Jurgen Klopp moved to defend under-fire goalkeeper Alisson after he made yet another glaring error in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Leicester on Saturday, saying poor refereeing ultimately cost his side the game.
The Brazilian shot stopper has been superb since signing from Roma in 2018, helping lay the foundations of a side which has tasted both Premier League and Champions League success since his arrival.
After two uncharacteristic errors in the Reds’ 4-1 defeat to Manchester City last time out, Alisson endured yet another horror show at Leicester as he needlessly rushed off his line and missed his kick, colliding with debutant Ozan Kabak to allow Jamie Vardy the chance to tap into an empty net.
Despite making three costly errors in two important games, Klopp defended his number one, though he conceded his mistakes against City may have impacted his performance.
“Ali was confident,” he told BT Sport after the defeat. “He played a super game and made super saves, so that’s all fine, but in that moment [the second Leicester goal] – maybe because of last week, who knows? He comes out, I didn’t hear him shouting, I don’t know if he said something or not.
“Ozan [Kabak] doesn’t know ‘is he coming, is he not coming’, and that’s how it leads to the second goal. That’s it. The second goal is a misunderstanding. We spoke before that we need to get used to each other, we were used to each other until the goal happened in the 75th minute or so.”
Liverpool had looked good value for their lead after a moment of individual brilliance from Roberto Firmino allowed Mohamed Salah the chance to coolly slot home midway through the second half.
However, Leicester hit back just ten minutes later thanks to James Maddison’s free kick. The goal was originally chalked off for offside, though a VAR check saw the decision overturned – a call Klopp didn’t agree with.
“It was a really tough one to take. I know we discussed a lot about VAR but I think we all agreed it was a turning point in the game,” he said. “I’ve seen it now a couple of times and the moment when they stop the situation and they look who is offside, he didn’t even touch the ball yet, so that means it’s still an individual decision of someone to decide whether it’s offside.
“For me it looks like a clear offside because he has to touch the ball – that’s the moment when offside is yes or no.”
To add insult to injury, Klopp also claimed the decision which led to the awarding of the free kick was incorrect, adding: “I don’t think it was even a foul because [Harvey] Barnes jumps into the situation.”
Despite seeing his side fall to their third consecutive defeat – effectively ending their title hopes were they not already burnt to a crisp following the defeat to City – Klopp wasn’t unhappy with the performance of his team, and he said Leicester were lucky to come away with the win.
“They were lucky to win today and they know it,” he added. “In the end they finished the game, they deserved the three points, we just have to deal with our own situation.”