It was a flat Liverpool performance against Stoke City at Anfield. And dropped points to a team on the edge of relegation. Points that would have given Jürgen Klopp and basically all of us a little security in the race for the top four. But the struggle was real for the Reds. Stoke played a physical game that should have been watched more closely by the referee Andre Mariner, but try as they might to fight back, there was just far too much disconnection in the Liverpool side to build much momentum.
After the match, the manager was clearly resigned to moving on to better things but assessed Stoke’s tactics and his sides mistakes in the 0-0 draw anyway.
“Frustrating? I’m not sure,” said Klopp. “It is how football can be.
“We met Stoke in the moment when they thought a point could be enough still. Otherwise they had to play different, but if they think they can win the next two games and have a chance with that then we cannot change that opinion.
“But you saw it in the game, if you don’t take the lead then, we had two opportunities for that, a fantastic chance for Mo.”
“Trent Alexander has a dead leg. There was for sure contact there, he was limping from that moment on. That’s the other situation.
“We scored the offside goal, we were obviously in charge of the game but not brilliant, but that’s normal in that situation.
“Then second half we started normal and with two changes, I think, we had kind of a breath of fresh air, it was really good. Millie was good, Clyney good and helped us.
“We were much more often in the box and stuff like that. Then we had the situations, kind of chances, but they fought with all they had in the box and the six-yard box.
“And handball, yes probably, and at the end we didn’t score. So that’s not the best day of my life but I had for sure worse days. So, let’s take it like this, let’s recover and go to Rome.”
In the end, it was a game to shrug and walk away from. Losing two points to Stoke feels bad but the Champions League semi-final with AS Roma is on Wednesday. Sadio Mané will be back in the team. Dejan Lovren will be pairing with Virgil Van Dijk. Andy Robertson. All the good boys will be available.