Jürgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, has described elements of his side’s performance against Brighton & Hove Albion as ‘horrendous’ as the Merseysiders’ title hopes suffered another serious setback.
Liverpool have won just two of their first seven Premier League games, dropping another two points with a 3-3 draw at Anfield where Leandro Trossard scored a hat-trick.
Klopp acknowledged his players’ struggles, saying: “I don’t know how many times today I saw their offensive players just turning between the lines. It was horrendous, really horrible to watch.
“We should defend all three goals better, no doubt about that, but in different areas, not just in the last moment. Three-three feels like a defeat even though it is not, and we have to fight through this. The boys can play much better. My job is to create a situation where they can deliver.”
Klopp said Liverpool’s defending reminded him of what he saw during his early years at Anfield.
“If you watch football long enough, you remember games here where we had situations years ago when we were only one goal up, and it happened quite frequently that everybody was nearly having a heart attack because we were just not convincing in these moments,” he said.
“It reminded me of that a bit today. I cannot say I was 100 per cent convinced that we would not concede a goal when we were 3-2 up. It is a sign that the confidence level is now not extraordinarily high.”
For Roberto De Zerbi, the new Brighton coach, it was an encouraging start to his reign, although he offered credit to his predecessor.
“Graham Potter has left me a great team and I have tried not to make any damage,” he said. “But then, of course, if you are asking me when and how I can improve the performances of the team to play much more with the ball I believe for sure we can do it and we have shown that today against a great team like Liverpool.”