Jurgen Klopp was drawn into further questions about the absence of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane and its effect on Liverpool, but the manager was quick to say they are not the only solution.
The unavailability of Liverpool’s pacey wingers were keenly felt on Thursday in what was an unimaginative and lacklustre outing.
But while two key avenues to goal for the Reds, Klopp was eager to stress that while the pair are “outstanding players,” the troubles against 10-men have also existed whilst they have been on the pitch.
It leaves solutions to find as it will not be the last time such tactics are used against Liverpool and Klopp has vowed his side “can do better” and “that’s what we will do.”
“I liked our start [vs. Arsenal] and we had with Sadio and Mo before some struggles against 10 men that I did not like when they were both on the pitch and we couldn’t create enough,” Klopp said.
“It’s not about who is in but how can we do better.
“The red card happened and then you had to play with a team which obviously didn’t play five times together in this set-up.
“You have to break down a really low block and in football, it is the most difficult thing, always like this.
“We couldn’t do that [vs. Arsenal], that’s true. We were not good enough in moments but that’s the situation, nothing to do with who is not here.
“It’s all about how we can do better and we can do better, and that’s what we will do.”
And when later asked to elaborate further on the pace that is missing from his side with Mane and Salah out, Klopp doubled down on his response and left little to interpretation.
“There’s nothing bad to say about Sadio and Mo, absolutely nothing. Outstanding players,” Klopp added.
“Naby on his best day, one of the best midfielders I ever saw. It’s all positive about them, but they are not here.
“[Against Arsenal] we did not miss speed or pace, that was not our problem. They were so deep, where did you want us to run? Over the touchline and into the stands? There was no space to use that.
“There are so many things we can do, a lot of top counter-pressing moments, winning the ball back and going from there – that’s not about this final pace that [Salah and Mane] usually bring to our game.
“This is needed in different situations. We have to play against deep formations, and quick thinking is much more important than quick running.
“Yes, Mo and Sadio can think quick as well but they are not here so the rest can do that.
“It was crystal clear that we will sit here after a 0-0 draw against 10-man Arsenal and all you [reporters] have on your mind is Sadio, Mo and Naby are not here.
“That’s not a solution only, only part of a problem. We are here to find solutions and I’m in the game to find these solutions.
“[On Thursday], we were not perfect, that’s true, but maybe we are closer to our usual standard.
“We have to get through different periods in a season, we always had to, this is our period now. Let’s get through this together.”