Some days, you have a bad day and you don’t get the breaks. Today, literally just about everything went against Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side against Aston Villa. The team came out flat, while Aston Villa came out with a fervor we usually see from our beloved Reds. There were mistakes galore that lead directly to opportunities and goals. There were three goals that came off of deflections from shots outside the box. There was a stone cold penalty that didn’t get a second glance. It was one of those days where all you could do was shrug in disbelief.
Unfortunately for Herr Klopp, he had an obligation to do more than shrug. He still had to do his post-match media duties.
“First and foremost, congratulations to Aston Villa and all credit to Aston Villa because they deserve these three points massively so, because they played a really good game,” said Klopp of the victors on the day.
“The strange result is yes, because Aston Villa played really well, but on the other side because we did in different areas particularly bad.”
The German manager was loathe to heap the guilt on any one player. Instead, there was plenty of guilt to spread around.
“Tonight, pretty much everybody made massive mistakes around the goals. The first one was obviously Adrian; that was a big mistake, yes, but the reaction on the goal was an even bigger mistake, how we reacted. We have to take risks when we play offensively, that’s absolutely clear, that’s completely normal and that’s football. But you have to protect your risks, that’s normal as well, these situations. And we didn’t do that tonight. That means we had really nice chances, played really good football, came in the box, in moments were undefendable in the box, which is pretty rare. But each ball we lost, wherever it was, was a massive counter-attack and directly a real problem.”
That became the biggest difference on the day. Liverpool had plenty of play in and around the Aston Villa box, but were let down by a poor touch or pass. Outside of two stellar finishes by Mohamed Salah, nothing really fell for Liverpool. Aston Villa, on the other hand, turned Liverpool’s missed opportunities into chances of their own. Villa were decisive when given opportunities on net, and were aided by some fortuitous circumstances.
“Second goal, [fourth] goal was a free-kick, really well done. They were now already quicker in mind than we were, all these things. In the challenges they were more consequent, that all caused us problems. Being 4-1 down, but I think probably even you when you saw the game felt when we scored the one goal, it was like, OK, there’s still something to go for. That’s what we thought as well in half-time, if we can stop doing the under-average stuff or the bad stuff and can improve the good stuff, score one, score two, game on. But this was not possible tonight because we made similar mistakes again and then the deflected goals came in. That’s of course unlucky but is as well, a deflected ball can be completely unlucky; I thought tonight it was a little bit a 50 per cent block, like we didn’t block it properly, that’s why the ball was deflected. We conceded these goals, strange scoreline, but we have to accept that. The only good news actually is nobody was injured after the game.”
No one being injured is a small blessing indeed. Now we just have to hope that the Liverpool players leaving for international duty return hale and healthy.