liverpool manager jurgen klopp watches on

Klopp rues Liverpool’s inability to ‘control’ games as Leeds net late Anfield winner

Liverpool’s inconsistent start to the season continued as Leeds netted a 90th minute winner at Anfield.

It was a game between two sides still searching for form, Liverpool having endured an uncharacteristically indifferent start to the campaign to leave them ninth in the table, while Leeds were in the drop zone having picked up just two points from their last eight Premier League games.

Liverpool – and not for the first time this season – got off to the worst possible start, with Joe Gomez enduring an early Halloween nightmare. The Reds defender made a total hash as he played a blind pass back towards Alisson, with Leeds striker, Rodrigo, gleefully collecting the gift and tucking the ball into an empty net from a few yards.

The lead would last just 10 minutes, however, with Andrew Robertson recycling an overhit Trent Alexander-Arnold cross, putting the ball back into the box to find Mohamed Salah who twisted his body to volley home from six yards.

Despite their position in the table, Leeds showed plenty of endeavour and attacking intent which made for a hugely entertaining opening to the game, and the West Yorkshire side came close to retaking the lead as Brenden Aaronson saw his effort hit the bar.

After what was at times a frantic first half, the second saw both sides be a little more cautious perhaps, though it was Leeds that looked the most threatening in the opening stages after the interval, though their final ball was often left lacking.

As for Liverpool, they still seem to be lacking their usual intensity and fluidity, though they still forced Leeds ‘keeper Illan Meslier into some vital saves, particularly to deny Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino.

However, as the clock ticked into the 90th minute, Leeds would snatch a late winner. Wilfried Gnonto did well down the left and picked out Patrick Bamford in the box, and while his touch escaped him, the ball fell invitingly to Crysencio Summerville who got his shot off early to beat Alisson and send the away end wild.

Speaking afterwards, Jurgen Klopp admitted his side are struggling to ‘control’ games at present.

“It was a set-back, absolutely,” he told Sky Sports. “I thought we had a really good start then conceded a freakish goal.

“We scored the equaliser but for some reason it didn’t give us the security back. We struggled to control the game and gave too many balls away.

“The boys tried, we had good possession and had big chances but, in the end, if it is 1-1 and you defend the situation around the second goal like this, you leave everything open.

“In the end, it was two versus one in the box and they can finish off the situation. The problem is we cannot control this type of game at the moment.”

Asked how he could fix the problem, the German suggested that his side’s issues are down to the current injury list that he has.

“Maybe some players are overplayed, Harvey [Elliott] has been exceptional for us this season. He had a good start but couldn’t keep it going. Thiago has been ill, up front the same [players] play all the time – they are the three strikers we have left. We have to fight and that is what we must do.”

The Liverpool boss admitted that his side’s issues were down to a number of individual errors.

“A team performance is always made up of individual performances,” he said. “One leads to the other. You can watch this game completely, you cannot defend like we did for the second goal but we did, that’s why we lost. Otherwise, it would have been a point and we go from there. Now we have nothing and it feels completely different.”

The defeat leaves Liverpool eight points adrift of the Champions League places, and Klopp was asked how he can recover from the situation.

“We have to bring our quality onto the pitch and we fight against it,” he said. “We had problems from the first day, injury-wise. Players have had to play from the first day. It’s our situation and it means we have to help ourselves, and that is what we will do.”

Read – Five top players set to miss the World Cup through injury

Read Also – Five of the best games between Leeds and Liverpool

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