Jurgen Klopp congratulated Arsenal after a lacklustre Liverpool were beaten 3-1 at the Emirates on Sunday.
Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League table was cut to two points after a disappointing performance in North London, with the Reds second-best for much of the contest.
Arsenal took a deserved lead through Bukayo Saka after 14 minutes, as the England winger reacted quickest to a loose ball after Alisson had saved Kai Havertz’s initial effort.
Liverpool equalised against the run of play in first-half stoppage time, as some hesitant defending from Arsenal ended with Gabriel putting through his own goal.
The defensive errors continued in the second half as Liverpool gifted Arsenal back the lead, with Virgil van Dijk and Alisson involved in a mix-up that handed Gabriel Martinelli an open goal to restore the home side’s advantage.
Liverpool were unable to get back into the game despite changes from Klopp and had Ibrahima Konate sent off late on. The 10 men then conceded a third goal, as Leandro Trossard’s strike deflected off Van Dijk and under Alisson.
Klopp conceded that his team ‘were not good enough’ in a below-par performance, as Liverpool mustered just one shot on target.
“Congratulations to Arsenal. We were not good enough today. I would have loved to see the game longer at 1-1. We found a way into the game. No shots on target but we scored a goal.
“Growing more into the game, second half, we had our moments and then we concede that goal. That doesn’t help. It just shows the boys are human beings. Today we were really human.
“They scored goals and were many parts better than us. We have to play better football, that’s clear. Was it a red card? Not sure. But even without that we lose 2-1 and only have one shot on goal.”
Liverpool were without a host of key names with Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo all absent, but Klopp refused to blame his side’s showing on those missing from the team.
“We miss them always. It is no different today. If this game ends 1-1 then what do we think then?Because of the way we conceded the second goal and if we stayed in the game with the changes we could have changed the game into our direction,” he said to BBC Sport.
“We gave them all the momentum. We didn’t miss players more than before as we always miss them. We had possession and just didn’t have the finishes, we found Trent on the wing and the ball flew in and Arsenal were under pressure.
“But I thought in the first half we went step-by-step to get in the game.”
Klopp sprang a surprise by leaving the in-form Darwin Nunez on the bench and was asked whether that decision was a mistake.
“Maybe. But I understand it. We did not play enough football. We were not involved in the game enough, we wanted Trent more on the wing. Would I do it again like that? Yes.”