It was not pretty and it was far from a classic at Craven Cottage as the Reds paid for their sluggish start out of the blocks, ensuring they were unable to capitalise on results elsewhere.
While not a forgone conclusion, Liverpool were expected to add three points to their tally on Sunday and in doing so would have moved clear at the top of the table following Tottenham‘s misstep at Crystal Palace.
However, Klopp’s side were the ones on the back foot from the off and while Alisson proved instrumental on his return, Bobby Decordova-Reid hit truly for the hosts to take a deserved lead.
A semblance of control would start to creep back into Liverpool‘s play and they had enough chances in the second half to seal what would have been an undeserved victory, but they had to settle for a point thanks to Mohamed Salah‘s penalty conversion.
There was no shirking away from the less than impressive performance for Jordan Henderson, with the captain conceding that while he didn’t know the reason for it, it was crucial to “learn” from the experience to make sure it “doesn’t happen again.”
The team now have just three days to prepare for Spurs’ visit and that means shifting gears swiftly:
“It wasn’t like us. It was all over really. I felt we were a little bit late to second balls, we weren’t winning headers and when you lose them individual battles it’s difficult.
“I don’t know what the reasoning behind that is but we’ve got to take that and make sure that doesn’t happen again going forward, learn from it and keep doing what we did after that.
“We could have come away with the three points in the end but we got punished for our start to the game. That was unlike us, so hopefully, it doesn’t happen again.
“Another big game comes quick around the corner. A big game for us and we need to recover well, get ready and prepare for that one.”
The captain’s view was shared by his teammates as they addressed the result on social media after the final whistle, with disappointment and the need for a response made clear.
The game marked the return of Alisson and the No. 1 was delighted to “be back in action,” and he was made to work on his comeback as he once again showed his world-class ability to keep the Reds in the game:
It’s great to be back in action! ?????? pic.twitter.com/Sjzw8gVYdn
And after an early spell which wasn’t “up to our standards” and led to an unwanted result, it is time to “shift focus quickly” for Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum for a top-of-the-table clash:
With a plethora of injuries to contend with amid a taxing schedule, it was never out of the realm of possibility that the Reds would struggle at Craven Cottage.
In saying that, it was a game they should’ve successfully navigated and now all eyes can firmly focus on the challenge ahead as Tottenham make their way to Anfield on Wednesday evening.