Jurgen Klopp says he’s ‘not interested’ in crediting Manchester United for their defensive toughness against his side, believing Liverpool took them to ‘the edge’ at Old Trafford.

And the Reds boss is taking the positives from the defeat, despite seeing the gap between the two teams stretch out to five points.

Eric Bailly’s own goal turned out to be a consolation after Marcus Rashford’s first half double as Klopp’s men suffered a fourth Premier League defeat of the season.

But the German coach’s main source of frustration stemmed from referee Craig Pawson’s refusal to award his side a penalty after Sadio Mane was felled by Marouane Fellaini.

Dejan Lovren of Liverpool tackles Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United
Dejan Lovren of Liverpool tackles Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United
(Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

With United leading 2-1, Jose Mourinho implemented familiar tactics to repel Liverpool, defending deep but defending well as the away side’s talented forward line failed to find the crucial finishing touch.

When asked if United deserved credit for the way they stopped his side, Klopp responded: “Of course that’s good. Absolutely, there’s no criticism, that’s the way you have to defend.

“I’m sure they’d want to have a few more counter attacks, that didn’t happen. It was intense for them, you saw the players had no fresh legs any more at the end, that’s absolutely normal. It’s a big fight, two teams, we have to chase the game.

“I’m not interested, sorry, in Manchester United and giving them credit for defending. They had defenders but we should have scored twice, and we defended them that they could score twice, so what is better?

“In the end, it’s about scoring or not conceding. I saw it after the game, it felt already very very (average?), and after the game with the penalty situation you think: Come on, that’s not fair.”

The loss represents only their fourth of the Premier League campaign – but their third away at the other three sides currently occupying the top four.

After heavy defeats to Manchester City and Tottenham , United became the latest to inflict a miserable afternoon on Liverpool.

However, after losing those aforementioned games to an aggregate score of 9-1 – 5-0 and 4-1 at the Etihad and Wembley respectively – Klopp felt much more positive after running United much closer.

“Of course,” he added. “We lost 2-1 but everybody could see we are strong. We brought them at the edge, with 2-0 down that’s really rare that you can turn a game against Man United. 2-0 down after 20 minutes or so, but we were close and actually we should have done it.

“Again, you need a little bit of luck. They had luck. It was a deflected ball, the ball came down, maybe the second challenge I’m not sure, there are refs who would whistle it. The arm was high from Lukaku, there are refs that whistle it, but would I whistle it?

“Not sure but sometimes it’s like this. Nobody talks about it any more. 1-0 down changed the world for us, 2-0 feels really bad so early and that you can immediately switch off, of course we are not that far in our development.

“But the reaction was as good as you can say after you still lost. I think we would’ve deserved a draw, that’s fact, but we don’t have it so it’s not important. A draw at Manchester is always a sign of a good game.

Adam Lallana of Liverpool talks with Craig Pawson referee during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford
(Image: (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images))

“Think back about the City game, we had it analysed. Two second balls after set pieces. They scored the whole year not too many from set pieces, in this game they used it twice. You need to have the luck a little bit. You need it.

“If you don’t have it and you make your mistakes, that’s not your day then.”

Klopp will now be hoping his side respond to this setback in a similar manner to the defeat against Tottenham in October, when he oversaw a 14-game unbeaten run in the league report the Liverpool Echo .

“That would be absolutely my plan, to keep the gap wider between defeats,” he said. “That’s how it is.

“But actually if you prepare a game like this today, you don’t think much about the league table. That’s obvious, the table, but it’s Manchester United so we came here to do something and that makes it so…

“In the end, you can lose a game, it’s 2-1 and it’s pretty much the closest result you can get. You scored once, that’s okay, but it’s not okay, that’s how it feels.

“We are really disappointed about this. In the reaction there was a lot of good things, but that’s not to mention really. We lost and we don’t think we should lose here.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here