Klopp admits Liverpool lost the plot in 7-2 thrashing by Aston Villa
|(Ollie Watkins 4, 22, 39, John McGinn 35, Ross Barkley 55, Jack Grealish 66, 75)||(Mohamed Salah 33, 60)|
Stunned Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said his side did “all the things you should not do in a football match” as they “lost the plot” to play into Aston Villa’s hands in their 7-2 humbling at Villa Park in the Premier League on Monday morning (Oct 5, Singapore time).
Following Manchester United’s 6-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool added to a remarkable day as they became the first reigning English top-flight champions to ship seven goals in a league match since Arsenal in 1953.
Ollie Watkins’ first-half hat-trick set Villa en route to an astonishing victory, as Liverpool slipped to a first defeat of the season thanks to a woeful showing at the back in the Midlands.
“We played into their hands, with all the goals,” Klopp said. “Then the game has a specific direction.
“We had still good moments, but our good moments lead to nothing, other than Mo’s (Mohamed Salah) two goals.
“All their good moments lead to a big chance or goals, and that makes all the difference. All the things you should not do in a football match we did tonight, but all credit to Aston Vila, as they forced us to do those things."
Liverpool’s high line was torn apart by Villa’s counter-attack, while the absence of goalkeeper Alisson to injury and Sadio Mane due to a positive Covid-19 diagnosis was notable.
The Reds were not beaten until their 28th league game in romping to the title last season and had won their opening three games of the new campaign.
Alisson’s absence made a telling impact after just four minutes to get Villa in front as Adrian’s poor pass was seized upon by Jack Grealish, who squared for Watkins to score his first EPL goal.
“The first goal had an impact but it shouldn’t," said Klopp. "We conceded goals like that in the past, but the reaction wasn’t good, and we lost the plot.”
Grealish was again the creator for Watkins’ second with a long ball down the side of the Liverpool defence and the former Brentford striker cut inside before blasting into the top corner.
Mohamed Salah seemed to have got the visitors a foothold back in the match when he slammed home on his trusty left-foot.
But Villa quickly restored their two-goal cushion when John McGinn’s effort from the edge of the area deflected in off Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool’s high line was being caught out even from set-plays as six minutes before the break, Trezeguet broke the offside trap to cross for Watkins to become the first player in a decade to score a hat-trick against Liverpool.
Fortune favoured Villa’s desire not to just sit on their lead after the break as Ross Barkley’s long-range effort looped over the helpless Adrian to make it 5-1.
Salah remained razor sharp in front of goal to move one away from 100 for Liverpool with a brilliant finish from Roberto Firmino’s pass.
Klopp moved midfielder Firmino into his back four early in the second half, but it did nothing to stem the flow of Villa attacks cutting through his defence.
Grealish completed a hat-trick of deflected goals when his shot hit Fabinho to wrong-foot Adrian again.
Watkins missed two huge chances to score his fourth as Adrian saved a one-on-one before he hit the crossbar.
Grealish, though, was more clinical when he raced through to round off a remarkable victory.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith hailed the effort from his side, as they made it three wins from three in extraordinary fashion, to move up to second in the table, ahead of Liverpool in fifth.
“It was just sheer hard work and effort,” Smith told Sky Sports. “The work ethic, when Juergen Klopp says ‘wow’ to you, you know you’ve done something right. The lads were superb, they executed the game plan perfectly. We were at our best today.
“It’s a good start, an exceptional result and a really good start. We won’t get complacent but we’ll enjoy tonight because results like that don’t come around too often. We’ve got a lot of pride and confidence going into the international break.”
Liverpool are not in action again for another two weeks due to the international break, but they face a huge challenge on their return when they travel to top-of-the-table Everton in the Merseyside Derby. – REUTERS, AFP