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‘We don’t blame the schedule, we caused this problem!’ – Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed claims the relentless schedule is catching up with Liverpool, arguing that while it is “hard,” they had “caused this problem.”

For the third game in a row, Liverpool did not start with the intensity required, as they were hit with a Douglas Luiz strike just three minutes into their clash with Aston Villa.

Joel Matip soon pegged back, but the Reds were clearly not at their best throughout the opening half-hour at Villa Park, compounded by ongoing problems for Fabinho.

They were eventually able to gain control and won the tie 2-1 through a brilliant Sadio Mane header, but coming after similarly difficult starts against Villarreal and Tottenham, there have been concerns over Liverpool’s momentum.

After 59 games already and with four left to play – including a Champions League final, an FA Cup final and two must-win Premier League clashes – is it becoming too much for the Reds?

That was the question posed to Klopp in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.

“If I start feeling sorry for us, then we have a problem. No, I don’t think we should use that as an explanation,” he responded.

“We caused ourselves this problem with qualifying for all the finals and these kinds of things.

“It’s positive, but it’s of course hard.

“Of course, human begins are like this, we have this habit to feel sorry for ourselves. But no, it was not the case.

“The case was that we were not really in the game and they just went for us.

“We knew before the game that we have to play, and that’s obviously not easy but you have to get in control of the game.

“From the moment we did that, it was fine.

“The problem was just that we conceded that first goal, that’s obviously not in the plan. But with 1-1 it was fine and then, step by step, we controlled it.”

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 10, 2022: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' goes down injured during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When Liverpool struggle, it is often due to a problem with their midfield, with Klopp’s engine room designed to take a firm grip on proceedings more so than providing any flourish.

Fabinho was off-kilter from the start against Villa, and was forced off midway through the first half after picking up hamstring complaint.

As he continued, Klopp admitted that it was an issue for Liverpool at Villa Park, with the introduction of Jordan Henderson helping to turn the tide.

“Of course, that was a massive problem,” he said.

“Fab can do that as well, but I think in the second situation he felt something, which is a big blow for us.

“I don’t know [how bad it is]. Hopefully not that bad, but I don’t know.

“Of course, Hendo is in good shape and played a really good game then, and that’s absolutely helpful.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 10, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“But you have to make the decisions before the game. Nobody had any problems, we had to play somebody! It’s not cool, but that happens.

“We controlled it, but most importantly, of course, then all of a sudden Naby and Curtis were really in the game.

“When they turned in moments when they had no pressure, then we were between the lines, from there we could go and all these things.

“That’s the really important stuff. I’m really happy, because I know tonight was incredibly difficult.”

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