Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool gave the ball away too quickly in the first half as he singled out the usually reliable Thiago Alcantara for criticism after the drab 0-0 draw against Chelsea.
Thiago was joined by Naby Keita and young Stefan Bajcetic in midfield against the Blues, as the trio kept their spots after impressing in the 1-0 win against Wolves. Speaking to BT Sport, as cited by Anfield Watch’s Twitter account, Klopp suggested that the Spanish international gave the ball away unnecessarily.
“We won a lot of balls in the first half but gave them away too quickly – even Thiago did that which was unnecessary.”
The Liverpool manager also admitted that while his side didn’t come away with three points, they took ‘little steps’ towards improving what has been a disastrous 2022-23 campaign so far.
"We won a lot of balls in the first half but gave them away too quickly – even Thiago did that which was unnecessary." #lfc [bt]
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) January 21, 2023
“We had to be ready for little steps and this was a little step. We have a clean sheet against Chelsea. We can build on this.
“We showed the boys where Chelsea struggled to defend us in the first half – we couldn’t quite capitalize in the second half.
“The two finals last year were different games but they were hectic in moments as well. Today was 9th vs 10th. We have to build.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
With Stefan Bajcetic getting his first-ever Premier League start and Naby Keita earning another rare start, the onus was on Thiago to hold the midfield together against Chelsea. The former Bayern Munich man was uncharacteristically sloppy on the ball, but he had a decent game overall and held things together in the center of the park.
As for the result, the Reds came away with a clean sheet and a point, but they still look a million miles off their best and need to put together a run of wins if they are to finish in the Premier League top four.