Liverpool gave up a comfortable two-goal lead in the dying stages of their match against AFC Bournemouth to suffer a stunning 4-3 defeat on Sunday. Manager Jurgen Klopp, however, did not blame his players post the shocking capitulation.
Liverpool visited the Vitality Stadium in Sunday’s lunch-time kick-off with a chance to go outright second in the Premier League table, aiming to maintain pace with leaders Chelsea after the Blues’ 3-1 win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday saw them create a three-point gap on the top.
For large parts of the match against Bournemouth, it looked like Liverpool would stretch their run of unbeaten games to 16, controlling the tempo of the game and seemingly cruising to a comfortable win. The Cherries had failed to have a sniff at Loris Karius’ goal in a first half that saw Sadio Mane and Divock Origi put Jurgen Klopp’s side grab a two-goal lead.
And even though Bournemouth pulled one back at the start of the second half through a Callum Wilson penalty, a neat finish from Emre Can saw the Reds reestablish the two-goal cushion. However, with just 15 minutes of regulation time left to play the unthinkable happened, as Bournemouth’s never-say-die spirit came to the fore once again.
Second half substitute Ryan Fraser inspired a dramatic comeback to ensure a 4-3 win for his side. Fraser scored the second goal for Bournemouth in the 76th minute before providing the assist for Steven Cook’s leveller. The comeback was complete in injury time as Nathan Ake tapped home an easy finish following Karius’ howler from Cook’s shot.
In the aftermath of his side’s implosion though, Jurgen Klopp refused to throw his players under the bus, insisting that he was satisfied with his side’s performance in the match. Speaking in his post match press conference, Klopp said: “I’m not angry. During the game, I was angry a few times, when I still had influence on it.
“But I saw that my boys didn’t want to do the wrong thing, but they did and lost the momentum in the game, and it’s not simple to come back. That’s why you have to keep momentum all the time you can. I cannot change it. So why should I be angry?”
Loris Karius, who was criticised for his part in the shock collapse late in the match, in particular found support from Klopp, as the Liverpool boss said that mistakes are a part of the game. He continued: “If you made mistakes, you get criticised – that’s the life and there is absolutely no problem.
“The last goal [Nathan Ake’s] was not the most lucky situation for a goalkeeper. If Loris had made a real, decent save, I would have wished for it but it says nothing about him as a goalkeeper. It only happened and now we go on.”
The loss on Sunday means that Liverpool have slipped to third in the table, a point behind Arsenal and four behind Chelsea after the Gunners romped to a rampaging 5-1 win at West Ham United. West Ham are their next opponents and Klopp would like his side to pile on more misery on Slaven Bilic’s side and get back to winning ways in their pursuit of the Premier League title.