good day.
“We are improving in the quality of play, our idea is very clear, I think. We are improving in all aspects.”