Klopp concerned by slow Reds start


Jurgen Klopp is “concerned” by Liverpool’s winless start to the Premier League campaign, but he suggested his side only needed to be “a little bit better” to beat Manchester United in Monday’s 2-1 loss.
Liverpool followed up surprise draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace in their opening two games with defeat to fierce rivals United at Old Trafford.
Mohamed Salah pulled a goal back in the 81st minute, but strikes from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were enough to give Erik ten Hag his first win in charge of United.
It marks the first time since the 2012-13 season under Brendan Rodgers that Liverpool have failed to win any of their opening three Premier League fixtures.
With his side a lowly 16th at this early stage with two points from a possible nine – and already five points adrift of Manchester City – Klopp accepts a big turnaround is required.
“I am concerned about our situation, but that is how it is. We deal with it and we prepare now for Bournemouth, then Newcastle, then Everton,” he told Sky Sports.
Liverpool looked particularly sloppy in a defensive sense at Old Trafford, where they finished with an expected goals return of 1.39 compared to United’s 1.67.
The visitors had more shots on target (five to four), though, while also dominating the possession with 70.2 per cent of the ball, albeit with United dropping off when two goals up.
And after seeing his injury-plagued side suffer a first defeat in 22 league games in a run stretching back to last December, Klopp felt only fine margins denied his side.
“We are in a tricky situation injury-wise – we got through the week with 14 or 15 senior players available, and we have to make sure they don’t get injured now,” the German said.
“Even with our situation, with being a little bit better, we should have won this game. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that is how I saw it.”
He added: “They were really aggressive in the beginning – it was clear what would happen. They were more aggressive than us, and they hit the post early on. It was a hectic game.”
Liverpool host Bournemouth and Newcastle United in their next two games, and Klopp vowed his side would show a response at Anfield.