Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken to Alisson Becker about his two mistakes which “killed” the game for them and resulted in a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City but admits there is nothing he can do immediately to help his goalkeeper.
Mohamed Salah’s 63rd-minute penalty – ending a home goal drought nine minutes short of seven hours – had cancelled out the opener from Ilkay Gundogan, who redeemed himself after missing from the spot in the first half.
But with the match evenly-poised at 1-1 with 17 minutes remaining the Brazil international’s errant passing saw him give the ball first to Phil Foden and then Bernardo Silva, resulting in another goal for Gundogan and Raheem Sterling’s first at Anfield since leaving in 2015.
Foden blasted home a fourth late on to consign Liverpool, 10 points behind City at the top of the Premier League having played one match more, to a third successive home league defeat for the first time since 1963.
Klopp said: “I spoke to him (Alisson) a few seconds ago. He is obviously very disappointed and was like ‘not today, not today’.
I spoke to him (Alisson) a few seconds ago. He is obviously very disappointed and was like 'not today, not today'Jurgen Klopp
“But that’s the problem with mistakes, you can’t decide when you make them. You have to learn from them.
“I said to him already ‘we have stands’ – you can put the ball there. The problem was he didn’t shoot the ball somewhere, somewhere not dangerous.
“In a game when you have such a good moment these two goals were a killer. Tonight it was decisive. That’s OK as he (has) saved our lives I don’t know how often.
“He is absolutely a world-class goalie. Something went wrong but we have to take that.
“I can’t help him through the night but we all have nights like this and tomorrow he will be OK and we go again.”
The win was City’s first at Anfield since 2003 and only their second in 34 visits but it was also a 14th in a row in all competitions, equalling the all-time record by an English top-flight side set by Preston (ending in 1892) and Arsenal (ending in 1987).
Manager Pep Guardiola was more focused on the immediate three points it gave them which extended their advantage at the top to five over Manchester United and 10 over Liverpool, who have played one match more.
“What was important was the three points. Of course I am so proud for the guys,” said the City boss, who acknowledged his side benefited from a lack of fans inside the ground.
“Hopefully next time we can do a similar performance with spectators because Anfield with people in and without is different. I could imagine at 1-1 how much they could influence the players.
“But especially when we missed the penalty and conceded a goal, how good we reacted. Everyone took a step forward. Ilkay and Sterling made an incredible game.
“I’m grateful and happy for this victory but tomorrow it is feet on the grass and it’s Swansea (in the FA Cup in midweek).”
Should City win their match in hand, against Everton, they would be eight points clear but Guardiola refused to discuss the title race yet,
“I said before, I’m not a guy who predicts the future of the table and in February five points is nothing. That is all I can say,” he added.
“I know how difficult Swansea will be, then Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal. Many tough games so be calm and keep going.”