‘We lost the plot’: Jurgen Klopp berates ‘below average’ Liverpool defending in shocking 7-2 defeat away at Aston Villa as Ollie Watkins hat-trick condemns German boss to worst loss since arriving on Merseyside
Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool ‘lost the plot’ after the champions were ripped apart by Aston Villa and crashed to their heaviest defeat in 57 years.
Aston Villa became the first team since Tottenham in 1963 to score seven against Liverpool, while the 7-2 defeat at Villa Park meant Klopp’s team became the first title holders since Arsenal in 1953 to ship so many goals in one game.
Liverpool never recovered following a calamitous start in which stand-in goalkeeper Adrian gifted hat-trick hero Ollie Watkins the opener after four minutes.
Jurgen Klopp (right) admitted his Liverpool side lost the plot in the 7-2 loss to Aston Villa
Villa star Ollie Watkins (right) netted a hat-trick whilst capitalising on poor Reds defending
It was, by far, the worst display of Klopp’s five-year reign and it was pockmarked with ruinous errors.
Klopp said: ‘For different reasons, Aston Villa did really well, forced all the mistakes that we made. The game had a specific direction – the first goal had an impact but it shouldn’t.
‘We conceded goals like that in the past, but the reaction wasn’t good, and we lost the plot. Every time Villa won the ball, they counter-attacked and our attempts to stop it were below average.
‘All the things you should not do in a football game, we did. All credit to Aston Villa. It was unexpected but it happened. It was just bad, I have to admit it but I can’t change it.’
The German manager hopes that the shock result is a one-off ahead of a tough fixture pile-up
Liverpool will be without Alisson Becker, their first choice keeper, for up to six weeks after he damaged his shoulder in a training ground collision on Saturday. It means he will miss the start of the Champions League plus huge Premier League dates with Everton and Manchester City.
It had been a difficult 48 hours for Klopp, who had lost Sadio Mane after he tested positive for COVID-19, but he was in a remarkably phlegmatic mood as he analysed the situation.
‘Nothing what I could say could help that result so why should I be completely outraged?’ said Klopp. ‘Is it a one-off? I would like to think so but the proof of that will be in the next couple of weeks or months. A game like that should not happen, 100 per cent.
Klopp (right) has goalkeeper Alisson out for six weeks so may have to settle for Adrian (left)
‘It is not a personal defeat but it is a massive one. It is important how we react. The only problem is we cannot react tomorrow. These boys are very self-critical and they know everyone has his hand in this result. We have to deal with it – and we will deal with it.’
Villa, by contrast, were outstanding and exultant manager Dean Smith said: ‘I’m not sure anyone expected what happened today. I have told the players to take a minute and realise what they have done against an exceptional team.
‘Going in at half-time leading 4-1 was quite surreal. This result will give us so much confidence.’