Tuesday 18 September 2018

'We only have ourselves to blame' - Jurgen Klopp angry with his defenders after FA Cup nightmare at Anfield

Klopp has questions to answer after back-to-back defeats against Swansea and West Brom
Klopp has questions to answer after back-to-back defeats against Swansea and West Brom
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hit out at his defenders as his side crashed out of the FA Cup after a 3-2 defeat against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield.

Klopp named a surprisingly strong team as Liverpool looked to bounce back from last Monday's 1-0 Premier League defeat at Swansea, but a succession of defensive errors cost they dearly against a spirited West Brom side.

An impressive Baggies performance saw them became the first team since Real Madrid in October 2014 to score three in the first half at Anfield as Jay Rodriguez netted twice in the first 11 minutes following Firmino's opener, with Joel Matip's own goal giving the visitors a three-goal cushion, with a late fightback not enough to save Liverpool.

"It's obvious what we did wrong and we only have ourselves to blame," stated Klopp. "The second goal was just, wow, really bad defending from the whole group. That's not how defending should be.

"We didn't use the chance on the penalty and then their third goal must be off-side. What can you do?

"We had to show character in the second-half. We chased the game and maybe scored the second goal too late. When you start how we did you cannot play your best football game.

"They tried to save some time - which was normal - and in the end, West Brom deserve it because they scored three goals and we only scored two. They did well and fought with passion. But we have only ourselves to blame.

Firmino.jpg
Referee, Craig Pawson makes a decision via VAR during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on January 27, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

"I’s not the first game I’ve lost, it’s not the first game I’ve wanted to win really desperately and I lost it. They don’t stop feeling maximum average, it’s just a bad feeling. But it’s deserved, for me, for the boys, it’s deserved.

"You cannot go out there and be completely without a plan or an idea, you have to show up in a game like this, you need to be ready still, even if you make three big, big, big mistakes in the first half.

"You need to be ready to make mistakes again, but in an ideal world not in and around your own box. So yes, we should try but first we have to really think about what happened tonight and make ourselves ready for Huddersfield on Tuesday."

The intervention of the VAR system caused considerable confusion on several occasions in the game at Anfield and while the right decisions were made in the end, West Brom boss Alan Pardew suggested the long delays after each incident were not good for the game.

West Brom boss Alan Pardew was highly critical of VAR and believes the system contributed to Hal Robson-Kanu's withdrawal in the first half.

Pardew told BT Sport: "I thought we deserved what we got today. We struggled at the end because we were running out of bodies and the VAR system was a problem because I think we lost a player to a hamstring because we were hanging around and waited so long for a decision.

"That's something else we have to worry about and look at next time we play with that system.

"Is it going to take away goals and we start getting 0-0 and 1-1 draws? I don't know, it was just weird. We waited so long for the decisions, the stadium was flat and every goal was becoming a sort of mockery with the delayed decision.

"I'm really proud of my players and all credit to Liverpool too for the way they handled themselves during those VAR decisions."

west brom.jpg
Jay Rodriguez of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on January 27, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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