Jurgen Klopp has said Liverpool paid the price for their desperation to get back to winning ways but insisted there was no crisis of confidence at the club after Manchester United sent their bitter rivals crashing out of the FA Cup.
A stunning 78th-minute free-kick from Bruno Fernandes earned United a dramatic 3-2 win on an action-packed evening at Old Trafford to deepen Klopp's gloom.
Three days after losing at Anfield for the first time in the Premier League for almost four years following a 1-0 loss to Burnley, Liverpool tasted defeat again and have now won just once in their past seven matches in all competitions.
Klopp was pleased to see the champions back among the goals after they had failed to score in their previous four top-flight outings but he felt his team overcommitted in attack and were left to count the cost.
Liverpool had led through Mo Salah but United capitalised on defensive errors to hit back with goals from Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford before Salah equalised, only for Fernandes to win it late on.
"There was a lot of good things and some mistakes around the goals. If you want to win here you have to be absolutely top and we were not," Klopp said.
"For the first goal we had no protection - we wanted it too much. Things like this should not happen but they can happen. We had too many players in a receiving position.
"We can take things out of this game. It's good for Mo Salah, good for the confidence. It was a tough game. We want it hard but it was not enough.
"I saw the boys really, really wanted it. We had problems on the counter-attack, it was intense, but there were positives.
"Of course, we take from it that we scored two and we had other situations where we created well but they scored three. There were obvious mistakes around the goals. If you are in a situation you don't like, you take steps to get out of it."
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the United manager, felt his side proved they can match the best teams in playing terms, with the only sour note being a suspected knee injury to Rashford that will require a scan today.
"For us, it's a good feeling to play on our terms," said Solskjaer, who revealed that Fernandes had spent extra time practising free-kicks in the lead-up to the game.
"We have had some good results over a few years, whether we've gone with a diamond or 3-5-2, different systems to nullify the opponents. But to win today with a positive selection and the way we see our team, that's a statement to ourselves."
On Rashford, he said: "Marcus felt his knee so we will have to do a scan. Hopefully it won't be too bad but we'll have to see."
© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2021
Telegraph Media Group Limited