Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits his side struggled to cope with Nottingham Forest’s set-piece threat and the long throws of Moussa Niakhate during Saturday’s dramatic 3-2 Premier League win.
Dropping points at home to relegation threatened Nottingham Forest less than a week after putting six past Leeds United. This would almost have been a snapshot of Liverpool’s entire season.
Liverpool’s defensive frailties were clear for all to see once again at Anfield; only Nottingham Forest’s own capitulation ensuring that the three points stayed on the red half of Merseyside.
And Klopp was particularly disappointed about the manner in which Steve Cooper’s visitors scored their second of the day. Liverpool failing to clear Niakhate’s long throw before Morgan Gibbs-White volleyed home unmarked.
Liverpool beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 at Anfield
“The throw-ins created a proper mess for us,” Klopp sighs, via the club’s official website.
“You can prepare a lot in football – and this game was now the preparation for us for the future – but for this kind of thing, obviously we were not prepared well enough.
“We knew about the threat; When Niakhate has the ball and throws it into the box. The first ball we could have defended better, I think Ibou (Ibrahim Konate) was a bit too much in a fight with whoever was around him, but how we deal with the second, third and fourth ball was not even close to being good enough.
“They won all of them, and put it always back into the area. That, in the end, caused massive problems. I think especially the second goal they scored…
“You need to read the situation better because everybody is there. There is one who fights for the ball and all the rest has to pick up where is the next potential threat. There, that was not good enough.”
Mo Salah’s eventual 70th minute winner was enough for Liverpool to secure a win which raised more questions than answers. A Champions League spot is not quite out of the question just yet either.
Although, with a nine point gap between themselves and fourth-place Manchester United, Liverpool’s destiny is anywhere but their own hands.