Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said his team was mentally unprepared during their 1-0 home defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday as his hopes of preserving the Premier League title took a heavy blow.
And it began that Liverpool had regained their charming attacking touch after two consecutive wins away from Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, but he did not give much to Brighton.
The defending champion failed to find the net for the third time in a row at home in the league and hit one ball on goal and became seven points behind Manchester City, who have a game in hand.
“We played against a good team, it is clear,” Klopp said. It looked like we were mentally unprepared. Brighton deserved to win. We wanted to play better. We lost many balls in good positions. I know that my players can pass the ball from one place to another, but today we couldn’t get it to another place.
The only explanation now is that we are mentally overwhelmed in one way or another.
“We went through a difficult week,” he added. Tonight we weren’t prepared, and for that to happen, we have to find a way.
Liverpool hadn’t had a problem finding this way in the last two seasons, but suddenly, at least at Anfield, the team lacked creativity. Mohamed Salah, the league’s top scorer, did not have a chance, and when he got there, he knocked the ball over the bar.
Sadio Mane’s absence from injury added to Liverpool’s troubles as the team struggled in defense to lose at home to Brighton for the first time in the league since 1982.
Given Klopp’s lack of defensive solutions after Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip was injured, it was strange that newcomer Ben Davis sat on the Bench.
“The only explanation now is that we are mentally overwhelmed in one way or another,” Klopp said. We had some chances, but Brighton deserved to win. We have to defend and run a lot; no plan in the world always gets you in the right place.
“Having the ball is the best way to defend against teams like this, but we couldn’t do that today.” It was a difficult week, and the night was not enough.