Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that “everything” went against his side in their calamitous 3-1 loss to Premier League title rivals Arsenal on Sunday.
The Reds made the journey south in the knowledge that victory would have sent them eight points clear of the Gunners at the top of the standings, while also seeing them build up an identical advantage over Manchester City before the champions’ Monday meeting with Brentford.
However, with Dominik Szoboszlai absent due to a hamstring injury and Darwin Nunez only fit enough for the bench owing to a foot problem, Liverpool were quickly on the ropes and went behind when Bukayo Saka tapped home from Kai Havertz’s saved attempt.
A toothless Liverpool failed to muster a single shot on target in the first half, although they were level on the stroke of the break in bizarre circumstances, as Gabriel Magalhaes turned the ball into his own net with his hand after miscommunication between David Raya and William Saliba.
Klopp’s side started the second half on the front foot, but the momentum shifted Arsenal’s way thanks to another defensive howler, as Gabriel Martinelli tapped into an empty net after a mix-up between Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk.
The experienced pair – normally ever-reliable cornerstones of the Reds backline – were also at the heart of Arsenal’s insurance goal in added time, where Leandro Trossard’s strike deflected off of Van Dijk’s studs and squeezed through Alisson’s legs at his near post.
Ibrahima Konate was also sent off for two bookable offences on a disastrous Emirates outing for the Merseyside giants, and Klopp told his pre-match press conference that nothing went in his side’s favour on the afternoon.
“Are you allowed to win average football games? Yes, absolutely, that’s fine. But for today it didn’t happen. Today pretty much everything went against us,” Klopp said. “Yes, we scored more or less their goal, they scored our goal, so that equals the thing. And then we got the red card, they didn’t get a red card and there were some situations that could have been different.
“But even with the red card then we lose 2-1, so what’s that? It makes no difference but it would have looked different. Being 2-1 down with 11 v 11, that could really have looked different but it’s done, I don’t care about it anymore.
“OK, not a great day for us. Yes, a bad day in the office, definitely, but not just a bad day in the office, and we have to make sure we don’t have them any more.”
However, the Liverpool boss was under no illusions that Arsenal were worthy winners in the capital, as despite enjoying 57% of the ball, Liverpool accumulated just 0.41 Expected Goals compared to Arsenal’s 3.52, which marked the highest xG total against the Reds in a Premier League game since data became available.
“Arsenal deserve the three points, there is no doubt about that: they scored three and we had one shot on target, so that’s obviously the one stat that shows the most,” Klopp added.
“We should have had more of that, we could have had more of that, but because of the story of the game it didn’t happen. If you play an away game at Arsenal, you can play super here and lose. I would have loved to have seen that, but it’s possible. That’s why we take it, deal with it and go from here.”
Defeat to the Gunners also brought an end to Liverpool’s 15-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, which had coincidentally stood since another loss in North London, 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur at the end of September.
The Reds seek an immediate return to winning ways when Burnley head to Anfield on Saturday afternoon.