It was inevitable that, after last season’s Champions League final disaster, Loris Karius’ performances would be put under tighter scrutiny during this preseason. Fans likely gave a collective groan when the German keeper spilled a free kick right to the feet of Johnny Smith for an easy tap-in goal.
It’s hard not to feel both frustrated with and sympathetic for Karius, who has had a rough few months. While Tuesday’s error shouldn’t have happened, and it’s reasonable to want the club to spend some money to bring in a high quality goalkeeper, it’s also only the second game of preseason.
Jürgen Klopp would appear to agree. In his comments after the game, the boss shrugged off concerns about the mistake.
“Yes, he could have made that save, even though the ugly shot was not easy to deal with,” he said. “I’ve seen this situation 500 times at least in my life – bam, against the chest, going down. No-one likes that in these situations.
“No-one likes that goal but if we talk about the second goal I think it was Millie’s fault together with Pedro (Chirivella). Two brilliant footballers make this mistake, which one was the bigger? I would say the second goal but we don’t talk about that.
“Now Loris concedes that goal but we cannot start the story always after each mistake. Mistakes will happen. I don’t like it, you don’t like it, he doesn’t like it but they do happen so let’s carry on and make the best of all these situations to learn from it.”
Last season, Karius won a battle with Simon Mignolet to be Liverpool’s first choice keeper, but now it’s clear he’s going to have another mountain to climb this season in order to regain his confidence. Since it appears that no new goalkeeper will be brought in to take his place, fans can only hope that this happens sooner rather than later.