Jurgen Klopp explains what he saw for the ‘first time’ as problems catch up with Liverpool against Man United

Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool’s gruelling schedule was just too much for them as they were condemned to a 4-3 defeat by Manchester United in the FA Cup.

The Reds were beaten by a goal in the last minute of extra time when they went down 4-3 in their quarter-final against their bitter North West rivals on Sunday afternoon.

It was an 18th game since the turn of the year for Klopp’s side, who were again missing a host of injured players including centre-back Ibrahima Konate.

And the Reds boss believes too many of his players were running on empty during the extra period that should have been avoided by the visitors taking their chances during a one-sided second half.

“Today was on and above the edge, it was really tough for us,” said Klopp. “United had a clear better start and scored the early goal. We had to organise ourselves a little bit better, we struggled with the man-marking and didn’t play enough.

“Then we found a way to play and then we got rhythm and looked really good and deserved to be 2-1 up. Then the second half was exceptional, absolutely exceptional that we played here.

“But we didn’t finish the game off and when you leave the door open away from home at Old Trafford it’s clear they will get chances and they could score the equaliser and Marcus (Rashford) had a big chance at the end of normal time.

“It was then really hard for us. That was the first time I really saw my team really struggling, that’s how it is. We played a lot of football recently and then go 3-2 up and all good and then they win 4-3.

“Come on, you can easily accept that, congratulations to United. They fought extremely hard as well. You want to go to the semi-finals and both teams understood the importance of the occasion and the competition.”

Mohamed Salah, who had scored Liverpool’s second, and Dominik Szoboszlai were replaced during the second half, but despite having tiring players Klopp admits the lack of senior options on the bench made it difficult to introduce fresh legs during a frantic extra period.

“The problem was we didn’t even know who to take off,” he said.

“For a while it was alright, for 90 minutes it would have been everything fine but in extra time there were not options. We talk about the kids but we have always said you have to bring them in in the right moment.

“Macca definitely (tired), Wata definitely, Darwin definitely, Lucho we did then, Joey. They play all the time the boys, that’s how it is.

“The way we conceded the last two goals shows we were absolutely not on the top of our game any more. We gave the balls away, absolutely no criticism of that. I saw a team who understood the importance of the game and gave absolutely everything today and it wasn’t enough. And that’s what we have to accept.”



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