Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was more unhappy with the lack of control and defensive protection his side displayed than the performance of goalkeeper Loris Karius.
Karius’ positioning for West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet’s equaliser which cancelled out Adam Lallana‘s opener was questionable at best in the 2-2 draw at Anfield.
However, Klopp – who said he had “no idea” about whether his summer signing was at fault for the goal as he had only seen it once – felt there were shortcomings elsewhere.
“It was a brilliant situation for Payet, I saw him training before the game and he missed all of them. I was hoping (for the same) in the game too, but no,” he said.
Michail Antonio capitalised on a mistake by Joel Matip to put the visitors 2-1 up before Divock Origi‘s fourth goal in as many games salvaged a point but Klopp was not happy with the way Liverpool were opened up by the Hammers.
“We had not a real formation for protection in these moments,” he added.
“Nearly everybody was involved in our offensive situations and we had two centre-backs and sometimes Hendo (Jordan Henderson) behind the ball, and nearly everybody else the other side.
“We had a problem with second balls but not too often. The goals (we conceded) weren’t in situations like that but we let the game go a little bit away in these moments, we were not completely in control like we could have been.”
Liverpool have taken just five points from the last four matches and have slipped to six behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, having held top spot themselves barely a month ago. However, the Reds boss insists much remains to be determined.
“It’s difficult to stay in the race with Chelsea when they win everything and we didn’t,” Klopp said.
“I don’t think about it. When we were first or second I wasn’t thinking about it. This is the moment to collect points as much as possible. “The season is very long and as everybody knows the most intense time is coming now. “At this moment six points behind is not what we wish but we cannot change it. The only thing we can do is do what we do best.” West Ham‘s Slaven Bilic left Anfield much the happier manager.
“I’m definitely pleased with character. We lost our last game 5-1 against Arsenal and then after a start that couldn’t be worse when you concede a goal here you expect confidence to drop more,” he said in reference to Lallana’s fifth-minute opener.
“But we showed great reaction. I am very pleased with the whole 90 minutes.
“It was a great point for us and a positive situation before a crucial week for us.
“Now we have Burnley and Hull at home which will be extremely difficult. We have to show quality and patience.”
Had goalkeeper Darren Randolph not dropped a cross at the feet of Origi for Liverpool’s equaliser – although he did later redeem himself with a brilliant save to deny Henderson – the Hammers could have left with all three points.
“That is the nature of the goalkeeper’s job,” added Bilic. “He made a mistake for their second goal that is true but before that and after that he showed great individual reaction.
“After the goal he showed his quality and composure when he made some great saves – that strike from Henderson was a crucial moment for us.”