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Klopp admits Man United were more ‘aggressive’ than Liverpool after surprise 2-1 defeat

Liverpool’s poor start to the season continued tonight as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat away to arch-rivals Manchester United.

The Old Trafford faithful expected a reaction to the dreadful opening defeats to Brighton and Brentford, and the Red Devils certainly didn’t disappoint, delivering an early performance full of intensity.

That early start was almost rewarded, but academy graduate Anthony Elanga fired against the post when he only had Alisson to beat.

On 18 minutes United would take a deserved lead through winger Jadon Sancho. It started with Elanga and Christian Eriksen playing a one two down the left and when Sancho received the ball near the penalty spot he showed great composure to turn and slip the ball in to the bottom corner.

Marcus Rashford started through the middle and not long after taking the lead the 23-year-old had Alisson at full stretch to deny him from making it 2-0.

Liverpool had looked shellshocked for much of the opening period, although they did eventually get a foothold and started to dominate possession. Five minutes before the end and Jurgen Klopp’s side came within a whisker of an equaliser but Lisandro Martinez managed to scramble the ball off the line and save Bruno Fernandes the embarrassment of scoring an own goal.

United manager Erik Ten Hag decided to bring Anthony Martial on at half-time and switch Rashford out to the left and after eight minutes of the second half it would look like a masterstroke.

Martial won a second ball in the centre of the park and slipped the ball in behind Liverpool’s high line for Rashford to race on to and coolly slotted past Alisson.

Liverpool continued to have the majority of the ball but struggled to get in behind a well-marshalled United back line. However, with 10 minutes left the Anfield outfit looked to have set up a grandstand finish when Mo Salah headed in off the post after a succession of corners.

Everyone expected Liverpool to throw the kitchen sink at United, but despite plenty of nerves inside Old Trafford, it never really materialised and Ten Hag’s side saw the came out in relative comfort.

Speaking afterwards Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted his sides poor start cost them, although he felt they had enough possession to get something out of the game.

“They were really aggressive in the beginning, it was clear what will happen,” Klopp told Sky Sports.

”They were more aggressive than us and they hit the post early on. They scored the goal and we took over and played the game we wanted to play. We were unlucky with situations against an opponent like United, it would have been helpful to score and go 1-1 at half time.

“The second goal does not help then it was a hectic game after our goal, definitely not the result we wanted.

“When we calmed down we have extreme number of shots for an away game at United. we should use more of these moments, the second half David de Gea made a fantastic save. If you score then the game turns then we did not have enough time or power in the end.

“When you are in a game like this fighting, these guys talk to each other and on the pitch it is a different conversation. It was not a perfect performance, it was clear United would get out of the blocks but we were not 100% ready.

“We had to keep chasing the game and that is not what you want to do. It makes it difficult with their counter-attacking threat. The second goal is hard to take, it was offside, but we have to work with it.

“We are in a tricky situation injury wise, we got through the week with 14, 15 senior players available and now have to make sure they don’t get injured. We should have won this game, I know it sounds ridiculous but that is how I saw it.

“I am concerned about our situation, but that is how it is. We prepare for Bournemouth and Newcastle now.”

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