NAPLES, ITALY - Wednesday, October 3, 2018: Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the UEFA Champions League Group C match between S.S.C. Napoli and Liverpool FC at Stadio San Paolo. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp takes the blame as Liverpool deservedly lose at Napoli

Liverpool struggled throughout as they fell to a late 1-0 defeat to Napoli on Wednesday night, with Jurgen Klopp taking the blame for a poor display.

The Reds arrived in Naples hoping to extend their lead at the top of Group C, but as with their last two games, they looked out of sorts.

Klopp made just one change from the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday, and was soon forced to revert to the same side that were held at Stamford Bridge, with Naby Keita injured early on.

They could have benefited from further alterations, as the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson toiled throughout, but Klopp was slow to react.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference at the Stadio San Paolo, the manager shouldered the blame for a slack tactical showing.

“The start to the game was OK and then the timing of our defensive moments wasn’t right, which allowed them to play through us,” he told reporters.

“We closed the gaps too late, which takes energy. We weren’t calm when we had the ball and didn’t create chances.

“The second half was not good enough. It’s always a bad sign when you have to say your goalkeeper was your best player, but it was obvious tonight.

“A big part of the performance is my fault. It didn’t look like it should have done tonight.”

Klopp elaborated further when speaking to BT Sport, reflecting on a game that saw Liverpool fail to register a single shot on target for the first time since 2012.

He proffered that “the job was nearly impossible” for his midfield, and that “with the ball we were too hectic,” which was particularly true of a hapless Salah.

“We ran too long with the ball. When the midfield or full-backs got there, we lost the ball already,” he explained.

“Tonight we were just not good enough. We have to blame ourselves.”

Though Liverpool remain in excellent shape after suffering just their second defeat in 10 games this season, winning seven of those, it is uncanny that issues are starting to arise.

With a crunch clash with Man City to come in the Premier League on Sunday, the Reds cannot afford to see their winless run stretch to four games.

Klopp added that he would “need one night to watch the game again,” and the hope is that this provides the answered needed to revitalise his side before the weekend.

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