Sunday’s game against Southampton was a lot of things, but no one could mistake it for one that was pleasant to watch. The fact that the entire spectacle was a home game added just that tiny bit of salt to an already itchy wound: out of the last three games at Anfield, Liverpool have only managed to pick up a total of two points. And Jürgen Klopp is wondering what about home ground is causing this.
“To be successful you have to have a fortress at home,” Klopp said, following Sunday’s game. “That is very important. We had that here for a long period. Now we have had a few results which are not that good.”
There were a few things that went wrong during the game: there were delays in Milner taking his penalty; the fourth official’s headset was acting up — which led to referee Bobby Madley awarding a goal kick instead of a corner when Emre Can's shot was deflected; and, most notably, the pitch itself was not great.
“I know nobody wants to hear it, but I am brave enough to say it,” Klopp added. “The pitch was really dry today. We gave it all the water we had but after 15 minutes it was really dry again with the wind. It was difficult. You could see it … a lot [of] passes you thought ‘why are they playing this?’ But it was difficult. In a possession game you need to have the best circumstances, if possible, in a home game especially, but today we couldn’t have this. That is nobody’s fault; it is only a description.”
But Klopp does not believe a few hiccoughs are enough to really affect the team’s performance at home in the long-term.
“It is not nice to drop points at home but now we play away and then we have another home game. We really still enjoy playing at home. It is only a mental issue if you think it is one. We don’t see this. The boys like it here, they like playing in front of their crowd. That is all.”
Liverpool’s final game of the season will be at Anfield, when they take on Middlesbrough on May 21.