Liverpool were not good tonight. Nobody can deny it.
The away tie to Napoli in the Champions League produced one of the flattest Liverpool performances in recent memory, lacking all the spark we normally associate from Jürgen Klopp’s men. The reds were moments away from a useful point, but in truth Napoli’s late winner was entirely deserved, as they completely dominated the second half.
The manager didn’t have much positive to say on the affair.
“The defeat is deserved”, Klopp told BT Sport. “We had our moments, but too often the formation was not right or we moved in the wrong spaces. The job of the midfield three was nearly impossible. You have to stay calm in a situation like that, but we were too hectic with the ball.
”We had good moments, but not enough. A 0-0 away from home is OK, but we made a mistake before their goal. That’s the second time this season that we have conceded a goal like that.”
Moving on to individuals, Klopp added that “sometimes Bobby [Firmino] ran too long with the ball, or Sadio [Mane] ran too long. When that happens, you cannot produce. The midfielders or the full-backs tried to go forward, but we lost the ball and had to go back in the other direction.
”It was intense, but we caused the intensity of the game ourselves.
”It was an interesting looking group before we started and it’s still interesting now. We want to play better than we did tonight, but even if we don’t play brilliantly, we want a result. Tonight we weren’t as good as we could be.”
It’s not obvious why Liverpool were so out of sorts tonight. They just... were. The whole performance had an uncharacteristic flatness about it. The only positive seems to be that Klopp is aware of the issues and is looking to fix it.
We can only hope he finds the answer by the weekend.