Jürgen Klopp rues ‘very bad’ display as Liverpool lose ground in title race

Jürgen Klopp rues ‘very bad’ display as Liverpool lose ground in title race

Jürgen Klopp said Liverpool have given Manchester City the chance to run away with the title as he rued a “really bad” performance in their 1-0 defeat at Leicester.

The substitute Ademola Lookman sealed victory as a depleted Leicester side, missing six injured defenders, became the first team in 35 games to keep a clean sheet against Liverpool, leaving Klopp struggling to explain what went wrong.

Liverpool could be 12 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side when they kick off on Sunday and, as Klopp noted, either they or Chelsea will then drop points in their meeting at Stamford Bridge.

“It’s a big gap,” Klopp said. “To top that, Chelsea and us play against each other. It was not our plan to give City the chance to run away. If we play like tonight we do not think about catching up with City, but if we play our football we can see what that means. I don’t have a proper explanation for tonight. To find it is my main concern, not City.”

Klopp admitted Leicester merited their win, adding: “We played a really bad game, so it was well deserved. It was a very strange game. We were just not good enough. Tonight I didn’t like a lot in our game so we have to do better. We should have defended better. We do that usually, so why we didn’t do it today is hard to explain. There were so many performances below normal level, there’s no explanation.”

Klopp defended Mohamed Salah, who missed a penalty for just the second time in the Premier League when Kasper Schmeichel saved his first-half spot-kick, saying: “Not a little bit of blame for Mo. He scores usually from these situations. Mo is part of the team and the team is usually better in a game. Tonight we weren’t and we lost.”

Defender Virgil van Dijk was critical of Liverpool’s attacking efforts. “I think we were poor in the last third,” he said. “We should look at our performance and improve. We all wanted to do better. That’s a fact. We weren’t good enough and they deserved the win.”

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