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‘It doesn’t feel great’ – Frustrated Klopp reacts as Liverpool dumped out of FA Cup by late Mitoma winner

Liverpool’s defence of the FA Cup came to an end as they were once again beaten by Brighton on the South Coast in an entertaining fourth round tie.

The two sides only met two weeks ago in the Premier League, with Liverpool perhaps coming into the tie with a score to settle, the Seagulls running out 3-0 winners at the AmEx as Jurgen Klopp described his side’s performance that day as the worst of his career.


The Reds had the first big chance of the game, Mohamed Salah seeing an effort cleared off the line by Lewis Dunk in just the fourth minute in what was a lively opening from both sides.

The hosts would also have one cleared off the line within the opening 15 minutes, Trent Alexander-Arnold preventing Evan Ferguson’s effort from crossing the line following some good work down the right by Solly March.

It was Liverpool who took the lead in the 30th minute, the Reds releasing Salah down the right before the Egyptian played a well-weighted ball into the path of Harvey Elliott. The teenager had scored the winner in Liverpool’s third-round replay win over Wolves, and he once again fired his side ahead from a narrowing angle.

The lead lasted just nine minutes though, Tariq Lamptey latching onto a headed Trent Alexander-Arnold clearance with the full-back’s first-time strike taking a crucial deflection off Lewis Dunk that sent the ball spinning past Alisson.

The second half was equally as energetic and entertaining, as both sides went in search of a winner, though it would take until the second minute of stoppage time for it to come. Pascal Gross’ floated free-kick found Pervis Estupiñan at the back post before the Ecuadorean put the ball back across the box to pick out Kaoru Mitoma. The influential Japan international took a couple of wonderful touches before excellently flicking the ball past Alisson to book his side’s passage into the fifth round and send the FA Cup holders packing.

Speaking afterwards, a frustrated Jurgen Klopp was critical of his side’s defending, particularly down the right side against Kaoru Mitoma and for both goals.

“We came here after a game a few weeks ago when we weren’t even close to ourselves,” he told BBC Radio 5Live.

“Today we played a better game but we concede two goals from set-pieces and that is not allowed in any way.

“On the left side, Robbo was ok because we helped him but on the other side Trent didn’t get the support. Mitoma is really good so, of course, it was tough.

“We could have defended both goals better. The first is deflected but we can probably block the shot.

“It doesn’t feel great. In time we might see the positives but we wanted to get the next round. Congratulations to Brighton.”

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