Klopp backs keeper despite costly howlers

Carl Markham
·2-min read

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has spoken to Alisson Becker about his two mistakes which "killed" the game for them and resulted in a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City but admits there is nothing he can do immediately to help his goalkeeper.

Mohamed Salah's 63rd-minute penalty - ending a home goal drought nine minutes short of seven hours - had cancelled out the opener from Ilkay Gundogan, who redeemed himself after missing from the spot in the first half.

But with the match evenly-poised at 1-1 and 17 minutes remaining the Brazil international's errant passing saw him give the ball first to Phil Foden and then Bernardo Silva, resulting in another goal for Gundogan and Raheem Sterling's first at Anfield since leaving in 2015.

Foden blasted home a fourth late on to consign Liverpool, 10 points behind City at the top of the Premier League having played one match more, to a third successive home league defeat for the first time since 1963.

"I said to him already 'we have stands' - you can put the ball there. The problem was he didn't shoot the ball somewhere, somewhere not dangerous," Klopp said.

"In a game when you have such a good moment these two goals were a killer. Tonight it was decisive. That's OK as he (has) saved our lives I don't know how often.

"He is absolutely a world-class goalie. Something went wrong but we have to take that.

"I can't help him through the night but we all have nights like this and tomorrow he will be OK and we go again."

The win was City's first at Anfield since 2003 and only their second in 34 visits but it was also a 14th in a row in all competitions, equalling the all-time record by an English top-flight side set by Preston (ending in 1892) and Arsenal (ending in 1987).

"Hopefully next time we can do a similar performance with spectators because Anfield with people in and without is different. I could imagine at 1-1 how much they could influence the players," City manager Pep Guardiola, whose side extended their advantage at the top to five over Manchester rivals United, said.

"What was important was the three points. Of course I am so proud for the guys.

"I said before, I'm not a guy who predicts the future of the table and in February five points is nothing. That is all I can say.

"I know how difficult Swansea (in the FA Cup midweek) will be, then Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal. Many tough games so be calm and keep going."