Jurgen Klopp refused to blame Simon Mignolet as the keeper’s howler contributed to Liverpool’s capitulation during Friday night’s Christmas cracker at the Emirates.
After going 2-0 ahead thanks to goals either side of half-time from Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah, the Merseysiders were cruising to three points against Arsenal.
But a three goals in four minutes from Alexis Sanchez, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil put Arsenal on course for a breathtaking win before Roberto Firmino esecured a point for Klopp’s men on a chaotic night.
Simon Mignolet’s performance was called into question once again during Friday’s 3-3 draw
But Mignolet’s position as Liverpool’s No 1 came under further scrutiny after his error allowed Xhaka to equalise.
Indeed, in his role as Sky Sports pundit former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher claimed the Reds would never win the Premier League with Mignolet in goal.
But Klopp didn’t criticise his keeper, saying: ‘He misjudged it. A second hand would have helped but that is how it is. ‘You don’t need to make it bigger than it is. It felt like we shouldn’t have conceded but we did.’ Klopp was at a loss to explain why his side fell apart in that whirlwind four minute spell.
‘It is difficult to explain, we should be three, four even five-nil up before we don’t defend a cross. It feels really strange.
Mignolet failed to keep out Granit Xhaka’s effort for Arsenal’s equaliser during their comeback
‘Defending is a team thing. Today we make individual mistakes and that is not cool. My job is to think about the performance and that was a winning performance. If you want, the draw is our halfway win.
‘We are always a better side when we draw. We have to take the good things and work on the lesser good things.’ ‘A point at Arsenal is a good result for most teams in the world but it feels not too good at the moment.
‘We didn’t take all of our chances but three goals should be enough. Arsenal were not in the game apart from 10 minutes.
‘We need to be angry with yourself, not sad or insecure. We came back into the game and scored our third. The point is the minimum we deserve.
Klopp refused to criticise Mignolet’s performance and insisted ‘defending was a team thing’
‘Because of the intensity of the game it was not easy to create clearer chances. ‘We defended most of the time pretty well, we did not give space away. but we opened the door for Arsenal.
‘After they score the first and the second, it is not easy but we need to deal with these situations better.’ James Milner, however, believes Liverpool could benefit from playing ‘boring’ football.
‘We’ve got to become more boring, those are the games where you’ve got to tighten up. ‘It seems to be a theme for us this year. Maybe sometimes we need to switch that (attacking) off.
‘Against good teams at this level you get punished.’ On his team’s stunning comeback, Wenger added: ‘The frustration of the night is that we should have won 3-2.
Arsene Wenger said his team ‘need to become boring’ after they fell 2-0 behind on Friday
‘But it could have been game over at half time. It was a nightmare first half, we were too far from each other, we were not compact or composed enough. ‘We could have been punished more.
‘Credit to the players, even at 2-0 we showed great spirit. It was a fantastic game, quality going forward on both sides.’
When asked whether his team should have ‘parked the bus’ to see out a 3-2 win, Wenger replied: ‘I don’t know what you mean by parking the bus, I don’t know who created this, but it’s not a lot to do with football.
‘They can always score goals, I hoped we could score one as well. They have quality everywhere going forward, it is difficult to guarantee you don’t concede.’ Meanwhile, Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of captain Jordan Henderson, who limped off with a hamstring injury in the 10th minute.